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NCJ Number: 150267 Find in a Library
Title: Neglected Victims of Murder: Children's Witness to Parental Homicide
Journal: Social Work  Volume:39  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1994)  Pages:28-34
Author(s): S Burman; P Allen-Meares
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report discusses the psychological impacts that children experience if they have witnessed the homicide of a parent. The report presents a case report of two such children, with emphasis on the treatment techniques used.
Abstract: Children who witness parental homicides are emotionally traumatized, stigmatized, and deeply scarred by a terrifying event. They often exhibit debilitating symptoms comparable to those of posttraumatic stress disorder. As attention is focused on the victim and offender, the child witnesses inadvertently become the neglected victims. The two children in the case report were ages 8 and 4 when their father murdered their mother. Their aunt obtained legal guardianship and brought them to the mental health clinic 2 years later. Theories of psychosocial development and social learning guided the assessment and intervention phases. Behavioral and expressive therapeutic treatment strategies helped the children work through the resultant anxiety and underlying grief; family intervention practices served to improve interaction and communication patterns. To continue maintenance of the therapeutic gains, the family was connected with community support organizations. 27 references
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Juvenile witnesses; Marital murder; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Reactions to crime; Victim counseling
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