IV. For victims: taking care of yourself

Victims often experience strong emotions related to both the crime and to the accused, who is now also a patient. It is normal to experience intense emotions following victimization. It is important to recognize the emotions and to get support if you don’t feel you can cope with them.

It can be hard to find time to deal with your emotions because, as a victim, you must also deal with matters relating to the crime as well as the demands of day-to-day life. Activities such as organizing a funeral, undergoing medical treatments, or even just preparing statements for police, the courts or insurance can be draining experiences. Such activities may compound the hardships experienced in the aftermath of victimization and prolong and complicate the emotions that you are feeling in relation to what happened. The involvement with the Review Board process may add an additional layer of complexity to this experience.

As a victim, it is important to take care of yourself and other family members who may be affected by the crime. This may mean that you require outside help. Getting support from a professional may be necessary and offer balance to your own personal support network of friends and family. You can also seek counselling through victim services and community-based agencies in your area or ask your family physician for advice and support through these difficult times.