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Violent crime

A violent crime is when someone physically hurts or threatens to hurt someone, and also includes crimes where a weapon is used. The police will record a crime as violent if the offender clearly intended or intends to physically harm you, regardless of whether or not it results in a physical injury.

Violent crimes can include:

Violent crimes can happen in public spaces such as in the street, clubs and pubs, as well as at home or in the workplace, and often the victim knows the person who attacks them. The important thing to remember is that it’s not your fault – you haven’t done anything wrong, and it’s the person who has been violent that is to blame. No-one has the right to hurt you.

How a violent crime can affect you

It can be extremely frightening to experience a violent crime. As well as possibly being hurt or injured physically, you can be very seriously affected emotionally.

Many people find it hard to deal with the feeling of being powerless when they are threatened. Other common feelings include:

  • finding it hard to believe what has happened, and feeling numb
  • feeling deeply upset
  • feeling that your life is completely out of control
  • physical symptoms such as ‘the shakes’, sleeplessness or crying all the time
  • extreme anger towards your attacker
  • self-blame for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

All of these reactions, and more, are completely normal responses to experiencing violence.

However you react, you can talk in confidence to someone from Victim Support. We have specially trained staff and volunteers to help people affected by violent crime. We also know that crimes like this can also have a strong impact on friends and family, and we’re here to support anyone affected. If you’d like information, emotional support, or just to talk, you can contact us.

Violent crime within families


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