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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148631 Find in a Library
Journal: Social Justice Research  Volume:7  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:47-68
Author(s): R Janoff-Bulman; H J Morgan
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 22
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: Based upon an earlier study by one author and a literature review, this study develops a model of victims' responses to traumatic life events.
Abstract: Although the psychological literature has generally equated "deservedness" and "justice," victims' responses to trauma suggest the need to distinguish between the two concepts. Victims usually feel their traumatic experience was undeserved but typically do not consider the outcome in terms of justice or fairness. Rather, their feelings about not deserving the victimization derive from a second type of moral judgment that pertains to caring rather than justice. The authors discuss these two orientations in the context of recent writings on moral reasoning. They present a framework for understanding the trauma of victimization. The shattering of assumptions related to a caring world, in which people are protected from harm, is highlighted in this model. Survivors' efforts to rebuild their assumptions about a caring world depend on social support and specific cognitive strategies used by victims in the aftermath of their victimization. Victims' concerns revolve primarily around questions of caring, not justice. Postvictimization efforts by victims are devoted to rebuilding world views that once again allow the victim to function within a protective sphere of psychological comfort and safety. 69 references
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Psychological victimization effects; Victim attitudes; Victim reactions to crime
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