Thousands of families across the United States face the horrific aftermath of a violent crime that occurred in their homes. Southern California families are not immune from this dreadful peril. Cleaning up a violent crime scene presents potential health risks to a person undertaking such a task. In addition, crime scene cleaners will also tell you that victims of violent crimes and their loved ones can face additional negative emotional and mental health issues or challenges if they elect to attempt to clean up after a violent crime in their homes. 

Direct Impact of Crime Scene Cleanup 

When an individual directly is the victim of a violent crime that occurs in his or her residence, the direct victimization alone typically has significant emotional and mental health ramifications. Moreover, other residents of a home where a violent crime occurs oftentimes also suffer from emotional and psychological aftereffects. 

Researchers have ascertained that these negative emotions and psychological issues tend to become compounded and magnified if a victim of a violent crime or others in the household of the direct victim are left to undertake crime scene cleanup on their own. For a victim, taking on crime scene cleanup directly and not engaging the service of crime scene cleaners can magnify emotional and psychological issues to a potentially overwhelming state.

The bottom line, even if an individual has the equipment, tools, resources, and even the experience to undertake crime scene cleanup at his or her own home after being victimized, the better part of wisdom is to seek professional assistance to address the situation. 

Common Types of Emotional and Psychology Maladies That Magnify by Direct Involvement in Crime Scene Cleaning

There are two more commonplace psychological issues that have the very likely potential to magnify if a crime victim or family member directly undertakes the task of crime scene cleanup. These are depression and PTSD.

Although little specific research has been undertaken in regard to the stress associated with victim involvement in crime scene remediation, some analogies can be drawn from studies that have been undertaken in regard to the emotional impact of crime scenes on professional law enforcement investigators. Experts are in agreement that one important piece of data can be considered when comparing and contrasting the impact of crime scenes on professionals and on citizens who have no experience facing these types of situations.

Research studies demonstrate that violent crime scenes in fact take their toll emotionally and mentally on professional crime scene investigators. They suffer higher rates of depression, PTSD, and suicide when contrasted with law enforcement personnel detailed to other areas of professional service. 

Crime scene investigators have specific training designed to aid them in dealing with what truly can be horrific crime scenes. The general public lacks this type of preemptive training. Consequently, when members of the general public have even an incidental viewing of a violent crime scene they can face emotional and mental health issues.

If a member of the general public has more than an incidental connection to a crime scene, the emotional and mental health ramifications can prove to be far more profound. This includes a situation in which a crime occurs in a person’s home, even if a particular individual isn’t the direct victim.  This becomes magnified further still for the direct victim of a violent crime perpetrated in that individual’s home.

The emotional and mental health impact has the potential for becoming even more severe if the direct victim of a violent crime perpetrated in a residence or others who live in that home bear hands-on responsibility for the crime scene cleanup. The net effect of being placed into that type of situation is what fairly can be classified as an emotional and mental overload. Depression, PTSD, and even suicidal ideations are natural and (some might suggest) probable consequences of this type of prolonged and intimate exposure to a violent crime scene. 

Specialized Training of Crime Scene Cleaners

Not only do crime scene cleaners have enhanced training in regard to all aspects of biohazard remediation and other matters associated with the aftermath of a crime and the investigation of it at the scene, they have other specialized training as well. These professionals have training, augmented by experience, in working with members of the public who’ve been harmed by the criminal conduct of others. Crime scene cleaners not only have the resources and background necessary to fully restore a crime scene to the condition it previously was in, but they also have the tools and understanding necessary to work with clients at some of their most vulnerable times.

In addition, across the country, including in Southern California, victim advocates are available to support and assist people in the aftermath of a crime. They can be invaluable resources when it comes to seeking assistance with crime scene remediation.