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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70283 Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health Services for Victims - Policy Paradigms
Journal: Evaluation and Change  Dated:Special Issue (1980)  Pages:47-54
Author(s): R F Rich; S Stenzel
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Long-term mental health services for victims of crimes and natural disasters and for refugees and their families are needed as well as public education to change victim-blaming attitudes.
Abstract: Victims of crimes, natural disasters, war veterans, refugees, survivors of concentration camps, etc., exhibit similar emotional problems such as feelings of guilt, loss of self-esteem, loneliness and a need to be alone, recurring nightmares, irritability, and hopelessness. These feelings are often transferred to the victims' families. Problems are often a result of, or aggravated by, the traditional assumptions about victims such as blaming the victim for the crime (e.g., Vietnam war veterans who are responsible for the unpopular war). These beliefs, fostered by an earlier social literature, have been reflected in public policies. To remedy this situation, development of outreach programs for the victims and their families, integration of mental health services into the criminal justice system, and the creation of advocacy in victim assistance is needed. Public education, and training of prosecutors, police, and hospital officials should be directed at changing old attitudes and developing greater sensitivity to the needs of victims. New policies should be based on the social science research directed towards articulating the realities of the victim's experience. A table illustrating the compliance of State Crime Victims Compensation Programs with requirements of H.R. 1899 (96th Congress) and references are included.
Index Term(s): Families of crime victims; Long-term victim counseling; Police-victim interaction; Prosecutor-victim interaction; Psychological victimization effects; Societal reactions to crime; Victim reactions to crime; Victim services training; Victim/Witness Advocates
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