Grieving & Healing
Victims of crimes may experience a great deal of anger,
survivor’s guilt, hatred, self-blame, guilt and confusion.
Your sense of trust and order may be shattered. You may
experience a wide range of feelings and behaviors and have
little ability to control your emotions at any given time.
These emotions are very personal and may continue for months
or years. Victims may experience nightmares, insomnia,
periods of uncontrolled sobbing, occasional hysterical
laughter, nausea, headaches, fatigue or a general feeling of
going crazy. Family relationships may change as individuals
react differently to the trauma. Victimization may lead to
financial stress, family discord, divorce, alcoholism, and a
variety of other problems. Everyone has a different reaction
and a different timetable for healing. It is important to
grieve and acknowledge the impact of your experience.
Begin by treating yourself with kindness and recognizing
that healing happens slowly. Do not set unrealistic
expectations and do not let others set timetables or
pressure you into getting on with your life. Do things when
you are ready, not because others are telling you to do
them. It is all right to be angry, to feel sad, or to cry.
Take time to lament.
Healing can be facilitated by telling one’s story again and
again. Build a network of support for yourself and other
family members to help you get through these difficult
times, and realize you are not alone. Many others have
experienced the same problems and can help you work through
your experience. You can benefit greatly from calling one of
the victim assistance organizations listed on our website at
www.corrections.state.id.us click on Victim Services.
Victims and survivors of serious crimes can help themselves
and others by turning their victimization into a force for
positive change. Many victims volunteer their time to
working in shelters, answering crisis hotlines, talking to
legislators, and speaking on victim impact panels. Your time
and commitment can help the community move toward greater
justice and healing for all victims of crime.