This online brochure from the HELP Brochure Series of the federal Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) addresses the characteristics of robbery, identifies victimization needs that frequently occur as a result of robbery, and provides information on services available for victims and how to access them.
The brochure defines robbery as "the taking or attempted taking of anything of value by force or by threat of force from the care, custody, or control of someone." In armed robbery, which is considered the more serious form of robbery, a weapon is used to threaten the victim. Although robbery is considered a property crime, it involves direct, harmful contact with the victim in stealing his/her property. In noting victim harms from robbery, attention is given to psychological and physical harms to the victim in addition to the property loss. Bold confrontation from a stranger who forces you to give up your property under the threat of harm can produce delayed and long-lasting adverse reactions, such as feeling weak and vulnerable, fearful and intimidated when interacting with strangers in isolated settings, and loss of self-confidence in managing personal and family safety. The brochure advises that it is important to deal with the detrimental effects in preferred ways. Trained professionals are available to help victims learn about their rights as a crime victim and the various community services available to address their specific needs. Where cost of services is involved, victims should be provided with information on state and federal victim compensation programs. Statistical data on robbery in the United States are provided, along with a list of contact information for nationwide organizations that assist crime victims.