Am I a witness?

What is it?

When violence or a crime happens there are, at least, two figures present:

  • the VICTIM - person (or people) targeted by the violence or abuse committed by one (or more than one) offender in a specific situation.
  • the OFFENDER - person or group who act(s) violently or aggressively against a victim or group of victims.

    Depending on the circumstances there may be WITNESSES.


  • The people who have seen, heard or lived closely with a situation of violence or crime.
  • The people who have tried to intervene in order to resolve the situation or to help the victim.
  • The people who have become aware of what happened due to contacts with the victim (or the offender) or because of the close relationship with one of them (or both).



Being a WITNESS can be a disturbing experience:

  • they may feel that their own life (or the victim’s life) is in danger;
  • they may feel afraid that something bad might happen to them or the victim;
  • the experience can have a negative impact on their emotional and psychological well-being.

    EXAMPLE: when we hear or see verbal or physical offences between our relatives.


Witnesses may also be VICTIMS of crime or violence when, while helping to resolve the situation or to protect the victim, they suffer negative reactions (e.g. physical aggression) on the part of the person who is being violent.

EXAMPLE: when we witness a robbery on the street and the mugger, after becoming aware of our presence, tries to frighten, threaten or attack us.



If you witness any violent situation or crime, there are things you can do to help.
For more information search on What should I do?