skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 114800 Find in a Library
Title: Aftermath of Crime: A Mental Health Crisis
Project Director: A W Burgess; R F Rich
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 17
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document examines the emotional and psychological effects of victimization, factors influencing these effects, optimal treatment and service delivery methods and systems, and research needs.
Abstract: Short-term effects of victimization may include shock, denial, temporary paralysis, withdrawal, helplessness and despair, anger, confusion, and anxiety. Post-acute symptoms may include agitation, insomnia, loss of identity and self-respect, and erosion of trust and autonomy. Long-term reactions include chronic stress, self-blame, depression, alienation, and sense of loss. Co-victims, such as family members, may experience similar symptoms. Each stage of reaction may require separate assessment and treatment. Treatments may include crisis intervention, and interventions reflecting specific peer identification (i.e., age, gender, and offense specificity). Victim services are needed at eight states of victim need: emergency response, victim stabilization, resource mobilization, post-arrest, precourt and court appearances, and pre- and post-sentencing. Response to victimization requires a comprehensive, multidimensional approach that emphasizes coordination of all aspects of the community victim-service network. Services also should be cognizant of factors that facilitate effective coping with victimization, including early denial, information seeking, role rehearsal, anticipating and devaluating failure, and combining optimism and realism. Programs also need to consider the role of substance abuse as a victimization risk factor and a factor in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, research is needed in such areas as victim help-seeking, treatment effectiveness, needs of minority and at-risk populations, substance abuse, and mental health services. Recommendations for service delivery, professional standards and training, financial support, and research are included.
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Needs assessment; Psychological victimization effects; Victim counseling; Victim reactions to crime; Victim services training
Note: Final statement of the Assessment Panel From A Services Research and Evaluation Colloquium, February 28 - March 3, 1985, Washington Marriott Hotel, Washington, DC.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.