While everyone is different, if you are a victim of crime, understanding common reactions to traumatic events can be helpful.
This website has information about support services available for people affected by a range of crimes.
If you need help, it is important to reach out. If someone close to you has been affected by crime you can learn more about how to support them.
If you need crisis support, you can contact Lifeline (External link) 24 hours a day on 13 11 14.
The Victims of Crime Helpline 1800 819 817 can provide support and advice between 8am and 11pm.
Just after the crime
You may feel shocked, fearful or angry.
A common reaction is feeling numb and having trouble believing that this has happened to you.
Your emotional and physical health
Experiencing a range of emotions is a normal part of being affected by a crime. In most cases, they are temporary, and you will recover in the days, weeks or months following the incident with the support of friends and family.
You might experience:
- sleep problems or fatigue
- repeated thoughts of the event.
Or you might have feelings that come and go, like:
Your day-to-day life might be affected by:
- trouble with your concentration or memory
- reduced performance at work or school
- withdrawing from others
- feeling like you’ve lost control.
But sometimes the recovery process is more difficult. Some people experience depression or anxiety, and related ongoing physical effects. It is important to seek professional help if you think that this may be happening. Doing this early can help you recover more quickly.
- explains how your brain and body worked together at the time of the event
- explains some of the feelings you may be experiencing
- gives tips to help you in your recovery.
Some more tips to help in your recovery
- talk about how you feel with someone you trust
- structure your life as much as possible
- accept that you may have good days and bad days
- eat regularly and nutritiously
- make sure you get physical exercise
- limit your alcohol and drug use
- keep a journal of how you feel each day
- defer major life decisions
- be kind and gentle with yourself.
Dealing with the justice system
After a crime has happened, you may feel uncertain about what to do next or concerned about what will happen once the crime is reported. It can also be difficult to take in and remember new information that police or other services give you.
You can use this website to learn more about:
- how the justice system works in Victoria and what to expect
- how to get help after experiencing different crimes.
When you talk to police, prosecutors and victims services, you can ask questions about anything you are unsure about. Some people find it helpful to have a family member or friend act as a support person who can:
- be with you and provide emotional support
- help you collect and remember information you need to know
- give you a hand with any practical arrangements you need to make.
You can learn more about assistance available in Victoria for people affected by crimes on this website.
Counselling and crisis support services
24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Open 24 hours, every day
Call 13 11 14
Website lifeline.org.au (External link)
Mental health care plan – see your General Practitioner
If you need assistance, you can see a General Practitioner and discuss your situation. You may be eligible for a mental health care plan that will assist with the cost of counselling.