Maine Victim Witness Advocates

Assistance and Advocacy for Crime Victims

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Resources/Links

US Attorney Victim Witness Program

Maine Department of Corrections

Maine Victim's Compensation Program

Maine Sex Offender Registry

Multicultural Resource Guide: a listing of specialty service providers for Maine's racial, ethnic and language minority communities

WomensLaw.org: features  links to Maine domestic violence resources
 

 Trauma

Traumatic response is the result of experiencing, witnessing or hearing about an event that causes a person to feel intense fear, helplessness or horror.   Many victims and witnesses of crime experience a traumatic response as a direct result of their victimization.

Symptoms following a traumatic event tend to come in stages.  Immediately following the event or events people often feel shaken, disoriented and confused. They may appear quite emotional but more often seem numb and express feelings of disbelief.   Following this initial response, crime victims often find themselves having problems sleeping and eating. They may experience intrusive memories, flashbacks or nightmares.  They may feel jumpy, anxious and fearful. Crime victims may experience symptoms of depression including feeling unable to cope with normal life stresses, exhaustion, crying jags and irritability.  These symptoms can last anywhere from weeks to decades and can vary from distressing and uncomfortable to utterly debilitating, depending on the event, the individual and the individualís support system.  

Trauma is a normal response to abnormal events.  It is important for victims of crime to understand that they are not going crazy; trauma symptoms are what happens following terrible events.   Seeking out supportive people with whom victims can talk about what happened and the effects on their lives is helpful, as is good self-care and stress management strategies. But very frequently, this is not enough.  Many survivors of traumatic events find that working with a therapist who is well-versed in trauma treatment is invaluable. Many studies support that seeking professional help in the early stages of traumatic response can reduce the chances of developing longer-term problems.  Trauma is treatable. Although victims of traumatic events never forget about what happened, victims of crime can, with time and help, go on to reclaim their lives.


Kids First Center     Its mission is to minimize the emotional and sometimes physical trauma children experience during the separation and divorce of their parents.

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Alliance is a group of professional and advocacy organizations that have joined forces to provide educational resources to individuals diagnosed with PTSD and their loved ones; those at risk for developing PTSD; and medical, healthcare and other frontline professionals.

 

Last Modified: June 13, 2007