Coping with the Aftermath of a Break-In

With every house break in there is some material loss and also the loss of sentimental items. The latter are things that have no monetary value but are still treasured and irreplaceable. But when all’s said and done, this is just stuff, as much as people may miss it. The most devastating part of any burglary, especially one into a private home, is the psychological impact it can have on the victims.

Feeling traumatized is something that goes way beyond any kind of material loss. The most important thing here is not to suffer in silence:

This video looks at burglary through the eyes of real victims. It’s a UK based account but the effects are pretty similar no matter where you happen to be in the world.


The victim’s priorities immediately after a burglary include the following:

  • Notify law enforcement without delay
  • Repair any damage immediately, especially security flaws
  • Acknowledge your feelings and talk to a professional
  • Get back into a scheduled routine as soon as possible

It’s Good to Talk

In the aftermath of a burglary make sure you talk and talk as much as you want to, to anyone who cares to listen. It’s perfectly okay to feel upset, angry, scared and overwhelmed with emotion. For those living alone, it’s often a good idea to ask a friend or relative to come and stay over for a few days after the incident.  People are usually more than happy to help in times of crisis.

If the victim of a break-in is someone other than you, see what you can do to help. Be particularly supportive of any family member, friend or neighbor living alone. There’s a very good chance that they will be scared and distraught. It’s times such as these where people need people.

Anyone who has trouble sleeping can end up with even more worry and distress. In situations like these it’s a good idea to seek the help of your doctor or other medical professional.  Although medication should be a last resort, it can prove useful in the short term. What you mustn’t do is try to self-diagnose and self-medicate.


About Mark Bickmore

Hi, my name is Mark Bickmore. I'm an Engineer, who has a keen interest in home security and keeping my family, property and valuables safe from burglars. This website was set up to help me explore the research, facts and myths about burglars and burglary. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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