Healing

After the trauma of an attack, it may take some time to heal.  Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. Time is the best healer, but in the mean time, there are things you and your loved ones can do to help with moving on. Here are some actions that could help.

Therapy

Depending on the level of the trauma you experience, you may decide to seek therapy for yourself or your loved one.   With dog attacks, there may not only physical scars, but emotional ones too. 

You may now be frightened of dogs, suffer from PTSD, or feel shame or anger at what happened to you.  You may feel alone, that other people, while sympathetic, cannot understand.  If it was your child that was attacked they may be anxious and be triggered around dogs.  An attack from a dog unprovoked can feel like an act of betrayal.  This may affect children in a significant way.  This is why talking with a trained professional can be beneficial.  

Office of Victim Advocate

Pennsylvania established a service called the Office of Victim Advocate (OVA).  They work to provide victims of crime at the community level with post-sentencing services, and receive care and advocacy at an individual level.

Check out their website and click on County Services to get in touch with the victim's service branch in your county.  Often times they are linked through the DA's office.  Even though Dangerous Dog hearings will not go through the DA's office unless there is an appeal, they should still provide you with the services you require.  Their mission statement states 'all victims of crime'.  A dog attacking you or a loved one is a crime.  It may be a good idea to reach out to them sooner than later.  They may offer assistance in criminal court, should you have to go through that.  Every victim's service branch is different.  It doesn't hurt to see what they will provide.  More resources and support is always a good thing!

Helping others

A great way to help you heal from an ordeal is to give back your experience, strength and hope.  This could mean sharing your story, telling someone what it was like for you and how you coped with the aftermath.  While you or your family may never be the same after the attack, hopefully with time you will be stronger and more resilient.  Giving back by sharing your experience to someone who is still suffering can be beneficial to you both.  Please feel free to use this forum for that purpose. It is closed to members only. Who better to help than someone who knows what the dog bite victim is going through? 

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