Burglary has a severe impact on the lives of its victims. The trauma caused by experiencing a break-in can be intense, and it isn’t always easy to get over.
In this article, we’ll explain how burglary affects the victim and provide helpful tips on how to move on after a burglary.
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What are the Effects of Burglary on Victims?
Being burgled is a traumatizing experience. Knowing someone has been inside your home, gone through your possessions, and stolen things you value leaves a feeling of violation and insecurity.
The most common effects of robbery on victims includes:
1. Anxiety about being burgled again
After a house is burgled, a quarter of homes are broken into again just one week later. Within a month, the number of homes burgled again more than doubles.
2. Fear of living in the house
It’s common to feel afraid of living in your own home after a burglary.
3. Disturbed sleep and/or insomnia
This is more likely if the homeowners were home during the break-in – which is the case for 30% of burglaries.
For some victims, this makes them very light sleepers – a factor that contributes to their anxiety overall. Lack of sleep is detrimental to mental and physical health.
4. An urge to move house to start afresh
Moving house after a break-in might feel like the best solution, though it’s far from an easy decision to make.
In reality, crime happens in every neighborhood, so moving isn’t necessarily a guarantee of security.
But living in a neighborhood with excessive crime is far from desirable, so those in the position to consider moving might want to give it some thought.
5. A desire to increase home security
Is Being Robbed a Trauma?
Being burgled or robbed is considered a traumatic event, regardless of whether it happens in the home or on the street. It’s common for victims of robbery to experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) after being robbed.
Some people experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, and paranoia. Many people also feel confused, angry, and scared after being robbed. Such issues can have a long-term or short-term impact on a person’s professional, personal, and family life.
How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Burglary?
How Do You Feel Safe Again After a Burglary?
While processing trauma after a burglary will take as much time as it needs, installing home security cameras is a way to alleviate the sense of exposure and vulnerability fast. It’s also a logical way to prevent a second break-in and reintroduce a sense of safety and empowerment to your life.
But this isn’t the only way to start feeling safe again after a burglary. Here’s some ways to feel safe again after a burglary.
1. Change the locks
Few burglars steal house keys, but it’s hard to know whether they’ve taken a copy of the keys without your knowledge. Knowing a criminal may have access to your property is a troubling thought.
Ease the anxiety every time a key is heard in the lock by immediately changing the locks on the front, side, and back doors. Even if keys weren’t stolen, this offers peace of mind to victims.
2. Repair any damage
Smashed windows, broken doors, or damaged locks make the property insecure, and put you at risk.
Home interiors might also be trashed during a burglary. Living with the damage can make a house feel cold and unsafe.
Cleaning up and repairing all the damage caused makes the home safer and more pleasant to be in.
3. Replace valued possessions
The five most common items stolen in burglaries are cash, jewelry, office equipment, clothing, and electronics.
Sentimental items are rarely stolen.
Replacing the stolen possessions through home insurance makes a house feel like a home again. It also helps occupants move on from the burglary.
4. Overhaul home security
Several measures can be put in place to make a home more secure, but the most effective burglar deterrent is a visible camera on the property.
Ways to increase home security include:
- Install home security cameras
- Fit preventative signage (like ‘CCTV in Operation’ or ‘Guard Dog on Patrol’)
- Add extra security to back doors
- Add additional locks to garages, sheds, interior garage doors with access to the property, basement wells, side gates, and doors
- Secure the garage
- Lock ground-floor windows when not in use
- Install floodlights
- Fit timers to lamps and leave radios on when the home is vacant
- Move valuables away from windows and doors
- Lock cat flaps when not in use
In the case of home security, it’s better to over prepare than to have none at all. Opportunists won’t target a property if they spot security measures, like a camera or alarm, in place.
Even though many burglars return to a property shortly after breaking in, additional home security measures can make them walk away – keeping you and your family safe.