by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D. Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness Much has been written about what to do in the aftermath of a crisis. This post addresses what you can do if you have just been harmed. 1) Prioritize Immediate Safety: Take immediate action to ensure your safety. If there is an ongoing threat or potential danger, prioritize moving to a secure location as quickly and efficiently as possible. If needed, reach out to the appropriate authorities or emergency services for assistance in ensuring your safety. 2) Address Acute Medical Needs: It is imperative to promptly address any acute medical needs you may have. Even if your injuries appear minor, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention to rule out any underlying issues. Moreover, documenting the incident through medical records can prove to be valuable for future reference. 3) Report What Happened to the Authorities: To ensure appropriate action is taken, report the incident to the appropriate authorities. Contact your local law enforcement agency and file a formal complaint. Be sure to provide a comprehensive account of what transpired, supported by any available evidence such as text messages, photographs, videos, and more. It is crucial to remember that the decision to report lies with you. 4) Preserve Evidence: It is vital to preserve any evidence linked to the incident in question. This may include medical records, mental health records, police reports, text messages, audio recordings, photographs, and more. This evidence will serve as valuable support should you choose to seek justice for the harm inflicted upon you. 5) Document the Event: Immediately after an incident, it is important to document as many details of the event as possible. Write down a comprehensive account, including the date, time, location, individuals involved, and a thorough description of what transpired. Be as specific as possible, recounting any actions, words, or threats made by the perpetrator(s). This documentation will be immensely valuable when seeking legal assistance or reporting the event to authorities. 6) Turn to Family and Friends: Having the understanding and care of loved ones can be extremely valuable in providing emotional support and helping you navigate through the challenges ahead. Remember that reaching out for help is a courageous step towards seeking justice and moving forward from the harm inflicted upon you. Keep in mind that we don't always think clearly during challenging experiences. 7) Seek Mental Health Support: Seeking professional mental health support is crucial when dealing with the long-lasting effects of abuse, harassment, discrimination, or injustice. Counselors, therapists, and support groups specializing in trauma can provide the necessary guidance and assistance in healing and processing the emotional aftermath. By engaging in mental health support services, individuals are able to navigate complex emotions within a safe environment and regain a sense of control over their lives. 8) Consult with a Legal Professional: Obtaining legal counsel from an attorney is essential for gaining valuable knowledge about your legal options and determining the best course of action for your case. A skilled lawyer will act as a trusted advisor, offering guidance throughout the legal proceedings and helping you navigate any challenges that may arise. Remember that attorneys are dedicated to providing counsel and advocating for your rights. 9) Keep Track of Expenses: Throughout your journey towards justice, it is vital to maintain diligent records of any expenses incurred as a direct result of the incident. This includes medical bills, therapy costs, legal fees, lost wages, and any other related expenses. Accurate documentation will support your claims for restitution or compensation, ensuring that you are not burdened by the financial aftermath of the injustice you endured. 10) Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Take the time to educate yourself on relevant laws, policies, and rights about the type of harm you have experienced. TruthJava.com provides detailed information concerning diverse experiences. Familiarize yourself with resources available to victims, such as helplines, support organizations, and non-profit entities that can offer guidance, information, and assistance. Empower yourself with information and unleash the potential to effect change and prevent the recurrence of similar injustices. Being harmed can shatter your sense of safety and well-being. However, by following these ten crucial steps, you can begin your journey to facilitate healing, personal growth, and the realization of truth and accountability.
top of page
bottom of page