Being the victim of any crime is a traumatizing and regretful thing, particularly in an age when there are limited resources for dealing with the financial and mental health ramifications of such an incident. There are steps you can take, however, to return to a sense of normalcy both in terms of monetary compensation, legal coverage, and mental health stability. Here are a few things that you should do if you have been robbed.
Contact Emergency Services
The first thing you should do after you have been robbed, especially if there was any form of violent altercation, is to contact emergency and medical services so that you can be evaluated. Even if you think you are ok, it’s important to be checked by medical professionals, even if it’s just letting EMTs take your vital signs and choosing not to go to a hospital. The first number to call is 911, and the dispatcher will send help to you.
Report the Crime
In addition to contacting emergency services like EMTs to evaluate you medically, it’s important that you talk to law enforcement as soon as possible to report the crime. This can be an intimidating step, particularly if you’ve had negative experiences with law enforcement before, or if there was any form of intimidation by the robber. While deciding whether to report the crime or not is ultimately your choice, you should keep in mind that statistics are high for repeat break-ins once a robber has entered your home, and you are at risk for a crime recurrence. If you do decide to report the robbery and assailant, be sure to include as many details as possible, including a description of the suspect or suspects, and a list of any specific items that were taken during the robbery.
See a Mental Health Professional
While it is sometimes notoriously hard to get medical care in the United States, if you have insurance or are able to pay out of pocket, it is critical that you see a mental healthcare professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist, in order to process the trauma of the robbery. While you may think that you are absolutely fine, it will at least benefit you to have an evaluation. Sometimes the impact of events like this remain buried and manifest in strange ways, like unusual memory loss, fatigue, and emotional sensitivity. Sometimes it’s as intense as flashbacks, nightmares, and a sense of helplessness and fear that interferes with your everyday life. No matter how your mind and body choose to deal with the crime, it’s best to know what you’re dealing with right away, and to have someone with mental health expertise in your corner right away.
Invest in a Home Security System
As stated above, repeat break-ins are a frighteningly common thing. Once an intruder knows how to access your home, where everything is inside, and that they have a sense of knowledge and control over the space, it’s likely that they will break in again. This is why the number one critical step is to start looking at comprehensive home security systems and to choose one that best suits the size and needs of your property.