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Supporting somebody else
Family and friends are a key source of support for people affected by crime but it can be hard to know how to act, or what to say during such a traumatic time. You may also be feeling upset, knowing what has happened to someone you care about.
What you can do
- Believe them
- Spend time with them
- Listen attentively
- Tell them you’re sorry to hear about the event, and that you want to help them
- Help them feel safe
- Help them with everyday tasks, like cleaning, cooking or childcare to give them some private time
Things to remember
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to explore the issues
- Don’t take angry outbursts personally
- Don’t say things like ‘lucky it wasn’t worse’ or ‘just get on with your life’
- Don’t say things that imply it was their fault, for example ‘what were you doing there at that time anyway?’
- Don’t be impatient with them – people recover at different rates
If you feel that you need support, contact Voice on 0300 303 1965. We can give you advice and contacts for local support services in Northamptonshire.
Children who have experienced crime and trauma – especially very young children – may react by behaving differently.
If your child has been through a traumatic event, they might:-
- Feel confused or worried, of blame themselves for what happened
- Be sad, angry, irritable, guilty or ashamed
- Act out, disobey rules, cling to you or avoid other people
- Suddenly not be able to the things they could do before the traumatic event, for example, use the toilet or get themselves dressed
- Show physical signs, for example, have headaches or stomach aches or startle easily
- Have problems sleeping or concentrating
How you can help a child
You can help by:
- Giving honest, simple and brief answers to their questions
- Allowing your child to express their feelings and reactions
- Reassuring them that they are still loved and will be cared for
- Being patient if your child’s behaviour regresses
- Keeping family routines and making things as normal as possible
- Expressing your own fears honestly – admitting your fears and showing that you can handle them sends the message that they can overcome their fears too
- Informing your child’s school or day-care so they are prepared for any behavioural changes or changes in grades
- Accepting and allowing increased dependence – give more hugs if your child needs them and sit with them longer when they go to bed
- Being a parent in the way you normally would – children still need boundaries and this helps them feel safe and secure
Getting support for a child
After a crime or traumatic event, your child might need support. You can talk to your doctor about this. Other parents can also be a great source of support and ideas.
You can find further help and information on our Young Victims and Witnesses website.
Or click the links to view some third-party content Resources to support your child and Helping your child after a crime
Have you reported your crime to the police?YES NO
Last modified 30th January 2017
After my daughter was a victim to a crime she found it hard to deal with the after effects. I used MyVoice to work out what our next steps would be after she had reported the crime. I could read about the police investigation and if we would have to go to court. We both feel reassured that we know what might happen at each stage.