Family and friends can be important supports for people affected by crime.

The way you respond can help victims cope and help them rebuild their sense of security and control over their lives.

What you can do to help

You may not know how to act or what to say. You may also be upset about what has happened to someone you care about.

There are a few things you can do to support someone close to you:

  • believe them
  • listen to them
  • help them to feel safe
  • tell them you are sorry to hear about the event and that you want to help them
  • ask them what they need
  • help with everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking and caring for children
  • respect their right to make their own decisions about what to do.

Talking about the crime

Here are some tips when talking about the crime.

Don’t blame the victim or yourself. Try to avoid saying things that might unintentionally put blame on the victim like:

“What were you doing there in the first place?”
“You’ll know not to do that again!”

You should also try not to say things that downplay the situation:

“Lucky it wasn’t worse.”
"Just get over it.”

Things to remember

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to explore the issues.
  • Don’t take angry outbursts personally.