Like adults, children have physical and emotional reactions as victims of crime. They are not always able to express in words how they feel.

Children often experience feelings of guilt, and find it difficult to tell anyone about the crime. They might be scared or ashamed.

If they do tell an adult it is important they are believed and supported.

How children respond to trauma

Children who suffer trauma may:

  • have nightmares or problems sleeping
  • wet the bed
  • behave differently
  • eat too much or too little
  • cling to adults
  • become withdrawn or fear being alone
  • have headaches
  • fight with friends or siblings
  • lose concentration
  • be fearful of people, places or things that remind them of what happened
  • have difficulty with school work.

Where to go for help

Sometimes children and young people might need some extra help to cope.

Relationships Australia South Australia's rebuild program provides specialised counselling and support for victims of crime.

You can also contact our office for advice on where to go for more support.

Need more information?

See our information booklet for victims of crime - this is a helpful guide about what to expect and the criminal justice process.