The essential guide to getting back on your feet following a mugging
Mugging is a cruel act that can result in personal injury, damaged pride and loss of material possessions.
If you’re ever unfortunate enough to be mugged, there are ten things you should do immediately to ensure a safe, successful route to recovery:
1. Tend to any physical trauma
Muggings can be violent encounters, therefore if you’re bleeding or seriously injured, make sure you seek medical attention before doing anything else.
Your physical health is far more important than your lost bank cards, after all.
2. Call the police
If you still have your phone, use it to ring the police as quickly as possible to report the crime.
If your phone was taken, head home or to the closest community building or council office where access to a phone might be available.
3. Call the person closest to you
Once you’ve acted quickly with the authorities, you’ll probably want to call someone close to you.
It could be your parents, partner or closest friend, but whoever it is, tell them exactly what has happened, reassure them that you’re ok, and promise a call back as soon as you can.
Talking about the experience can help you understand what happened and speed up your recovery. When it’s appropriate, sit down with a friend and talk it all through.
4. Cancel your bank cards
Credit card companies are getting more efficient by the day when it comes to detecting instances of fraud, but don’t rely on their sophisticated systems to spot illegal use of your cards following a mugging.
Call your bank once your injuries are tended to and the police have been informed. Cancel every card you had to ensure the perpetrator can’t profit from their crime.
Remember – the introduction of contactless technology means anyone who has your cards may not need your pin to spend your money. Make sure you cancel any debit and credit cards as soon as possible.
5. Track your smartphone (if possible)
Most smartphones have the ability to be tracked remotely via GPS.
From there, you should be able to remotely disable or wipe the device and make note of it’s last-known location, which will be vital information for the police (don’t be tempted to rescue it yourself!).
6. Change your passwords (if your phone has been stolen)
Our smartphones contain countless pieces of confidential data, and if you regularly use yours to access password-protected websites, thieves may be able to commit identity fraud, too.
Change every password you can think of as soon as you have access to another device to avoid this happening.
It’s also worth considering a password management tool to keep your login details safe. Services such as 1Password and LastPass offer vaults for passwords that can be secured with biometric identification such as a smartphone’s fingerprint scanner.
Password management and two-factor authentication are personal security techniques we’ll be covering in future blogs, so stay tuned.
7. Take a day or two off work
Unless it feels like an important part of the recovery process, there’s nothing wrong with taking a day or two off work following a mugging.
Facing colleagues after such an event can be daunting, and the last thing you’ll want to do is respond to endless questions and well-meaning condolences.
Your boss should understand, and you certainly shouldn’t feel guilty.
8. Think about returning to the scene
Depending on the nature of the incident, the police may suggest you do this to trigger memories of what happened, but you may also find it to be an important part of the healing process. Just be sure to take a friend or family member for moral support.
If the thought of doing this fills you with dread, however – don’t. It’s your choice.
9. Replace what you’ve lost
Let go of the things you had stolen.
The most important thing is your health; your smartphone, wallet, keys and cards can all be replaced, but the sooner you do so, the sooner you can remove that added sense of material loss.
10. Remind yourself it isn’t your fault
Unfortunately, victims often assume it’s their fault they’ve been mugged.
You shouldn’t have been there at that time alone…
Why were you walking along the street with your phone in your hand?
Why didn’t you take a taxi back from the pub?
None of this is your fault. Equally, the ‘what ifs’ will cause your mind to race with alternative outcomes. Don’t let that happen.
You weren’t to blame at all, but with the ten steps above, you’ll be able to rebuild your confidence and ensure the perpetrator doesn’t have a lasting effect on your life.
If you’ve been affected by this form of crime, speak to the friendly Voice team today – we’re here to help you cope, recover and thrive.