The emotional impact of burglary

Marilynne is the type of person who always looks on the bright side of life. When her mother died of cancer, Marilynne was grateful she hadn’t suffered. It wasn’t until a year later, when her home was broken into that Marilynne finally broke down.

 

The impact of burglary runs the emotional gamut. From feeling guilty for not having done more to prevent it to losing faith in society to feelings of anger, mistrust, isolation and fear. These can lead to serious psychological illnesses such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety attacks and insomnia.
 
Research from Allianz Insurance in the United Kingdom found that it takes about eight months for burglary victims to feel safe in their homes again. Less than half of them ever feel completely secure. Some become obsessed with home security, while others live in constant fear of being robbed again. For one in 10, the impact is so extreme that they decide to move.
 
Tom Moss, underwriting director at Allianz Insurance, explains, “Burglary isn’t just about losing your possessions. It also violates people’s sense of feeling safe in their own homes.” Moss urges homeowners to be proactive and ramp up their home security before and not after the fact.
 
As difficult as it is for adults to cope with burglary, the impact on children can be particularly disturbing.
 
In the first major survey of its kind, Allianz Insurance in partnership with the independent charity Victim Support found a large number of parents reporting that, following a break in, school performance declined, bed-wetting increased, and their children’s sleep, sense of well-being and security were negatively affected – even if they weren’t home at the time.
 
This trauma is carried on into adulthood. Of the adults surveyed whose homes were broken into when they were young, almost 40 percent reported that the childhood experience bothers them to this day. One in three sleeps with a light on and 44 percent don’t want to be home alone at night.

 
 

(Text: Marilee Haraldsson)
The emotional impact of burglary

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