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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 68695 Find in a Library
Title: SENSITIZING WORKERS TO THE NEEDS OF VICTIMS - COMMON WORKER AND VICTIM RESPONSES
Journal: VICTIMOLOGY  Volume:4  Issue:4  Dated:(1979)  Pages:385-389
Author(s): M ALPERT; S SCHECHTER
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: BY EXPLORING THE EMOTIONAL REACTIONS AND SIMILARITIES BETWEEN VICTIMS AND SOCIAL WORKERS, THE LATTER CAN ATTAIN A GREATER SENSE OF EMPATHY TOWARD THEIR VICTIMIZED CLIENTS.
Abstract: VICTIMS AND THE WORKERS OFTEN EXPERIENCE SIMILAR EMOTIONS. UNFORTUNATELY, BECAUSE THESE SHARED EMOTIONS ARE OFTEN EXTREMELY STRESSFUL FOR BOTH COUNSELORS AND CLIENTS, WORKERS TEND TO BLOCK AWARENESS OF SUCH FEELINGS. TRAINING PROGRAMS HAVE BEGUN TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE BY HELPING WORKERS LEARN MORE ABOUT VIOLENCE AND THEIR OWN REACTIONS TO IT IN ORDER TO RE-EXAMINE THE NEEDS OF BOTH WORKERS AND VICTIMS. ALTHOUGH THEORETICAL DATA IS TAUGHT ABOUT CRISIS INTERVENTION AND STAGES OF CRISIS RESOLUTION, THE PROGRAMS EMPHASIZE THE EXPERIENTIAL APPROACH. SENSITIZING EXERCISES FOCUSING ON THE WORKERS' OWN VICTIMIZATION AND MOURNING EXPERIENCES ARE EMPLOYED. THESE ENABLE WORKERS TO UNDERSTAND THEIR OWN VULNERABILITIES AND REACTIONS TO VICTIMIZATION, MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT TO LABEL AND BLAME THEIR CLIENTS. OTHER EXERCISES ALLOW WORKERS TO CLARIFY THEIR FEELINGS OF GUILT, ANGER, AND FRUSTRATION AT VICTIMS, ARISING IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN CLIENTS FAIL TO LIVE UP TO THE WORKERS' EXPECTATIONS. BY ACKNOWLEDGING THE EXISTENCE OF SUCH FEELINGS, A WORKER CAN HELP VICTIMS UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY AND OTHERS ARE EXPERIENCING. WORKERS SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO BE AWARE OF THEIR REACTIONS AND THEIR STEREOTYPING, KNOW RESOURCES THOROUGHLY, STAY INVOLVED WITH OTHERS DOING SIMILAR WORK, AND LISTEN CLOSELY TO THE CONCERNS OF THEIR CLIENTS. IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WORKERS UNDERSTAND WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO BE HELPFUL TO VICTIMS, AND THIS NECESSITATES ONGOING INSERVICE AND STAFFING SESSIONS.
Index Term(s): In-service Training; Social psychology; Social workers; Studies; Victim services training; Victimology
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68695

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