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Dealing with Violence in the Workplace: The Aftereffects

You witnessed, or were involved in, a violent event at work. The event is over. But it may still affect your daily life. Many people go through physical and emotional changes after seeing violence. These effects may last for weeks or longer.

A Few Common Reactions

Below are some reactions common to people who have experienced a violent event. Do any apply to you?

  • The violent scene keeps running through my mind.

  • I have trouble concentrating.

  • I feel jumpy for no obvious reason.

  • I get irritated more easily.

  • I’ve been eating more or less than usual.

  • My sleep habits have changed.

Help Is at Hand

Any of the above symptoms is a normal response. But they can disrupt your life. Talking about the incident can help you feel better. If your employer sets up an incident debriefing, be sure to attend. Or talk with your EAP or human resources representative. If several weeks pass and you still feel upset, talk again with your EAP or HR representative. You may wish to attend a peer support group or get professional counseling. Talking about your concerns is the best way to get the help you need.


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