“How dare they!” – A victims story

Thankfully few people experience the trauma of being a victim of housebreaking, however when it happens it can be life changing.


Like so many people we have the privilege to meet through our community engagement, our victim, Ms S is remarkable. Whilst she was recently the victim of a very intrusive break-in her first thought was for the local community group she supports and her ability to maintain that support whilst recovering from this crime.

Whilst she was out providing that support to lonely residents the criminals broke in and over the course of an hour ransacked every square inch of her family home. The intrusion went beyond any material value in terms of the items stolen or damaged – it was a violation of her life and with it the family memories that had been created in that home.

Her first response when telling her story was, “How dare they!” 

Unfortunately there is no easy explanation to why Ms S’s home was subject to this attack. Under the circumstances it would appear that the criminals were only after cash and jewellery, things that could be easily carried away from the scene and sold quickly for a few pounds. It could have easily have been a random attack as a planned one. These criminals have no concept or understanding of the trauma they create for the victim. Their attack is rarely personal but their impact is amongst the ultimate personal violations.

So how does a victim such as Ms S move on? Recovery is not easy and may never be full, however the very strengths Ms S demonstrated by talking about her experience and the support she is able to give others is a strength that will pull her forward. However even the most supportive and proactive community workers also need support for themselves at times of greatest need. Recognising this fact is often a difficult step for a victim, but a vital one. Thankfully there are people who can provide help and support, or even just to be an understanding ear for victims of crime, such as the volunteers in Victim Support Scotland – https://www.victimsupportsco.org.uk/

It can never be guaranteed that it will never happen to you but in our security advice section you will find some simple steps for you and your neighbours that can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of housebreaking.