Crime has been and remains an endemic problem in the United States, including in Southern California, according to the United States Department of Justice. This includes a variety of crimes that exclusively occur in a residential setting as well as other types of crimes that happen in homes with alarming frequency. When a crime of some type occurs in a residence, on top of everything else, the home itself is uniquely violated. Many crimes that happen in residential settings demand the assistance of crime scene cleaners in order to restore a sense of integrity, security, and safety to a home.
Alarming Statistics About Crimes Committed in Homes
Home invasion is a commonly occurring and perilous crime. On average, over 1 million home invasions occur in the United States each year. A home invasion is a violent crime in which the victim by definition is at home. A perpetrator gains entry into a residence, typically by force and sometimes by coercion or deceit.
A home invasion is not an end in and of itself. A home invasion occurs in order for the perpetrator to be able to commit another crime. The most common of these crimes are burglary and theft of property as well as sexual assault.
Bear in mind that there are many more burglaries that occur outside of home invasions. These are crimes committed when a perpetrator breaks and enters into a residence without the use of force, coercion, or deceit on a resident. Burglaries can occur when residents are home, perhaps sleeping. They also can occur when people are away from their homes.
A truly startling 60 percent of all rape cases occur in a home. Many of these sex crimes occur as part of a home invasion.
Violent crimes perpetrated in a residence have a myriad of significant negative consequences. Among these are the aftereffects of these horrific crimes within the residence itself. A victim’s injuries are magnified by the impact a violent crime can have on a home, including biological contamination that needs to be safely and thoroughly remediated.
Protecting the Safety, Health, and Welfare of a Household
The safety, health, and welfare of residents of a particular home have already been violated as a result of the commission of a crime in a residence itself. Further physical, emotional, and psychological harm can be avoided when a homeowner hires a professional crime scene cleaner.
Medical and psychological experts broadly agree that if a homeowner elects to undertake crime scene cleaning on his or her own, that individual unnecessarily subjects his or her self to the risk of additional physical, emotional, or psychological harm. Research reveals that even if a crime victim hasn’t endured an emotional and mental health issue like PTSD in the direct aftermath of a crime in his or her home, the added stress of undertaking crime scene cleanup can enhance an individual’s burden to a point that a condition like PTSD develops.
Financial Assistance to Restore Your Home Following a Crime
A victim of a crime may have some ready resources to assist in defraying the expenses associated with crime scene cleaning from a number of resources. When a homeowner is in the market for crime scene cleaners, ascertaining what payment options they accept is a key element when undertaking due diligence in advance of hiring a professional.
One avenue a homeowner needs to explore when considering crime scene cleaners is what insurance coverage a person might have available to cover some of the costs associated with this type of professional service. The starting point here is a homeowner’s insurance policy.
If a person has questions about coverage, an agent, broker, or customer service team should be able to assist. If a homeowner encounters issues regarding coverage for residential crime scene cleaning, that individual can contact the state insurance commissioner or insurance department.
For example, the California Insurance Commissioner has staff members delegated to assist with claims issues. These include matters surrounding a homeowner’s insurance policy and a claim related to residential crime scene cleanup. Other states have similar consumer assistance staff members in their agencies.
The California Victim Compensation Board pays up to $1,000 to go towards the fees of crime scene cleaners. In addition, the agency offers Californians an array of other types of compensation and resources of different types.
During a criminal prosecution, a defendant is going to be ordered to pay restitution to a crime victim if convicted. Similarly, a requirement to pay restitution will be part of any plea agreement. The problem is that while a court will order restitution, in many cases a criminal defendant does not pay this obligation.
In closing, in Southern California as well as across the state and around the country, victims of crime have access to what is known as a victim advocate. A victim advocate assists in maneuvering through the criminal justice system and in protecting a crime victim’s rights. These include assisting a crime victim in accessing resources designed to aid in restoring the integrity of a home following a crime.