When you or someone you love is the victim of a crime, you may experience a wide array of intense and ever-changing emotions. You may be shocked, in disbelief or angry with the perpetrator. You may be terrified; terrified of sharing this information with other people and terrified that something like this could happen again. You may not feel safe. You may feel as if the challenges of navigating life after victimization are insurmountable and you will never heal. You may feel completely numb and devoid of emotions. If the perpetrator was someone you knew, you may be confused as to how you can have such anger or confusion towards this person’s actions but still also have feelings of love and support for this person.
No matter what you’re feeling, it’s important to know that your feelings are valid and that you’re not alone. This month’s Safer Naper campaign will help explain the various rights, resources and services available to crime victims to help you process, respond to, and move on from a victimizing experience.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to respond to a traumatic event. Each person will process these events in their own way, at their own pace. Healing is not always linear and there is no “playbook” showing what actions you should or shouldn’t take as you move toward healing and empowerment following a victimization.
Processing a trauma is challenging and doing so alone can make it even more difficult and overwhelming. There are resources available and numerous local, county, state and federal programs that support crime victims such as the Victims’ Compensation and Automated Victim Notification System, local crisis centers and social service agencies, civil protective orders and the Naperville Police Department’s Social Service Team.
While hopefully you and your loved ones never endure a victimizing experience, it is important to know that you have rights. These rights may change depending on a variety of factors, such as what type of victimization you experienced or when you were victimized. But support services are available, and you are not alone.
Learn more at naperville.il.us/ASaferNaper.