Being A Crime Victim With Schizophrenia

October 9, 2013 Dan Hoeweler

This August, I was the victim of two burglaries by four rumored gang members. The perpetrators were caught in the act by the Cincinnati Police Force at the scene of the crime. A plea agreement was reached and sentencing will soon be carried out.

Being the victim of a serious crime can be a traumatic event for anyone. The experience was even more difficult for me because it helped to aggravate my Schizophrenia symptoms. Paranoia began to set in soon after the crime, some justified and some unfounded. The boundaries between justifiable paranoia and irrational paranoia began to blend together. Real and imagined danger became one, and I was left cowering in my room.

Schizophrenia Symptoms Worsened After Crimes

Being a crime victim worsened my schizophrenia symptomsThe police investigation and questioning left me in a state of irrationality where I began to believe for several days that my phone lines and computer were tapped, and my actions were being watched. Though this is a far cry from the ominous thought reading aliens of yore, it was still unquestionably a terrifying experience for me.

I am certain that people with Schizophrenia are routinely the victims of violent crimes, yet most victims are simply too afraid to report the crimes to the police. When I was subpoenaed and questioned by the police, my emotions and rationality were tested. I went through with my civic duty and appeared in court despite this, but I would imagine that the stress would be too much for many.

Can People with Schizophrenia Become Crime Victims?

Just because you have Schizophrenia, it does not mean you cannot be the victim of a serious crime. There are several studies that show people with Schizophrenia are at an elevated probability of victimization. (Stigma of Schizophrenia: Myths About Violence and Crime) Many of these same studies show that we are more often the victims of crime than the perpetrators of crime. A statistic that directly contradicts the beliefs of most.

The media and news tend to focus on the rare cases where unmedicated individuals with Schizophrenia commit criminal acts. What they do not report are the thousands of cases where homeless, destitute and disabled people with Schizophrenia are assaulted and murdered by criminals. Those crimes are not seen as newsworthy. Those crimes are not covered.

Reporting Crime, Even If You Have Schizophrenia

If you are the victim of a serious crime and you have Schizophrenia, it is your duty to report it to the police. You should not subject yourself to victimization just because you have Schizophrenia. If the police do not take your testimony seriously, then you should find someone who will advocate the case for you.

I am certain in other criminal cases testimony was thrown out because the victim had Schizophrenia, but not this time. In this case, justice won. The perpetrators were each found guilty of a crime and will receive an appropriate punishment.

Having Schizophrenia does not make you a criminal. It is criminal acts that make you a criminal, a distinction too often overlooked. We do not deserved to be harassed or bullied because of our disability, no more than we deserve to be assaulted or robbed. I deserve my safety and peace as much as the next person.

The perpetrators lived only blocks from me, and the motivation for their crime is unknown. Having been violated, I will likely never feel safe in my home again. No one deserves that, schizophrenic or not.

APA Reference
Hoeweler, D. (2013, October 9). Being A Crime Victim With Schizophrenia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Dan Hoeweler

May, 16 2015 at 3:48 pm

Did they know you were schizophrenic? Street criminals are very social with other street criminals and share deeds tactics and observations. They know people who are mentally ill are easy targets. Just sayin'.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
October, 6 2015 at 11:14 am

Yup, I definitely considered it. Thanks for pointing that out though.

Gurudatt Kundapurkar
December, 19 2013 at 4:07 pm

Dan, I really appreciate your ability to put the entire matter in the right perspective despite your being a victim of crime. Media sensationaling news involving persons coping with mental illness is not only unfair but it contributes to sustain myths and misconceptions about mentally illness. Unless the community at large is supportive of mentally ill, they will only hesitate to report victimisation through crime. However, both the mentally ill and others have the duty of demolishing the myths and misconceptions in a sustained manner. Your blog, I am happy, is part of such a noble mission. Wish you every success.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
January, 12 2014 at 11:41 am

Thank you for your support. It has been hard to deal with moving, and not feeling secure, but it is getting better with time. I hope to start writing again, but somehow this event has taken a lot of spunk out of me over the last several months. It's strange to watch the media portray the mentally ill as criminals, when I myself have personally been victimized several times. It feels almost unreal.

Dr Musli Ferati
December, 7 2013 at 10:16 pm

Your unfortunate experience indicates the veracity that mentally ill people are prone to be victim of violence more than mentally health ones. Instead, common opinion believes that mentally ill person are more violent than others, that compromise the process of recovering of first ones. This misconception render more legal protection of psychotic patients as prerequisite of rehabilitation and resocialization of patient with schizophrenia. Without appropriate rehabilitation and resocialization current complex psychiatric treatment will be sinister and of temporary character, as well. Thus, mental health care system will face with progression of mental destruction of psychotic patient, and the circle of worseness will surround personal, familiar, professional and social welfare of respective mentally ill person. Therefore, it ought to soften this psychosocial calamity by process of continually education of community on real nature of schizophrenia as serious mental disease, with longstanding process of psychiatric treatment and management. Anyone should to be aware of the fact that mentally ill person is humane creature, who deserve to be protected from violence of any type. They differ from other only that they should use psychiatric medication for long time under supervision of clinical psychiatrist. Nothing more! On the contrary, they ought to take part in each social activity, without any social prejudice and stigma. They, also should be secure from legal institutions to any form of crime discharge. By this kind of treatment, the fate of psychotic people would be in satisfied level. This prosperity is welcomed for both: mentally ill patiens and for community, anyhow.

