Blake Fire and Security Systems

The Emotional Side-effects Of Burglary On Children

Date: 27 November 2018
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If you returned from work today and found your family home had been burgled, what's the first thing that would enter your mind? Perhaps the need to get your personal belongings back or checking the house for damage.

What about the emotional side-effects of burglary that can haunt you and your family for years to come - especially your children?

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Most adults feel violated when their home has been burgled but, for children, the mental trauma can be much worse.

The bumps in the night can no longer be explained away with imaginary monsters. Instead, they fear that a real life human is breaking in and lurking around.

Here's an anecdote from Alex, Southend-on-sea, who has experienced no less than three burglaries in her 21 years - two while she was still a child.

Sometimes it takes a while for the emotional trauma to kick in...

"I remember the first time my family were burgled. I must have been around 5 or 6 years old. We had just returned home from a skiing trip in France and were all tired from the long drive back.

My mum got me out of my car seat as my dad unloaded our baggage from the boot. He opened the front door and, at first, everything seemed normal.

Then my Dad noticed glass on the floor - a lot of it. Someone had broken into our back door and disarmed our burglar alarm. Although I was only young and didn't understand what was going on, I could feel the wave of panic that was coursing through my Mum and Dad as they frantically checked each room of the house. It made my stomach flip.

While my Dad was dealing with the Police and house alarm company, my mum wasn't anywhere to be found. She stayed in her room a lot after the burglary and I used to catch her crying sometimes.

Since my Dad worked in London and often worked night shifts, I spent a lot of time in the house alone with my mum. And, subconsciously, I was feeding off her fear.

From that night on, she slept with a golf club next to her bed for protection.

Years passed and, I didn't realise how much the burglary had affected me until I had reached the age where I was left in the house alone.

Sometimes my mum would pop to the shop down the road and I would stay at home with the door locked. I would draw all of the curtains, double check the doors were locked and leave my bedroom door open to listen out for noise. Even mail coming through the letter box and hitting the floor would make me jump out of my skin... What if the burglars came back?

I'm 21 now and, to this day, I'm still scared to be home alone."

It's not only their home life that suffers

Alex's story highlights the fact that the emotional side-effects of burglary can stay with you for many years to come.

The video below from Channel 5 News tells the story of 14 year old Andrew who is suffering at home and school after a break in at Christmas time.

You could see physical signs of Andrew's distress from the video. His mumbling and constant fiddling are both signs of anxiety - something that may stay with him for years to come and affect his adult life.

Beating the burglars starts with a secure family home

To beat the burglars, you have to make their job hard. If your house looks like it's going to be too difficult to burgle, they'll find an easier target.

Click the image below and complete our home security checklist. How many items can you honestly check off? If you score under 20, your home and family could be at serious risk!

beat the burglar checklist

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