7 tips to help you recover in the aftermath of a burglary
If you've been the victim of a burglary, you know firsthand that it's a traumatic crime that leaves its victims angry, sad, confused and violated. This post will explore how to cope in the emotional aftermath of a burglary.
From feeling violated and anxious, to angry or even depressed, every person responds to a burglary in his or her own way and on his own timeline. But thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help regain a sense of security and get your life back on track sooner rather than later.
1. Notify law enforcement
The moment you discover your home was burglarized, go to a safe place, like a neighbor's house. Once you and your family are safe, call the police. Do not enter your home until police give you the OK, or you may inadvertently destroy evidence or put yourself in harm's way.
After notifying police, make your neighbors aware your home has been burglarized. You'll not only rest easier knowing your neighbors are keeping an extra eye out for suspicious activity, you might also discover information that helps capture the criminal.
2. Repair damage
Sometimes a burglar will break a door or window to get inside your home and will ransack your belongings while looking for valuables. For security and emotional reasons, it's important you have damage repaired as soon as possible. Then put your home back in order to help restore a sense of normalcy.
3. Get a monitored home security system
Unfortunately, it isn't uncommon for burglars to break into your home again once they think you've replaced your valuables. However, if you install a monitored home security system, there's a good chance he won't come back for round two. In fact, homes outfitted with monitored home security systems are up to 300 times less likely to be burglarized than those that aren't. A security system can also give your family members the peace of mind they need to feel secure again in their home, which will help them recover. To learn more about the real value of home security monitoring, read "Why Real People Are Willing to Invest in Home Security."
4. Don't give into fear
It's natural for your family to feel afraid after this traumatic event, but you can't let fear control you. Instead, take a proactive approach to regaining a sense of security. Enroll your family in a self-defense class, introduce them to the law enforcement officer who patrols your area, or organize a Neighborhood Watch program.
5. Find out what crime is happening in your community
Find out what crime is occurring in and around your neighborhood by using a crime mapping website such as CrimeReports. Enter your address and the website will show you what crimes have been reported in your area, the date they were reported and even the time of day. CrimeReports also lets you sign up for crime alerts, so you can stay in the loop about what crime is taking place in your community.
Shock, anger, denial and sadness are just a few of the common emotions burglary victims experience. Coming to terms with these feelings is a big step forward in the healing process, whether that involves talking to friends, meeting with clergy members, holding family chats or even seeking professional help.
You need to take care of yourself before you can help your family, but be on the lookout for signs of your family members having a hard time dealing with negative emotions, as well. For example, your potty-trained child may start to wet his bed, the dog may cower at strangers and your spouse may become distant.
7. Get back on schedule
It will take courage and determination, but getting back to your regular routine will help you move past this horrific event. Return to work, make plans to go out with friends, host a dinner party, or plan a special family event. Make sure your kids attend their extracurricular activities, abide by established bedtimes, and enjoy playdates. In short, do your best to conduct life like "business as usual" and eventually it will feel that way.
While it might be hard to believe right now, you can recover from a burglary. Following these tips and allowing time to pass will help you through the process and enable you and your family to enjoy life once again.