Effects Of Crime On Victims

Effects Of Crime On Victims

A victim of a crime experiences a variety of effects: physical effects of injury, direct costs, mental or psychological effects, inconvenience due to theft or damage to property, etc.

Feelings of guilt for being a victim and feelings of helplessness can severely affect the victim as well. Furthermore, psychological effects such as anger, depression or fear can, in serious cases, causes insomnia, flashbacks to the offence or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Feelings of anxiety, shock and fear of future incidents may lead to a sense of abandonment or loss of trust in the community or society as a whole. A crime affects the victim by limiting his or her social and work life. The crime can also result in restricting access to the places where the crime occurred. The fear of falling prey again may limit the movement of a victim altogether. Victims of crime take extra preventive measures. They often have to deal with insurance claims, or when reporting the crime they have to go through the police, the courts and other officers of the system.

It is almost impossible to foresee exactly what effects an individual victim will undergo. People react very differently to different offences. One person may be seriously affected by a crime, while another person might experience only minor or short-term effects for the same crime. Persons who are more vulnerable (such as people who are impoverished, unemployed or have other stressors in life) and those who have previously been victimized are more likely to suffer from a greater impact. Some effects are short-term, such as financial loss. In contrast, psychological and social suffering can have a very long-lasting effect. A small proportion of those most seriously affected (who tend to be victims of serious physical assaults, robberies and particularly rape, as well as the relatives of victims of homicide) may develop PTSD. Victims facing PTSD will need professional psychiatric or psychological help. It is the responsibility of the state to not only eradicate all the elements of crime, but to also take concrete measures to rehabilitate the victims.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any other organization with which he might be associated.

Aijaz Hussain

Author: Aijaz Hussain

The writer holds a Masters degree in Political Science from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and is an intern at Courting The Law. He has keen interest in international law, constitutional law and international politics and has also pursued various online courses on law, government and politics, including ‘Crime, Justice and Society’ from the University of Sheffield and ‘Religion and Conflict’ from the University of Groningen, Netherlands.