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Common Reactions to Victimization

Many crimes involve the use of force or violence against victims. Victims of crime may experience many physical, cognitive, and emotional reactions as a result of the victimization. Reactions to trauma vary from person to person and can last for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. Every victim's reaction will be different, and it is important to not use their reaction or lack thereof as a biase for judging the impact of their trauma. 

Here is a list of a few of the most common reactions a victim may experience.

Physical Reactions:

  • Headaches
  • Stress related illnesses, such as nausea, diarrhea, and hives
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lethargy
  • Changes to ones appetite
  • Lowered immunity
  • Alcohol/Drug dependence
  • Cognitive Reactions

  • Decline in academics
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory loss of the event
  • Flashbacks of the event
  • Emotional Reactions

  • Anger or rage
  • Terror
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Grief
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Emotional numbness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • These reactions are considered normal after experiencing a traumatic event. There are many other reactions that are not listed.

    You do not have to go through the healing process alone. If you are experiencing any of these reactions seek help from Counseling and Psychological Services (209.946.2315 x2).