Whenever a crime occurs, the victim undergoes a lot of physical and psychological trauma. All crime victims will suffer from injuries and the primary classification of these injuries are monetary (financial), physical and emotional. Monetary and physical injuries are easily visible and therefore there is a solution to cope with that. But the emotional or psychological trauma that a crime victim suffers is something that a lot of people fail to consider and therefore it is probably the toughest trauma to cure.

The mental trauma that is faced by a crime victim will differ based on the type of crime that the victim has had to endure. If the crime was a non-violent crime like a theft, then the trauma that is experienced by the victim is considered to be less when compared to violent crimes. Non violent crime tends to have a lot of secondary injuries most of which are financial and that can cause mental trauma in such victims to increase if not treated. The emotional trauma is a lot more when the crime is a violent one and research has shown that almost all victims who have been subjected to a violent crime tend to suffer from mental trauma that will depend on the amount of physical abuse that that victim has had to endure.

The most heinous crime is that of murder and in such cases the family and loved ones of the victim are the ones that have to go through the trauma of losing their loved one. Another crime that is increasing all across the globe is rape, and there are a lot of children who are being subjected to sexual abuse and this trend is greatly disturbing. Children who go through sexual abuse tend to get deeply disturbed and the mental trauma that they face is severe. Research has shown that such children often feel let down by society and can make them grow up as anti social elements or engage in criminal behaviour. Any sort of abuse that a child faces will influence the future of the child and therefore one has to be very vigilant about abuses to children.

The mental trauma that a crime victim faces is categorized into various stages and the initial stage is that of shock and numbness. Immediately after or during the crime the victim can go into shock and numbness and will have the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome. The next stage is anger, denial and disbelief, during which the moods of the victim will fluctuate frequently. This is the stage which has to be overcome by the victim to get into recovery and there are lots of victims of crime who have not been able to go beyond this stage into recovery. The final stage is the recovery stage and this has a lot of importance in shaping the future of the victim. If proper care and guidance is given during this stage the victim can overcome the mental trauma and can resume normal living. But if memories of the traumatic experience are not resolved there is the possibility that the victim will face ongoing difficulties.

For victims of crime support and advice call 1800 000 055 or go to www.victimsofcrime.com.au or email: support@victimsofcrime.com.au


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