The psychological impact of being robbed

The psychological impact of being robbed

Blue Tree intern Maddy Lykourgos discusses the impact of crimes such as burglary…

Breaking news stories exhibiting criminal activity continue to percolate all media making us feel unsettled at the possibility that we could be next. The thought that someone intends to do us harm as an individual can leave us feeling confused and powerless, wondering what we could’ve done to prevent it. Theft-related offences make up a large percentage of crimes reported, and statistics are disproportionally high in London. As much as the media may focus on the psychology of the perpetrator, society often forgets about those who fall victim to such crimes; their suffering can far exceed the replacement of mere belongings.

With the example of burglary, even without any personal items being taken, having a stranger in your house, without your knowledge, can feel like a violation of your space and of your security. This level of distress often causes individuals to blame themselves, perhaps for not locking a window, or double-checking that the door was bolted. This may be made worse by the loss of significant and irreplaceable items, preventing people, especially young children being assured that they can feel safe in their homes again and sleep through the night.

It is vital to remember that being burgled is not your fault. Nonetheless, the traumatic impact of a burglary can linger, even after this rationalisation. Some people may cope by taking control back and improving home security to stop it happening again. A few things that can give people peace of mind are leaving lights on when the property is vacant, double (or even triple) checking locks or pooling community funds for nightly patrol cars.

However, the extent to which this type of crime can affect us is often unexpected and underestimated. Anger, fear, vulnerability and even physical symptoms, like nausea and headaches, comprise some of the reactions to this type of trauma that people may experience. Although most people don’t suffer long-term from a crime of this sort, occasionally the emotional distress can leave you feeling symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or depression that may persist.

It is important that you don’t ignore these symptoms. People are all too quick to try and ‘get over it’, but it’s important to work through at a pace that suits you. Counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy are just some of the ways to provide support in managing the emotional impact of crime.

If you find yourself suffering due to burglary or any other crime, get in touch with us here  for more information on how we could help your cope following your traumatic experience.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Lori

    I’m a teacher of third graders. One of my boys and his single mom came home last Friday to find their apartment robbed. Many valuable things gone. Much from my students room. How can I best help him recover and process his losses?

  2. Pingback: Easy Ways To Ward Off Burglars | West Coast Property

  3. Kay Hardman

    I am a 60 year old woman and I have been stolen from quite a lot of times where I am living. I am living in Supported Living flats and the stealing has been going on for 4 years and I have been feeling emotionally mentally and physically unwell for quite a while, due to the stealing. It has been done by the Staff and the Tenants where I am living. It seems to happen when I have been in hospital for a few weeks and when I have had an epileptic seizure in the building. For quite some time, I have been feeling more emotionally mentally and physically unwell as each day is going by. As I have always been deprived of everything from my early childhood until now, even though my Dad tried his best to provide for me. I have been looking for some help from anyone who is willing to help me with the issue. To me, it is like a deep reminder of how I was treated when I was a young child until now but to others, it is very clever and the best way to get what they want. Like a Staff Member who has stolen 6 large bags of my new clothes, footwear and other property besides. This was done not long after I had an epileptic seizure which is why I was unable to do anything about the issue. I know that another Staff Member has told the Staff Member who has stolen the property that I had not long bought some more clothes and footwear. Please could someone help me with the issue of the stealing as it is seriously wrong and it is still affecting my epilepsy, my mental health issues and my Complex PTSD issues with my Childhood repressed memories.

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