In our daily life, we respond differently to events that touch our lives and the lives of people we care about.

Emotional reactions to crime can be very different. Not everyone feels the same or responds the same. However, victims and witnesses report some similar responses. The list below identifies some common reactions to being a victim or witness of crime.

  • You may experience a variety of emotions after the crime, including anger, guilt, distrust and loneliness. Family members and friends can also experience these feelings. Your feelings are normal.
  • Many crime victims experience similar reactions, but there is no right or wrong way to feel. You are not alone in these feelings.
  • When your sense of personal safety has been violated, it is normal to feel that the world is dangerous or unsettled for a time. You are not crazy. 
  • Sharing your feelings and concerns with a non-judgmental person, such as a friend, family member, or a counselor helps to sort out your emotions and can decrease feelings of isolation. Talking with others about your feelings can help. 
  • As you try to explain or understand the crime, it is easy to say, "I should have..." Remember that you are not to blame for what happened to you. Nobody asks to be victimized. It is not your fault.
  • Feelings such as fear, anger and anxiety will generally diminish over time. As you deal with the aftermath of crime, time and non-judgmental support are important. There is hope.