A “critical incident” is any event that causes an unusually intense stress reaction, such as an armed robbery or physical assault.  Often the distress a victim experiences after a critical incident limits their ability to cope, impairs their ability to adjust and negatively impacts on their work and social life.

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is a process that aims to prevent or limit the development of post-traumatic stress symptoms in victims exposed to critical incidents.  Professionally conducted debriefings can help victims cope with and recover from the effects of the trauma. CISD helps victims understand that they are not alone in their reactions and provides them with an opportunity to discuss their thoughts and feelings in a safe environment mediated by a professional practitioner. CISD should be conducted within 24 to 72 hours of the critical incident.

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

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