Blake Fire and Security Systems

The Mental Side Effects of Burglary

Date: 24 April 2019
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Imagine coming home and finding your house has been ransacked by burglars. What springs to your mind first? The items that have been damaged or stolen? The financial burden? Having to deal with the police? Or do you immediately feel your sense of security stripped away because a criminal invaded your home?

Most burglaries last only eight minutes on average but that burglar's eight-minute escapade can affect you and your loved ones for a lifetime.

The only way to ensure your home is safe from burglars is to protect it with a professionally installed home security system.

Burglar choosing a house

Criminal activity

According to the Office for National Statistics, domestic burglary has risen by more than 30 percent. 261,915 domestic burglaries were reported in 2017– and that was just up to September. The volume of cases is overwhelming and bringing thieves to justice is not common. In fact, the majority of burglaries and robberies in the UK are unsolved according to Scotland Yard.

Additionally, TV presenter Anna Richardson publicly opened up to The Times about her 15-year battle with anxiety and PTSD after a burglary.

beat the burglar checklist

Psychological effects

While each person reacts differently to trauma, these are some of the common, unsettling effects after a burglary:

Anxiety and paranoia

Little noises inside your home and bumps in the night can keep you awake at all hours. You begin to question everything. Was that backpack in a different place when you left this morning? Did one of the children leave the door to the garden ajar?

Stress

Some victims lose self-confidence, others dread being left alone at home and still others refuse to socialise, worried to leave the house. The inevitable stress puts strain on relationships. One person may bear the weight of guilt or regret; the other partner may be angry. According to Dr Man Cheung Chung, a British psychologist and professor at Zayed University, shame and guilt after a burglary are "quite typical feelings."

Anger

This emotion may come immediately after a burglary or develop later. Depending on the circumstances, you may be angry with a family member, your neighbours or yourself. You will also be angry with the person responsible and want them to pay for what they have done. Unfortunately, with so many burglaries going unsolved, justice isn't served so closure rarely occurs. According to Mind.org.uk, carrying around a lot of anger can impact your mental and physical health. When the anger you have is directed at the wrong people, it can poison relationships.

Fear

A UIA Insurance survey of adult burglary victims found 60 percent "never feel safe in their homes again." Even though children are considered resilient, Victim Support found that half of those aged 10 and younger were fearful after a burglary. Statistics show burglars come back, putting your home and family at additional risk. This can increase the fear of you and your family members, especially your children, actually encountering a burglar.

On average it can take seven months after a burglary before things "return to normal" within the home. The depth of distress and PTSD symptoms created by a burglary can be so bad that a Churchill Home Insurance survey estimates more than a million people in the UK move away after burglars have broken into their homes.

Trauma

Trauma caused by burglaries also can reach beyond the immediate victims. Money Supermarket's Research has shown that "even those who are only affected due to knowing someone, such as a friend or relative, whose home was burgled, feel the emotional effects for an average of three weeks." Sympathy for the victim is soon joined by worries that your own home may be next.

Make your home safe

Blake Fire and Security's experts have put together a free guide for homeowners like you! Use our checklist that covers your front garden, back garden and home. Tick off items to reveal how secure your home is and learn about precautions you can take. Click the button below to download the guide for FREE!

beat the burglar checklist

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