Q:

A:

Is what happened to me a violent crime? 

A violent crime is a crime in which an offender uses or threatens force upon a victim. This includes both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end. Violent crimes may or may not be committed with weapons. These include: 

  • Homicide

  • Attempted murder

  • Assault

  • Burglary

  • Robbery 

  • Hate crime

  • OWI accident 

 

What is a traumatic event?

A traumatic event is an incident that causes physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological harm. These include:

  • Experiences that cause death 

  • Experiences that cause injury to you or others 

  • Witnessing death or injury to you or others 

  • Learning that a loved one has died or been injured 

  • Being the victim of a crime
     

What are common symptoms of trauma? 

  • Intense sadness

  • Irritation 

  • Difficulty concentrating/feeling disorganized 

  • Feelings of helplessness

  • Feeling withdrawn 

  • Worry, ruminating

  • Emotional swings

  • Stress

  • Fear

  • Anger 

How can I cope with trauma?

Know that the negative symptoms in your body and brain are normal reactions to trauma. This is how your body and brain are supposed to react.

Your body is built to protect itself. It is also built to heal itself. With patience and support, most people can recover naturally and do not develop long term mental health problems.

 
The symptoms of trauma are strong but usually temporary. Be patient with yourself. Recovery takes time and the amount of time is different for everyone. 

 

Here are some tips to assist in your recovery:

  • Keep your routines. 

  • Stay connected to people - reach out when you need to. 

  • Avoid numbing yourself with drugs or alcohol. 

  • Believe that you can and will recover just as you have survived difficult times before. Your feelings will change frequently. Each emotion, good or bad, is temporary. Ride it out. 

  • Do things that have worked before to calm yourself; such as:
    - talk with a friend
    - drawing or writing
    - exercising
    - hobbies 


When should I consider talking to a professional about my trauma? 
Consider talking to a professional that understands trauma if, after a few weeks, you are: 

  • Reliving the event - such as having flashbacks or strong emotional reactions. 

  • Avoiding any reminder of the event or those involved. 

  • Feeling detached and withdrawn from others. 

  • Experiencing hyper-vigilance - overly alert or on edge, irritability, unable to concentrate or sleep 

After a few weeks, if you are finding that you are not able to complete daily tasks, are having panic attacks, or are feeling isolated, please consider asking for help from a professional that can assist you with the symptoms you are experiencing. 

I was a victim of a violent crime and don't feel safe, is there somewhere safe I can go for awhile? 

Crisis Intervention Services can provide emergency housing resources to those who have been a victim of a crime. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Sexual Assault/Violent Crime Hotline: 1-800-270-1620 

Emergency Housing Hotline: 1-844-673-5499

Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-464-8340 (Provided by Family Crisis Center)

CIS is supported by United Way of Grinnell, Jasper, Mahaska and Marion Counties. 
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Non-Emergency Number - 641-673-0336 
Copyright 2016 Crisis Intervention Services. All rights reserved. 500 High Ave West Oskaloosa, IA 52577