Street Violence

How does it affect the victim?

If you are a victim of violence or street crime it is usual to feel confused:

  • right after the event you may have difficulty describing what happened;
  • you might experience regular flashbacks of the event;
  • you might get nightmares about what happened;
  • you might become excessively alert or aware of everything around you (e.g. anything can make you annoyed or afraid).
violência na rua 

It is also common to be afraid:

  • that the experience might happen again;
  • that you might cross paths with the offender;
  • that the offender finds out you reported the crime;
  • that you are unable to recover the objects the offender took from you (if it was a robbery or theft);
  • to pass by the place where the crime happened;
  • to talk about what happened (because it forces you to relive the whole event).            

It is natural to feel this way.

All these feelings and thoughts result from the way your body reacts to what has happened. Your body reacts in this way to try and protect itself from a negative experience. If you realize that these feelings and thoughts start to impair your life, it is important to get some professional help.


Reactions and consequences can also vary depending on the violence used in the crime and the behaviour of the offender:

  • when the offender uses physical force, violence and/or death threats, it is natural that the victim feels frightened and scared (and fearing for their own life);
  • when the offender uses a weapon during the crime, it is understandable that the victim gets scared and fears that the offender threatens his/her life;
  • when there is more than one offender, the victim typically feels more helpless;
  • when there are physical injuries, the impact on the victim may be more negative.

The impact of the crime also depends on the individual victim, e.g. their personality, the support they have from others (for example, friends and family).