When you have been the victim of a break in, burglary or home invasion, the trauma and emotional strain can sometimes prove more severe than the physical damage or loss inflicted. You can be left feeling vulnerable and violated, emotions that, if left unchecked, may escalate and begin to effect other aspects of your daily life. Below are five practical steps that will not only help with the aftermath of a burglary or home invasion, but help you to feel pro active and empowered. So do not sit back and allow the criminals to retain their hold on you, take action and get back control of your situation today.
1. Cleaning and sanitizing.
One of the worst feelings associated with a burglary is the invasion of privacy. The thought that an intruder has been in your personal space, touching your belongings and possessions, can make you feel violated and on occasion, physically sick. After law enforcement have completed there evaluation and collection of any physical evidence, take immediate action. Do not sit back and allow those feelings to escalate and affect how you see your home. Although it may seem simple, a thorough cleaning of your home can be extremely beneficial. Sanitising surfaces and cleaning floors can go along way in helping to restore your feeling of control. Not only are you actively removing any trace of the intruder and their invasion, but you are physically manifesting the physiological feeling of empowerment.
2. Joining a neighbourhood watch scheme.
Joining a local neighbourhood watch scheme will give you the opportunity to contribute to your community and prevent a similar situation from happening again, either to yourself or another community member. Being pro active and seeking to prevent any reoccurrences can help give you back the feeling of control and channel any negative emotions into positive action.You will also have the benefit of being surrounded by a sturdy support structure that can help you deal with the emotional turmoil experienced in the aftermath of a burglary or break in, and gain useful advice and information about securing your home and personal safety.
3. Enlisting a locksmith.
Contact a locksmith and get a full replacement of all your existing locks. Request a full evaluation of any security measures already in place, identifying any specific areas that can be improved upon. A good locksmith will also be able to give useful information and advice on extra security, such as dead bolts and reinforced locks on window and doors, or any other security measures that may be suitable for your home. Taking this small step will help you recover the feeling of personal safety and contribute a great deal to helping you feel secure in your home again.
4. Installing an alarm.
If you don't have one already, install a burglar alarm. Sometimes, simply the knowledge of having an alarm installed can provide a sense of security and peace of mind that can be severely lacking after an intrusion. Get some signage that can be erected on the exterior of your home to notify passers-by that your home is protected by an alarm system. This alone can be sufficient enough to deter any potential intruders or burglars. Always ensure the code you choose for the activation/deactivation of your alarm is not a combination that can be easily guessed.
5. Seeking some professional help.
Sometimes, when you suffer such a traumatic event, all the methods of coping and management you can utilise simply do not suffice. If you find that, despite all your best efforts, you are still struggling with your emotions, contact a professional counsellor. It may be that you require a little extra help in dealing with your feelings of overwhelm and vulnerability, and that's ok. If professional help is needed to get you back to your happy and healthy self, seek out some counselling as soon as possible. Be good to yourself and take that first step.