What Is A Home Invasion? Meaning & How To Survive
Let’s begin with the question, what is a home invasion?
The unlawful act of entering a residence while armed and when someone else is lawfully present with the intent to commit (assault) that crime.
Their main objective is typically burglary, though occasionally victims may suffer injuries. Especially violent situations could result in fatalities. It is a serious offense with potentially serious repercussions.
Please read on for more details on what constitutes a home invasion.
Table of Contents
About Home Invasion
Anyone who enters another person’s home while inside with a dangerous weapon while knowing or having reason to believe that the person inside is home, stays inside while armed, and uses or threatens to use force on the person inside the home is in violation of the home invasion law. Any place where people live is a dwelling house. Dwelling houses can be single-family residences, duplexes, apartments, tenement structures, lodging establishments, boarding houses, dorms, hotels, or any other structure where people reside.
The Commonwealth must establish the following beyond a shadow of a doubt in order to convict a defendant of the crime of home invasion:
- The defendant entered the dwelling house of another person;
- The defendant knew or should have known someone was occupying the premises when he or she entered the property, or that he or she remained inside the premises once he or she learned that someone was present;
- The defendant was armed at the time of entry; and
- That the defendant intentionally injured anyone residing on the property by using force or making threats of force against any of the residents.
Once any part of the defendant’s body, or any tool or weapon that the defendant controls, enters the dwelling, the first element of this crime—physical entry—is satisfied. Due to the fact that the offender frequently was not aware of another person’s presence inside the home, the second element of the crime has proven to be challenging for prosecutors to prove. As a result, it can be challenging to prove that the intruder had knowledge of or reason to believe that the home was occupied at the time of the invasion. The third component requires the prosecutor to demonstrate that the defendant had a dangerous weapon in his or her possession during the invasion.
A dangerous weapon is defined as one capable of jeopardizing a life or causing serious injury. The legal system divides or classifies dangerous weapons into two groups. The first is a device made specifically with the intention of causing death or significant bodily harm (a dangerous weapon in and of itself). Knives, guns, explosives, switchblades, brass knuckles, and swords are a few examples of this category of lethal weapons that are frequently used. A device that is not made or designed to cause death or serious physical harm but has the potential to do so when used in a specific way is the second type of dangerous weapon. In the second group, something that would normally be harmless can turn into a dangerous weapon if it is used maliciously or in a potentially hazardous way. A dangerous weapon might be, for instance, a pencil pointed at someone else’s eyeball. Commonwealth v Tarrant establishes that a dog may be considered a dangerous weapon for the purposes of this crime.
How To Survive From A Home Invasion?
So that you can receive protection, safety, and support to recover, report the crime to the police. Their top priority is keeping you safe.
- If you or someone else is in immediate danger, dial 111 for police assistance right away. Tell them if there have been any fatalities or injuries.
- To report what has happened to you or someone you know, dial the police non-emergency line at 105 or go online.
- Visit the police station in your neighborhood and speak with the front-desk employee. On what to do, they will give you advice. You might be able to speak with an officer right away. Take a friend or family member along as a support.
Get medical help for any injuries
If you’ve been hurt, visit a doctor, head to the hospital emergency room, or dial 911. When receiving medical care, people recover more quickly and effectively. Ask the doctor to create a report that the police can review. It will serve as crucial proof.
Give a statement to police
You will be subjected to a police interview and asked to provide a statement to aid in their inquiries. In the future, a criminal court case might benefit from your information.
- When something happens, a police officer will record it in writing. People’s memories can be hazy or uncertain after a violent or traumatic experience. It is possible for events to appear blurry. Take your time, and give it your all.
- You must be telling the truth. It is extremely serious to give the police false information.
- You’ll be asked to read it over to make sure it’s accurate and sign it to verify that it accurately describes what happened to you.
- As additional forms of proof, the police may request your consent to take pictures of your wounds and to copy any relevant medical records.
If you don’t feel comfortable in your home
To give you some time to reflect and heal in a secure environment, think about staying with family, friends, or your whanau.
Support the investigation
The home invasion will be looked into by police. This can take some time, and your home will likely be the subject of a forensic investigation. During this time, you’ll probably need to find alternative housing, which the police or victim support can assist you with. Police will keep you informed of their investigation’s development and may need to speak with you again.
If there is to be a court case
In order to discuss the court procedure and invite you to provide a Victim Impact Statement, police will get in touch with you. If you are a court witness, they will explain what giving evidence entails. Police will also inform you of any potential timing and location requirements for providing your testimony. They will let you know if there are any delays because they can occur in court cases occasionally.
