Effects of Crisis

Crisis is a normal reaction to abnormal situations and stressors. Whether it is the result of a crime, major incident, or one of life's many challenges, everyone experiences crisis reactions at one time or another. People experience crisis in response to an unexpected traumatic life event that temporarily overwhelms their normal ways of coping. Individual reactions vary depending on a number of factors including severity and proximity of the traumatic event, other life stressors, past experience with trauma, level of coping skills, values and beliefs, and access to interpersonal and community resources. This webpage, which includes various documents, will provide you with more in-depth information on individual crisis situations (specific -mostly- to criminal activity), possible reactions, and helpful tips and resources to cope with trauma.

Victim Services Resources
Victim Compensation

Victim Rights (English)
Victim Rights (Spanish)

General Information (English)
General Information (Spanish)

How to Help Someone in Crisis
Often times, when you have a loved one experiencing a crisis, your first go to question is "What can I do to help?". This is a great question to, verbally, ask as it empowers the person to get the assistance that is most helpful to them. While this is a great question to ask, many times, it does not happen and only stays as a question in our mind. Here are some helpful tips when providing support to someone who is in crisis.

Unless there is a physical injury, have the person in crisis drink room temperature water. The body quickly dehydrates during a crisis due to crying, perspiration, and chemical reactions inside the body. Cool or room temperature water is most quickly and easily absorbed. Ice water will give a traumatized person stomach cramps. Stimulants like caffeine, or sugared, carbonated, or alcoholic beverages are not helpful.

Get the person moving. Walking, doing a simple task, or any other kind of exercise will be beneficial. This helps various body systems get back to normal. Doing everything for the person is not always the most helpful!

Allow, and even encourage, the person to cry and vent. This is a way to express emotion and is much healthier than not crying and suppressing emotions. Do not hand someone Kleenex as this tends to stop the flow of tears. Rather, have Kleenex nearby and let them reach for it when they are ready.

Encourage the person to talk while you listen. Just talking, even if it is not logical, is helpful for sorting and making sense of the occurrence. Avoid making judgments or giving advice. Just listen and be present. Silence, on your behalf, can be one of the most helpful tools in helping someone through crisis. While your mind may be silent, their mind is likely going a million miles a minute. Don't use clichés or try to point out positive aspects of a tragedy. This diminishes the impacts of the reactions the person is experiencing and is not helpful.

If someone is suicidal, or wants to hurt themselves or others, it is imperative to access professional assistance immediately. Call 911.

Domestic Violence (DV)
If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence reports that roughly, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men are victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. There is help available when you are ready.

Sadly, domestic violence is widespread and can include verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, intimidation, isolation, controlling behavior, minimizing, denying and/or blaming behaviors. Often times, an abuser will use threats and intimidation to gain control and power over another person. If you are experiencing this, it is not your fault despite the constant reminders that you may receive stating how it is your fault.

The Victim Services Division has specially trained advocates to assist with individuals who have experienced domestic violence. For court cases, advocates can look to assist with court hearings, educate on victim rights, connect you with local DV resources and be a listening ear, when needed! For more information on Domestic Violence please see the attached resources. Additional information on domestic violence and how Victim Services may be able to assist you can be found by clicking here.

Child Trauma (English)

Domestic Violence Booklet (English)
Domestic Violence Booklet (Spanish)

Domestic Violence Child Safety Plan (English)
Domestic Violence Child Safety Plan (Spanish)

Domestic Violence Safety Plan (English)
Domestic Violence Safety Plan (Spanish)

Victims of Stalking
Remember, as a stalking victim, you are not alone. Do not lose hope. The support network in Pima County includes victim advocacy, counseling services, and support groups. Trained victim advocates can provide vital information and a full range of support services, such as assistance through the criminal justice process and help finding out about your rights as a stalking victim. In Arizona, stalking is a felony per state law A.R.S 13-2923. Harassment may also be charged.

After Sexual Assault
If you do not have visible physical injuries from the assault, friends and family may think you are okay. Many people do not understand the extent of trauma endured by rape and sexual assault victims. Your body may look fine, but you still need time for emotional and spiritual healing. As time passes, you may have a variety of feelings, thoughts, and reactions to what has happened--most rape and sexual assault victims do. At times, you may feel guilty about what happened, even though you did nothing wrong. You may feel shocked that something so terrible could have happened to you, and sometimes you may even pretend or deny that it happened at all. You may feel embarrassed that you are a victim of rape or sexual assault, and you may worry that people you do not want to know, will find out what happened.

You may have nightmares or flashbacks about the assault or rape. Certain sounds, smells, or other sensory experiences may trigger these feelings and fears. You may be afraid of being alone, or you may fear being in crowds. You may experience changes in your eating and sleeping patterns. You also may fear that the offender may have infected you with a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV/AIDS, or that you may become pregnant.

