BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Robbery occurs when a criminal tries to take something of value by force, and according to the Office of Justice Programs, anyone can become a victim in a variety of settings.

So, what is the best way to react during a robbery?

How to react during a robbery

Many officials recommend the following:

-Stay calm and assure the robber that you will cooperate. Avoid making any unexpected movements.

-Follow the robber’s instructions, but don’t offer more than they ask for.

-Note the robber’s appearance and vehicle (if applicable) so you can give authorities a full description later.

-After the robbery, immediately leave and go to a safe location where you can report the crime. A safe location typically means somewhere in public with people, where you can ask someone to stay with you while you wait for help.

Dealing with trauma after the robbery

The Office of Justice adds that after the frightening ordeal, victims of robberies may suffer from trauma. It states, “You may fear that the robber will return. You may have nightmares or flashbacks about the robbery. You may find that you startle more easily at little noises or abrupt movements. You may feel nervous in some crowds or very suspicious of strangers. You may feel angry at the perpetrator. You may also be angry with the police and the criminal justice system for not doing enough.”

Some may choose to speak with a therapist about what happened, while others may talk to trusted friends or family members. In any case, the Office of Justice says, “Whatever your reactions, it is important for you to deal with and resolve your crisis in your own way and at your own pace. Not everyone reassembles his or her life in the same way or within the same timeframe.”

Resources for information and assistance

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Organization for Victim Assistance
1-800-TRY-NOVA or 1-800-879-6682

Directory of Crime Victim Services
Office for Victims of Crime
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice