If your friend or family member has been a victim of crime, you may wonder how you can help. For many people, understanding what a victim is going through is very difficult if you have not been a victim of a crime yourself. However, you can still take steps to let your loved one know that you are there for them.

Do Some Research

Sometimes, understanding your loved one begins with reading about the feelings they may be experiencing. Getting advice from knowledgeable sources on what you should do can be a great starting point.

Ask How You Can Help

It may be difficult for your loved one to talk about what happened. They may blame themselves or simply do not understand why it happened to them. Don’t force your loved one to talk about what happened if they are uncomfortable. Instead, ask how you can help. Sometimes simply asking this question can start the conversation in a very positive way.

Listening and merely being there for your loved one when they need you can go a long way. However, they may also need to be alone to process what has happened. Balance your time and their alone time based on what your loved one needs.

Help Your Loved One Develop a Safety Plan

For some victims, having a plan together in case the crime happens again or in case the offender comes back can be very helpful. Create an escape plan or a calling tree, if necessary. In some situations, adding an additional layer of security or protection can be very helpful to put your loved one’s mind at ease.

Encourage Participation in Activities Outside the House

Getting life back to normal after you have been victimized can be very difficult. However, participating in everyday activities outside of the house can help your loved one get their life back on track. Even something as simple as going for a weekly grocery store visit can be a great help.

Encourage your loved one to go to family functions, take part in social activities, and simply get out of the house. Be there for them if they have trouble and be willing to listen if they just want your company.

Help Provide Access to Resources

There are many programs, support groups, and activities available to your loved one. Help them find these resources and encourage participation. You may also want to help your friend or family member arrange an appointment with a therapist or counselor. The resources found VCCVR.org can be a great place to get started. Explore the various resources available to your loved one by visiting our resources page.