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University Police

How to Help a Crime Victim

Victim Services 561-297-0500



    • Listen Carefully. Spend time with the victim. Offer your assistance and a listening ear. Listen but do not pry.  Listen with patience and without judgment.

    • Reach out to victims.  This may alleviate feelings of isolation.

    • Reassure the victim that he/she is safe.  Do whatever you can to increase physical safety.

    • Allow him/her to talk, don’t relate your own experiences.

    • Give the victim some private time, but take your cue from him or her.

    • Don't ever tell a victim to get over it - victims do not get over what has happened, but she/he can learn to accommodate and/or accept it.

    • Realize this experience can be life changing - It will always be a part of his/her history.

    • Understand feelings are not right or wrong, they simply exist.

    • Don't take anger or other feelings personally. Validate those feelings.

    • Don't tell the victim that she/he is "lucky it wasn't worse." Most victims are not consoled by such statements. Instead, say that you are sorry such an event has occurred and you want to understand.

    • Say "It's not your fault." Say it again.

    • Crime creates a loss of control, return control to the victim by allowing him/her to make choices.  Ask, don’t tell.

    • Do not press the victim to report the crime. This decision should be made by the victim alone. Encourage the victim to get help. Help the victim find local resources.

    • Provide her or him with options, NOT ADVICE.

    • Avoid trying to "fix" anything. If you can simply listen and let the victim know that you care, you will have been profoundly helpful.

    • Get help for yourself. Recognize that you cannot be responsible for the victim's healing process. Set boundaries - for yourself and in your interaction with the victim. Saying "no" is okay.


Victim Services Resources

• Home

• Behavioral Indicators of a Victim

• Confidentiality Procedures

• Crimes that Occur Off Campus

• Cyberstalking

• Dating Violence Criteria

• Dating Violence Facts

• Domestic Violence Statistics

• How to Help a Victim

• Injunctions Procedures

• Law Enforcement Role with Victim

• Mandatory Reporting Procedures

• Safety Planning for Abused

• Sexual Harassment Criteria

• Types of Victimization

• Understanding Emotions

• Victim Compensation

•  What to do if you are Sexually Assaulted

• What to do if you are Victimized

• Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships

• Victim Advocate

• Resources

 Last Modified 11/8/16