Effective communication skills are really what helps a victim of a crime be able to begin the process of being able to recover from what happened to them. It is up to the person communicating with them to make a positive impact on this process and know what to do.
The first step could be to “think about the words you are going to say and think about how that victim might understand or take your words” (PublicResourceOrg, 2008). People view words differently based upon their culture, their age, and what kind of situation they are in. The word honey could be used to calm down a women, but to her, you might be implying that she is weak or she may be older than you and will take you less seriously to be able to help her if you call her that. Also, “when you talk to a victim, you certainly can be empathetic and listen and let them know that you are an understanding individual that is there to help meet th...
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...you” (PublicResourceOrg, 2008). They will respond to you better because they will know your intention is to help them and that you will really be there for them. This step is what strengthens the relationship between the two of you.
As can be seen, effective communication with a victim of a crime is much more than talking to them, it is listening to them, letting them know they have rights and to actually use those rights, and to build a strong relationship with the victim. It may be challenging at times and you may feel like you are not helping them very much, but always remember that “when you reach out to victims, you have the opportunity to have a powerful impact on their lives” (PublicResourceOrg, 2008). The victim did not give up on them self and that is why they are reaching out to talk to you, so you should be there to listen and not give up on them as well.
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