How to handle the emotional aftermath of a burglary

How to handle the emotional aftermath of a burglary – words Al Woods

Getting burgled can be more than just an inconvenience. Psychologists believe that, even if occupants haven’t run into the burglars directly, it can be emotionally traumatic to have your private possessions riffled through, your security breached and your space invaded. A recent survey even found that 2.8% of people actually moved house after a burglary.

If you’ve been burgled and are still processing the trauma, here are some tips to help you feel andle the emotional aftermath of a burglary:

  1. Install a new security system

One of the most precious things you can lose in a burglary is peace of mind. A common complaint after going through the ordeal of a home intrusion is that inhabitants are left feeling perpetually on-edge and unsafe, often resulting in trouble sleeping.

It’s important that you restore the sense of feeling safe in your home. That’s why victims of burglary often invest in a new security system that will ward against a similar event happening again. Whilst second-time round burglaries from the same criminals are more rare than we’re lead to believe, often a break-in can highlight a security deficiency that might continue to be taken advantage of by sundry intruders.

In a guide on how burglars target properties, security experts Banham say you should “try to think like a burglar and identify where there are weak points in your home which can be exploited to allow unwarranted entry.” Once these vulnerabilities have been identified, you can start to consider the best route to suring up your home security.

This might be anything from increased personal vigilance when leaving your home, a high security front door with a stronger bolt, or a comprehensive alarm system that automatically notifies the police or a security company of a break-in. Taking more precautions will significantly reduce the chances of another burglary, and help you to sleep easy at night. 

  1. Seek company and support

In the immediate aftermath of a burglary, it’s often a good idea to call upon a friend, partner, neighbour or relative to come and sit with you whilst you process what’s happened. It can sometimes take a little while for the police to arrive, and, whilst you might not have experienced any direct brush with danger, sitting alone amongst the disarray of a ransacked home can be a daunting prospect.

Later that day, before you’ve had time to install a comforting new security system, you might want to make sure that you don’t spend the night alone. You may feel pressured to cope with the situation without help, but remember, an emotional response to being burgled is incredibly common. A MoneySuperMarket survey revealed that 43% of people feel violated after a break-in, whilst a fifth admit to finding it difficult being left alone after the incident.

In light of these facts, no one need feel embarrassed about craving a bit of company and support after the ordeal. In fact, seeking the help you need will ensure that you get back on your feet faster than if you let your discomfort fester. 

  1. Go easy on yourself

It can be common to minimise the emotional impact of a break-in. Mantras like, ‘at least no one was hurt’ can be very helpful when you’re looking to feel optimistic after a burglary, but positive thinking shouldn’t be used to belittle the psychological effect of the event.

Furthermore, stolen items can make you incur more than financial losses. Photographs on computer hard-drives, family heirlooms, wedding rings—these things hold sentimental significance and feel irreplaceable. If you’re left feeling bereft, it’s okay to take bit of time to lament your losses, before gathering yourself up and looking on the bright side.

  1. Reclaim your space

 Often, you’ll have to keep your home in the state the burglars left it until the police have dusted for prints. This can be unsettling, after all the reality of a stranger going through your things is thoroughly unpleasant. But, once the officers have finished up, getting your possessions back in order can be a cathartic process.

You could even turn the unfortunate event into an opportunity to improve your home—using it as an excuse for a spring clean or even redecoration. This is a great way of transforming your house back into a pleasant place that’s full of personality, life and hope. Because it’s important to remember: a break-in doesn’t need to break you.

How to handle the emotional aftermath of a burglary  – words Al Woods