Being a victim of any type of crime is an upsetting experience. There are certain effects that are commonly felt by people regardless of the nature of the crime. Most people experience a sense of shock, and a feeling of disbelief that such an incident could happen to them.
When you have been caught up in an armed raid, there are many factors which may affect how you deal with what has happened and how you cope in the aftermath of an event. You may have felt:
This kind of incident may cause trauma for you and your family or work colleagues and you can expect to feel the after-effects over the days and weeks following the incident. Your emotional reactions, while normal, may feel overwhelming.
If this happened at your home it may lead you to wonder if you should move from your home, or from the area where you are living.
If this happened at your work place you may question your relationship with colleagues and your manager or employer. You may wonder if you should take time out of work, or think about changing your job or the type of work that you do.
At this time you may be involved in the Garda investigation into the crime.
There are many important steps that you can take to help you cope with the after-effects of this crime.
Talk about your feelings with someone you can trust – with a family member, a friend, a colleague. Sometimes it may be helpful to talk to someone who is completely outside the situation. There may be an organisation in your area which offers free and confidential support to victims of crime.
You can call a helpline such as Crime Victims Helpline which is a free and confidential helpline, 116006. Volunteers at this helpline provide emotional support and give information about other services that can help.
If your emotional state is very painful, or if painful emotions persist, it may be helpful to see a GP and get medical advice on dealing with the situation.
It may be helpful to seek professional counselling.
Ask a friend or family member to come and stay as a short-term measure.
Or stay with family or friends for a few days, again as a short-term measure.
If necessary take some time off work. Be gentle with yourself, and take things as easy as you can immediately after an event like this.
Ask a Crime Prevention Garda to review your security and take any additional security measures advised. You can contact your local Garda Station to find the Crime Prevention Garda for your area.
Plan a short trip or a treat you can look forward to and enjoy, if possible.
If necessary take some time off work. It may help to give yourself a little breathing space before going back to work. Returning immediately to a place where you have just had this kind of experience may be difficult.
Enquire about safety measures that can be taken to help prevent a similar occurrence. Your employer may upgrade security, or; install additional alarms, or revise work procedures to try to ensure that this will not happen again. You may be able to discuss these measures with your employer, as it is important that your opinions on what will make you safe are taken into account.
You could suggest that a Crime Prevention Garda visits the workplace, to advise on how best to provide security for all staff.
It is important to take care of yourself, as you too will probably have been affected by the incident. If you need help or support, make sure that you get it. You can call Crime Victims Helpline, which is a free and confidential helpline, on Free Phone 116006.