Information for Victims of Crime
If you or a member of your family has been the victim of a crime, the following information is for you. Experiencing a crime can be frightening, confusing and painful in many different ways for the victim.
It is important for you to know that you can get help, from people who care, through agencies whose purpose it is to serve you. You won't have to go through it alone.
The law enforcement officer who takes the report can answer questions about the initial stages of the process and what, if anything you need to do right away. The Chelan County Prosecutor's Office has developed a Victim/Witness Unit to provide you with information and support throughout the criminal justice process.
It is the goal of the Chelan County Prosecuting Attorney 's Victim/Witness Unit to balance the scales of justice. Victims have the right to information and support. It is our desire to see that the criminal justice system does not cause a "second injury" to the victim.
In an effort to limit further trauma by the system, the Victim/Witness Unit is committed to making the system more responsive to the rights of all citizens.
The Aftermath of Crime
A crime has occurred. The victim has suffered a great deal as a result. The victim's sense of safety and security has been shaken. The initial impact is one of shock and disbelief. Then the true impact sets in. The victim may have suffered financial loss and/or physical injury, as well as experiencing emotional turmoil.
Common Reactions to Being a Crime Victim
- Withdrawal from others
- Sleep disturbances (nightmares, fear of going to bed, wanting a light on, waking up during the night, fear of sleeping alone or over sleeping)
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Irritability, crankiness, short tempered behavior
- Needing more reassurance than usual, clinging to friends and family
- Needing to talk about the crime over and over or not wanting to talk about it at all
What You Can Do to Support a Crime Victim
- Emotional Support: Provide care, love, comfort and understanding. Talk as much as needed. Be a good listener.
- Encouragement: Let the victim know you are on his/her side. No blaming. The victim is not at fault.
- Referrals for Counseling: Encourage the victim to contact a counselor. A professional can often help the victim work through the trauma and get on with their life.
- Companionship: Provide security and support. Let them know you care.
- Do Not Push: Everyone recovers in their own time. Sometimes when victims are pushed to hurry up and get better, they stop the necessary recovery process.
- Get Support for Yourself: Crime adds stress to friends and loved ones. If the victim becomes concerned about you, he/she may ignore his or her own needs for recovery.