If someone close to you has become the victim of a crime, you may be in a state of shock and not know what to do.
However, your presence may be a huge help to the victim.
Persons who have become the victim of a crime
Many victims of a crime fall into a state of panic,
・blame themselves for having been careless,
・feel ashamed for having been victimized, and
・are afraid that the distress will never end.
They also lose confidence and become unable to make decisions for themselves.
・they don’t want others to know that they were victimized,
・and want to be left alone.
On the other hand,
・they want someone to listen to them,
・but they worry that no one will believe them.
If you know the victim of a crime
If you know someone close to you has been victimized, you may want to criticize the victim, blaming him/her for
・being at fault, or
・because of what he/she should’ve (shouldn’t have) done.
Conversely, you may blame yourself, or feel similar to the victim and become depressed because you feel
・you’re unable to do anything and
・should’ve realized the situation.
However, your understanding is necessary for the victim to recover and return to living life as usual.
Attentively listening to the victim will help him/her to get back peace of mind and sort out his/her feelings.
The various physical and emotional symptoms will ease with time.
Recovery differs with each individual. It is important to bear in mind that it takes time, and to provide emotional support for the victim over a long period of time．
Supporting the victim requires an abundance of energy.
If you yourself feel troubled, do not push yourself.Go and see professional counselors or other experts and ask for help.
To help victims,
Listen unhurriedly to what he/she has to say.
When the victim doesn’t want to talk, wait until he/she is ready.
Listen with your full attention without interrupting or disturbing the pace.
When listening to the victim speaking, don’t make a face or contradict him/her.
The victim is sensitive to the reactions of others.
Don’t find fault with the victim’s behavior.
No matter the circumstances, the victim is blameless.
Make sure the victim is in a safe place.
If the victim is injured immediately after the crime, encourage him/her to go to the hospital.
Don’t leave the victim alone. If he/she may be in danger, find him/her refuge for a while.
Please accompany him/her when going to the hospital or police.
Avoid saying things like:
・I know how you feel.
・You’re lucky. It could’ve been worse.
・Try to forget it.
If the victim tells you about the crime,
・Don’t listen simply out of curiosity,
・Don’t criticize or blame him/her,
・Don’t contradict what he/she says.
It is important to sit close to the victim, listen to his/her feelings, and show him/her respect.