Understanding and trust
Your partner (girlfriend, wife) / sister / daughter / mother became a victim of crime. She needs your help and understanding to overcome the trauma.
Understanding, trust and support are the most important things that she will need in the coming time. The information contains advices that are needed to be able to help.
A woman who became a victim feels defend less and often experiences deadly fear. As a consequence of psychic shock she can be totally paralysed.
Therefore she needs especially protection and shelter. Both of these she expects you to give
her. Victimized woman feels humbled, fouled and decimated.
Make sure she can talk about her fear and thoughts about the crime. Be a patient listener filled with understanding and show her that you are standing at her side.
Victimized woman is worried with many doubts: “Shouldn’t I have reacted different?
Couldn’t I have done something to prevent the crime from happening? Wasn’t I light minded
Don’t leave the woman alone with her reproaches. They are useless and make no sense. They
only multiply her despair and uncertainty and they can disturb intimate relationship between
Sudden life threatening situations often cause that victims are not able to defend themselves
and therefore any reproaches are irrelevant. Violent crimes including rape are usually
planned. It is not a normal way of communication or normal manifestation of sexuality.
After couple of days shock and panic fall back but fear from repetition of crime, fear from
loneliness and steps in dark survive. Strong feeling of distrust survives. Some woman may
become reserved and refuses contacts with others.
Help her quickly find way back into the old rhythm of life and way back to you. Certain compassion and sympathy are necessary and help. But there cannot be too much of it because it could cause harm to the victim. It could deepen their psychic trauma and confirm the woman into the role of victim for the rest of her life.
Necessary contacts with police, questioning, trials and contact with other institutions, doctors check-ups proved to be very traumatizing for women. Again and again she is forced to reply to given questions. This costs lots of strength.
Be her support. Bear in mind that only exact information help police, courts and other institutions to do their work. Quick and just sentence will help to your partner too.
“ The whole world broke down when our only daughter was raped getting home from a disco. We did not know what to do, how to speak together, how to live on. After visiting the counselling centre of Bily kruh bezpeci, we were able to talk about the problem and find deep understanding for one another…”
40-year-old entrepreneur, Brandys nad Labem
“I almost lost my eye in the attack of our neighbours, still my report was for a long time considered to be second-rate, belonging into the sphere of relations. Even the doctor had more understanding for a man injured in a pub fight than for a woman living in domestic violence. After a long time I heard about the counselling centre of Bily kruh bezpeci and already entrance and intake at the office there was a balm for my soul. Human warmth there made it so much different from the institutional rigorousness. …”
60-year-old ex-teacher, Praha
15 566 women (41,5 % of all victims) became victims of crime (reported to the police) in 1993 in the Czech republic. The highest numbers are victims of property and moral offences. There hasn’t been worker out a specialized legal document focusing exclusively on limitation of violence committed on women. But the legal order takes into account that women can become victims of specifically motivated crimes.
The results of a research of sexual behaviour of citizens of the Czech republic, which was carried out at the end of 1993, are alarming.
One eight of women said that they were raped at least once in their lives. Only three out of hundred reported rape to police. Others may have stimulated further violent behaviour of unpunished perpetrators. Unwillingness to report this crime evolves from shame, fear of distrust and attitude of society who often blames victim.
We also can and want to help you.
Both our and foreign experience show that victims have difficulties to speak about their problems and consequences of crime. But we also know that it is even more difficult to stay alone with those problems. Similar troubles arise in the relationship with close relatives. If you will trust us and will want to speak with the experts from Bily kruh bezpeci, you will find us in counselling centres in six cities in the Czech republic (see Contacts).
Copyright Bily kruh bezpeci 2004