Content published on Attention to Victims
Road crashes are a reality that affects thousands of people every year whose consequences invade all areas of life: physical, psychological, social, familiar, spiritual etc, and after which a series of legal issues of great importance are raised . The objective of P (A) T is to inform, guide and support the affected people, offering an adequate attention to the different individual needs, in order to help alleviate the possible consequences and avoid secondary traumatization. P (A) T offers legal guidance, technical advice and psychological counseling (through grieving groups and mutual help groups).
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Grief is a natural process of adaptation to the loss affecting all areas of life (physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual). When we talk about process, it is implicit time therefore any loss we will need some time to learn to live without their loved one or to adapt to the new situation without what we have lost (either the loss of health, a skill or capacity, etc.). But it is not only time, it is a dynamic and active process in which it is necessary to scroll through a series of stages that vary according to the authors, but we could be summarized as:
- Shock and denial stage: where it comes to accepting reality. Faced with something so unexpected is not easy to assume what has happened and we need to realize that it is real, it is not a nightmare.
- After the initial anesthesia happens, the pain is accentuated. And we enter a stage of emotional expression: in which above all is to learn to manage emotions: grief, sadness, anger, anger, guilt, helplessness, loneliness, anxiety, fear, etc.
- A stage adaptation to reality: in which a negotiation with life, with the current circumstances, in which one poses new challenges, new roles starts. At this stage low emotionality and one starts troubleshooting resources.
- And a stage of acceptance and integration: where emotions are calmer, you begin to regain the enthusiasm for living, there is a redefinition of the loss that can lead to what is called post-traumatic vital learning or growth.
The duration of this transit through the different stages described is not defined.
- Although we speak of at least one year that involves passing through significant dates such as anniversaries, Christmas, birthdays, vacations, etc. As I said there is no definite time, the important thing is to be done, it can be 3, 4, 5 years.
- Sometimes the 2nd and 3rd are worse and sometimes people do not usually have the same support as at the beginning. We can talk about the end of grief when we can talk about the other without extreme pain and the person returns to have an interest in life and in their environment and is socially located again.
- One of the important aspects that determinates the duration of the grief are the Circumstances of death: a sudden and traumatic death as in the case of a traffic accident, will be an aggravating factor. No reaction time to say goodbye. Apart from being a violent death.
- The age of the deceased and link with the mourner: If you are a young person will not be the same as an older person. Also it depends on the degree of relationship (especially if it is a child or a spouse).
- The experiences of previous meetings and previous education in relation to the death if unresolved, accumulated duels, this will be another aggravating. And it will influence the system of prior beliefs.
- General coping style (like faces problems and emotions in your day to day, if avoided, if the faces …).
During the grief a series of symptoms can appear in different areas such as:
- Emotions: Emotional anesthesia, shock, anger, sadness, irritability, guilt, self-reproach, feelings of loneliness, feelings of helplessness, etc.
- Physical sensations: Sensation of shortness of breath, loss of energy, dry mouth, sleep disturbances, tightness in the chest, hypersensitivity to noise, etc.
- Thoughts: Obsessive and intrusive thoughts, disbelief, confusion, perceptual alterations, transient visual and auditory hallucinations, …
- Behaviors: Avoidance of places, alterations in food and sleep, abandonment of social relationships, restlessness, etc.
If after a period of time (approximately 6 months) symptoms continue such as: intense physical symptoms, strong guilt, uncontrolled anger, thoughts of suicide or feeling that life has no meaning, substance abuse, etc. it is important to seek professional help.
In P (A) T you can find the MEETING POINT a space where you can express yourself, where you can share your emotions and listening and being heard by people who suffer similar situations. Where speak to heal.
CLAIMS TO IMPROVE THE RIGHTS OF VICTIMS
Knowing the needs of the victims, we fight for adequate post-crash response, which should include:
HEALTH ATTETION: that is, medical and psychological care.
It is important to improve the emergency services and the immediate response after the incident (golden hour) and the adoption of a global emergency telephone number.
However, rehabilitation treatments must be guaranteed to minimize the sequelae and help improve the quality of life. Facilitate access to prostheses or treatments when necessary, taking into account that a disability leaves the person at a disadvantage, not only because of the difficulty of accessing a job, but also because of the difficulties related to accessibility
In most cases, the physical consequences are obvious: death or serious physical consequences. But we often forget the invisible wounds, the emotional wounds. More awareness about good psychological care is needed to avoid re-traumatization. From the first moment with professionals specialized in first aid psychology and professionals specialized in giving bad news. And, of course, with a good follow-up by professionals when necessary. Little is known about the consequences for mental health and, therefore, it is important to take them into account in order to offer an adequate response after the crash.
Emotional wounds can create serious problems, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic disorder and even suicidal ideas, with all the consequences that this entails for the life of the person who suffers. Therefore, it is imperative to continue studying and working on the treatment of grief and trauma to ensure that the professionals who care for the victims have the proper training to face it.
JUSTICE: Victims need to receive clear information. Keep in mind that in a moment of maximum vulnerability and disorientation have to take a number of important decisions. So sensitivity and honesty are needed.
INVESTIGATION: When there is a death or injury with serious consequences, it is important that a thorough investigation is carried out and that the causal factors are determined as soon as possible, as with other crimes. In addition, it is essential that the professionals or police who carry out the testimony do so in accordance with the minimum standards to guarantee an adequate investigation, since the legal responsibility derives from it and will depend to a large extent on the outcome of the trial.
QUICK JUSTICE: a rapid justice, which takes into account the seriousness of the facts, helps to avoid secondary traumatization and favors the closure of the grieving process. At the same time, it acts as a deterrent to other reckless drivers, preventing them from committing traffic crimes and, therefore, less avoidable losses and injuries.
SOCIAL INCLUSION: It is necessary to ensure the social and labor integration of the victims, to help them normalize their lives and feel that they are part of society. A disability leaves the person suffering from it at a clear disadvantage and it is also important to work to ensure their reintegration into society.