November, 26 2013 at 11:52 pm

The myth that is schizophrenia
It all started at the beginning of 2012 when my grandma was over for a bit of a visit because my home-family was going on a cruise to Mozambique for a week during January 2012. I can remember that I used to hear someone talking to me at the end of a conversation with my grandma, every time we spoke. This one time my grandma came into my room, before the cruise, to greet me and then she asked me what that was on my bedside table and
it was a box of scented, dried flowers but the word that popped in my mind was ''poperee'' as the answer and then a voice said that she had never heard of that word before, in the same voice as my grandma's but she never opened up her mouth to utter those words. Now, im not blaming my grandma for the sounds I've heard in my head but i always felt that something was odd when I spoke with her. So back to the time my grandma visited during early 2012, i was speaking to my grandma in the kitchen and I couldn't help but start hearing voices and sounds that were originating from my head and in the confusion of hearing these loud voices, so loud it's as if someone was talking next to you in full volume, I
began to delude myself into thinking that my thoughts were being broadcast through radio waves and that others could read my thoughts as I was hearing these voices. I was acting completely strange and even ''psychotic''
in that I was trying to explain what was happening to me. And, in my trying to come up with an idea of what the cause of the voices were, I was sent to a mental hospital where I received treatment with medication.
The voices went away and it seemed like I was going to live a normal life and I even went back to college to finish up my diploma in mechanical engineering. But, as fate would have it, as I was working at college on a project for my last year studies I started to hear the voices again and again I went on a creative journey of thinking to explain just where these voices came from because its not exactly normal to be hearing voices of relatives, lecturers and friends. My questioning and explanation brought me to the realisation that its a ghost, spiritual entity that was causing those sounds in my head and every person with ''schizophrenia''. Now, I put schizophrenia in quotation marks because there isn't such a thing as schizophrenia - there might be psychosis but not schizophrenia.
How did I figure out that it's a ghost that has been taunting me all this time?
Well, in communication with this voice, he admitted to me that he is a ghost. A human being that has died and is now living life through the mind of someone else. You don't have to take my word for it Just think about
where the sounds in your head come from while you are reading this passage. I also conducted an experiment, and Steven Hawking always speaks so highly of simple experiments. For this experiment all you have to do is make a high-pitched scream in your head, like a girls' scream and you'll find out that your scream is loud but fades away and soon after
you've started screaming, you can't hear the scream any more. Now what happened to the sound. What I deduced is that,
your mind is integrated with the ghosts power of sound, and images in the mind work the same way where you think it and the ghost shows you. i can't begin to tell you how many times images started moving without me thinking about it, like a dream, except I was wide awake, during the daytime which proves, to me at least, that imagination is aided by these
ghosts. One ghost for each one one of us on earth.
I know how this might sound to a second party reader and I always
hear from people that proof is what is needed to conclude a case and the next step is to get a powerful audio recording device to record the sound that the ghost is putting forth in the mind. There's one thing that you have to keep in mind here, your brain cannot produce sound on its own and that makes reading this passage impossible without the help of the ghost. I can tell you now that I'm not on medication and the loud voices are not here
in my mind any more. Don't the doctors and professionals say that the symptoms of schizophrenia will come back if I'm off my
medication? Well the symptoms aren't back, and even though I still hear soft voices chatting to me while I'm trying to sleep its not severe because I confronted the ghost who is with me. And, as for the people who got falsely
diagnosed with ''schizophrenia'' , hopefully with this information they can too confront their ghosts and live normal lives again.
Sincerely Rodrique Manuel
PS - Talk to your ghost, that's in your mind and ask him or her yes/no questions and see what happens. You'll soon see that what's in your mind is intelligent and can be reasoned with. The only down side is that they will never leave us alone. Good luck

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
January, 12 2014 at 11:44 am

Our minds can have a way of tricking themselves. I never think I am psychotic, when I am psychotic. For some reason that is how it works. I don't understand why, but it is that way.

November, 11 2013 at 8:45 am

Thank you so much

November, 11 2013 at 3:27 am

Hi I have recently discovered my partner has paranoid schizophrenia and is not accepting of it at the minute. We both are really struggling is there anything i can do to protect him and myself. And to help him before he woesens?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
November, 11 2013 at 7:56 am

The first step towards treatment and controlling the illness, is accepting that you have it. I think a lot of people don't want to acknowledge the illness because of the stigma, and also because the disease itself makes it difficult to rationalize properly. I can only imagine that the illness can make relationships more difficult. It is hard enough for healthy people to hold down a relationship this day of age. I can only recommend seeing a doctor and going from that point. I wish you the best.

Mark Miyashiro
October, 15 2013 at 9:19 am

I was talking to my therapist and mention to him that Obama was mocking God. Obama said we could not govern the people by way of the bible, but our laws are based upon biblical principles. Obama quotes Dueteronomy, Leviticus, Sermon on the mount all out of contexts. So my reply to the therapist was I should shoot Obama the uncircumsied philistian with a sling shot. Next week I was arrested for threatening the President. I served 18 moth without any mental health services in federal prison. I have been traumatizes from the incarceration.

terry schumacher
October, 9 2013 at 10:01 pm

I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you. Absolutely no one deserves that. I hope you'll be able to move to a place where you'll feel safer. Safety is as important of a need as food and water.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
October, 11 2013 at 6:19 am

Thanks, it was really horrible. They went in broad daylight, twice in one week. I am still not fully over it. I am moving soon to Asheville, so I can hopefully feel safer again. Thanks Terry.

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