Historic ASB – moving on from anti-social behaviour 

You may have suffered the effects of dreadful anti-social behaviour.  You may still feel traumatised by it.  You may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories or a sense of constant danger.  Or you may feel numb, disconnected and unable to trust other people.  It can take a while to get over the trauma and feel safe again. The time it takes and your reactions are as individual as you are.  There is no right or wrong so try to avoid judging yourself or other people and be patient.

Perhaps you feel angry and bitter about what happened.  Look to the future and try to put the past behind you.  With historic ASB the offenders and agencies you dealt with have moved on to work on other current cases of anti-social behaviour.  If you continue to dwell on the past in this way, it is only hurting you.

If you still have something to say to an agency that let you down, you should use their complaints process.  Poor historic responses do not include scope for compensation such as the fall in value of your house as a result of anti-social behaviour or the cost of counselling to get over the effects of ASB.  If you have been through the complaints process, your only option to take things further would be a claim in the civil courts or through criminal injuries compensation boards (time limits apply).

Think carefully about whether legal advice and action are worthwhile.  They are your absolute right, but they are costly, time-consuming and the outcome is not guaranteed.

When ASB has stopped and you find that you are still affected by it, try these 3 key ways to help with the healing process.

  1. Don’t isolate yourself

You may feel like staying alone and withdrawing from people, but connecting to others is an important part of moving forwards. Ask for support, participate in social activities and consider volunteering – a great way to focus on helping others and remind you of your strengths.

  1. Routine and structure

Stick to a daily routine.  Break large jobs down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Find activities that make you feel better and keep your mind occupied.  Do still allow yourself to accept your feelings about the trauma of the historic ASB.  This is all part of the process and necessary for healing.

  1. Take care of your health

Try to get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet.  You should avoid alcohol and drugs.  Find ways to relax too.

Seeking professional help

Recovering from a traumatic experience such as historic ASB takes time and everyone heals at a different pace. If a reasonable amount of time has passed and your symptoms aren’t improving, you might want to turn to a professional counsellor.

You might be:

  • struggling to function at home or work
  • suffering from intense fear, anxiety or depression
  • unable to form close, satisfying relationships
  • feeling emotionally numb and disconnected from others
  • experiencing terrifying memories, nightmares or flashbacks
  • avoiding more and more things that remind you of the trauma
  • using alcohol or drugs to feel better

If this sounds like you, you could make an appointment to see your GP to find out what support is available to you locally.