Taking Care of Yourself After a Crime

Taking care of yourself after you've survived a crime, is the most important thing you can do. Talk about what has happened to you with supportive friends, partners, or family members. Eat, sleep and be respectful of the messages your body is giving you.

Remember that you are not alone. Other people have experienced similar types of violence and survived. The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center offers many different support services to both victims, families and offenders.

Ways to take care of yourself:
  • Sit quietly and breathe deeply.
  • Physical exercise (if possible), alternated with relaxation, will alleviate some of the physical reactions, such as feeling tense or sleeplessness.
  • Structure your time.
  • Don't label yourself as "crazy;" you are normal and having normal reactions to an extreme situation.
  • Talk to people-talking is a very healing medicine. Talk with a loved one or a counselor who will support you and really listen.
  • Be aware of numbing the pain with drugs or alcohol. Be careful not to complicate the issue with a substance abuse problem.
  • Keep a journal; write your way through sleepless hours.
  • Do things that feel good to you.
  • Supplement your diet with vitamins.
  • Don't make any major life changes, but make as many daily decisions as possible, which gives you a feeling of control over your life (i.e., if someone asks you what you want to eat, answer them, even if you are not sure.)
  • To heal from traumatic stress, it is important to allow yourself time to grieve your losses, such as physical injuries or strong negative feelings, and to give yourself permission to heal at your own pace.