“A break and enter of occupied residential premises with forced confinement, assault, or battery of occupants.” That’s how duhaime.org defines “home invasion.”
The keywords here are occupied, forced and occupants.
Those words mean that the perpetrators knew — or didn’t care — that you were home when they broke in. Moreover they very likely hurt you physically or at least made you think they would.
This is quite different from somebody who sneaks in through a window and takes your silverware. Or somebody who jimmies a back door lock and comes in quietly. It’s not the same as a criminal who comes into your home with the intention of raping or murdering you, either (though that could very well happen during a home invasion).
In an FBI bulletin reprinted by the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida, the Federal Bureau of Investigation noted that “Home invasion robbery also represents a formidable challenge to the criminal justice system. As a distinct offense that combines elements of breaking and entering, robbery, and aggravated assault, HIR should not be confused with other crimes.”
In classic cases of home invasion, these folks know — or don’t care — that you’re home. They’re not particularly concerned whether it’s day or night (in fact, most home invasions occur during the day). They force their way in and threaten you while there.”
No wonder this act is so frightening.