When criminals break into a house or office building, they can take a lot more than just valuables. Burglars also can steal a person's sense of security, which could lead to one purchasing expensive security systems or seeking counselling from psychological and emotional effects of the trauma. Burglaries can have a lasting impact on victims.
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Being the victim of a burglary can be a very emotional time, especially if something of sentimental or personal value is stolen or if the victim was in the home at the time of the incident and harmed or threatened by the thief in any way. According to Direct Line, 22 per cent of burglary victims seek emotional support directly after they are victimised, but 60 per cent say that they became more emotionally affected by the burglary over time.
One's home is supposed to be a safe place. It's supposed to be somewhere a person can feel comfortable. But when one's home is broken into, it can be anything but that. It's common for residents to live in fear following a burglary. Those living alone may ask a friend or family member to stay with them until the fear subsides. Others may purchase a home security system to restore peace of mind. Everyone deals with a burglary differently, but it's typical for victims to be noticeably shaken by such an experience.
According to a 2005 report issued by Victim Support and Direct Line, one out of every four homes that have been burglarised are targeted for burglary again. This number doesn't exactly put burglary victims at ease, especially considering that burglars are people who may have been in the home before or have some kind of connection with the home or homeowners. Based on this report, it's common for homeowners to not feel the same sense of security within their home that they once did, for months, years or even the rest of their lives.
Other Psychological Effects
Victims from burglaries can often become depressed, feel guilty and ask questions like "why me?" directly following the event. According to Wireless Security Systems, a study on burglary victims at the North Carolina School of Medicine revealed that victims compared the experience to rape and being violated. Many of the victims also had anxiety disorders and problems sleeping for months after it happened. Children also can be negatively effected by these situations, especially if they see how hard their parents may be dealing with burglary.
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- The Augusta Chronicle; Burglaries Leave Lasting Impact on Victims; Kyle Martin; January 2011
- Direct Line: One in Four Burglary Victims' Homes Targeted Again
- Canada.com; Burglars Steal Victims' Peace of Mind; August 2007
- Wireless Security Systems: Avoiding the Effects of Burglary
- Burglary Prevention Council: Burglary Facts