If the perpetrator is sent to prison, you may be entitled to be placed on the Victim Notification Register.
Find ways to increase confidence in your personal safety
Use the tips police suggest in their booklet Keep Safe, Feel Safe. By doing these things, you can boost your sense of security and that of your family and whanau.
Give yourself time to recover after this traumatic experience
The common responses and how to handle them are listed below.
Read about: How To Move A Gun Safe?
Common Reactions Of A Home Invasion
Everyone’s different and will react in their own way
Victims of a home invasion may feel a variety of strong emotions because it is a frightening and traumatic crime. These include the possibility of shock, bafflement, severe distress, rage, fear, and a sense of being violated. Numbness and an inability to process what happened may be how some people are feeling. Some people experience guilt and wonder if there was anything they or we could have done to prevent this.
Victims may experience fear in their own homes and may feel jittery and on guard in case it happens again. It can start to worry you constantly to lock the house securely. It is difficult to cope with growing anxiety. For some people, panic attacks may be particularly troubling. You might notice that your temper flares up more than usual and that you want to avoid people or be around them less.
You might become preoccupied and distracted by what happened. It might be challenging to focus on anything else. When everything seems to have happened in a blur, it can be challenging to recall every detail. You might experience unsettling dreams, memories, flashbacks, or thoughts that make it seem like it’s happening again. People frequently try to avoid situations or objects that remind them of unpleasant things.
You might experience changes in your appetite or trouble sleeping physically. Other typical physical reactions can include trembling, a tight chest, a racing heart, trouble breathing, body aches, nausea, an upset stomach, or headaches. Stress may make pre-existing medical conditions worse.
These kinds of reactions are all normal
The impact they have on you could be greater and last longer than you anticipate. For help dealing with the effects of what has happened, see the tips below.
If children or young people have been affected by what’s happened
See our information sheet for parents and caregivers about assisting your child or young person in the aftermath of a trauma or criminal activity. If they are having trouble coping, don’t be afraid to enlist some additional professional assistance. On the back of this information sheet, there is a list of helpful places to go for that assistance.
Coping With Your Reactions Of A Home Invasion
Looking after yourself is important
Encourage those who have also been impacted to act similarly. Consume wholesome foods and get enough water. As much as you can, maintain routines and get enough rest and sleep. Exercise for a short time. Take a few long, deep breaths. Spend time with friends or a pet that you can unwind with. Spend time in nature, and if you find that staying busy helps, find something productive to do. If you’re feeling ill, incredibly anxious, or having trouble falling asleep, see a doctor. Make use of any cultural or spiritual convictions you may have. Take advantage of people’s offers of kindness if they can.
When you have a flashback, it seems as though you are reliving a part of your traumatic experience or being transported back to the beginning of it. This can be described in vivid detail, and it can be challenging and perplexing to establish a connection between the present and what is real during a flashback. To better understand flashbacks and ways to manage them, see our information sheet Dealing with Flashbacks.
Talk about what happened
When you’re ready, discuss what happened with someone you can trust, such as a trusted member of your family, whanau, a close friend, your doctor, a counsellor, a psychologist, a respected elder, rangatira, or a victim support worker. Speak with a professional if any parts of your tale are especially upsetting. Speaking openly about how things are can be a good way to relieve stress and emotional tension.
Your reactions are normal responses to a traumatic event
Even though it may not feel that way right now, they will gradually subside over the coming weeks and months.
If children or young people have been affected by what’s happened
See our information sheet for parents and caregivers about Following a crime or traumatic event, supporting your child or young person. If they are having trouble coping, don’t be afraid to get them some additional professional assistance. On the back of this fact sheet, there is a list of helpful places to go for that assistance.
It is best to get professional assistance from someone with experience in supporting people after trauma if they don’t go away, worsen, or interfere with your daily activities and work. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may manifest in some individuals. If you’re concerned, speak with your doctor, a therapist, a psychologist, or your support worker to learn more about the resources available to you.
If your reactions trouble you
- Visit your doctor. They can perform a health examination and assist you with any persistent problems, such as insomnia, anxiety, flashbacks, or depression.
- Think about speaking with a counselor or psychologist. They can assist you in processing your feelings and the effects the crime has had on you.
What exactly is a home invasion, in the end?
Despite the fact that every circumstance is unique, this was a traumatic event. Many people believe that their home is a secure place. This sense of safety is destroyed by a home invasion. For a while after, it’s typical to experience mental difficulty.
Do you comprehend home invasion now? Please leave a comment if you have any issues with the home invasion. I’ll give a brief response to your query. Consider bookmarking and subscribing if you enjoyed the post.
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