Whatever your reactions or fears may be, support and help are available for you. The Pima County Attorney's Office - Victim Services Division will assist you, regardless of whether you decide to report the assault to the police.

After an Assault
No one deserves to be assaulted, but sadly, they happen often and can create intense emotions for victims. People who are assaulted often feel scared, angry and hyper-alert after the incident. Their safety was at-risk, and it is normal to feel overly cautious and concerned about personal welfare and safety for some time after an assault. The Pima County Attorney's Victim Services Division has Victim Advocates, who are available to help you by providing assistance, information, services, and referrals. Whether you have been assaulted by a stranger or someone you know, the best way to ensure your safety is to report the incident to local law enforcement, immediately.

After a robbery
Remember, as a robbery victim, you are not alone. However, it can feel lonely and that no one understands what you went through and why living a normal life is difficult. Many people who have experienced a robbery, worry that it is going to happen again. People may become hyper-aware of their surroundings and concerned that their safety is always at risk. Your community has victim assistance programs and caring professionals, who are there to help you with information, services, and referrals. No one has the right to commit a robbery against a person regardless of the circumstances.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed at the hands of an impaired driver, the aftermath can be devastating. From personal injury to damages of vehicles or other equipment, the incident can and usually is traumatizing. It can be frightening to get back on the road or take a walk on the sidewalk, all because of the actions of someone else. You and others do not deserve to be victims of DUIs. If you find that you are struggling and/or would like the help from Victim Services, advocates can assist in providing information on the criminal justice process, crime victim's rights and Crime Victim Compensation which may be able to provide reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket expenses, including funeral expenses, medical and counseling expenses, lost wages, and other financial needs considered reasonable due to a DUI.

Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is often caused by those who are closes to the elder person including caretakers, family members and friends. This can take form in physical, sexual abuse and financial abuse. Due to changes in the brain that happen over time, elders are often taken advantage of and it is not fair and not deserved! Please report any suspected elder abuse to 911, immediately! Victim Services will provide support during the criminal justice process, educate on victim rights, and connect elder abuse victims to local organizations who specialize in working with this crime type, if desired.

Experiencing Grief
Everyone experiences grief at some point during their life. It is a devastating feeling and something that can cause a wide range of emotion such as a sense of loneliness, sadness, hurt, anger, happiness, worry, fear, and so much more. Grief can be caused by many factors, but when it comes to death, victim advocates can help. Advocates will often assist families who have experienced the death of a loved one whether it be from suicide, homicide, overdose, natural death, or medical; help is available! Victim advocates can provide information on next steps and connect you with local resources. Don't hesitate to reach out!

After Suicide
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Your loved one probably wasn't seeking death so much as a way to end their unbearable pain. A person who dies by suicide puts their psychological skeleton in the survivor's emotional closet. It can be a heavy burden.

Someone close to you has died. Your grief is intensified because the death was a suicide. The healing process is painful and often seems unnaturally slow. Understanding your emotions, as well as learning something about suicide in general, may ease your grief.

Survivors of Suicide Support (SOS) Groups
Offers support for friends and family of a completed suicide. The group meets twice each month. For more information contact Sandra McNally at 480-784-1514 or visit afsp.org

Victim Compensation
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a crime, Arizona's Crime Victim Compensation program may be able to assist with certain out-of-pocket expenses, such as: medical, dental and counseling expenses, lost wages, transportation to/from court and medical appointments, and funeral expenses. To be eligible for these funds, you must report the incident to the police within 72 hours and cooperate with the criminal justice system. The Pima County Attorney's Office - Victim Services Division can provide victim compensation applications and additional information.

Remember, it is important to keep a record of expenses incurred from a crime. If the offender is arrested and convicted, you may request restitution by completing a restitution affidavit and listing your losses. Restitution for certain losses may be ordered by a judge as part of the sentence imposed on the offender. However, in many cases, the defendant may not have sufficient assets or income to pay restitution. It is possible that even if an offender is convicted and ordered to pay restitution, a victim may receive no, or only partial, restitution for his or her losses.

Order of Protection and Injunction Against Harassment
You may be able to obtain an order of protection, or an injunction against harassment, through the clerk of the court. These are court orders signed by a judge telling the suspect/offender to stay away from you and not to have contact with you in-person, by phone or through a third party. These orders are valid for 1 year from the time the offender is served.

It is not necessary for a civil or criminal case to be active in order to file for these orders. Arizona state laws authorize law enforcement to make an arrest for violation of such an order. Victim advocates can tell you how the process works in Pima County. For more information, or to begin the process, please visit azpoint.azcourts.gov.

After an assault
After A Robbery
If you are a survivor of a D.U.I.
How to help someone in crisis
After sexual assault
For victims of stalking
After Suicide

Important phone numbers

32 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701