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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77569 Find in a Library
Title: Comparison of Victims' Reactions Across Traumas
Author(s): A Browne
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: RO1MH30147
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following a review of the literature on victim reactions to various traumas, this paper analyzes questionnaires completed by 400 battered women and concludes that their reactions after an attack were similar to the reactions of other victims of trauma.
Abstract: Research on victims of disasters, imprisonment, and crime indicates that such individuals focus on self-protection and survival during the initial impact and exhibit high levels of fear, anxiety, and shock rather than anger and hostility. Apathy and depression are common reactions following a trauma, as well as a tendency to withdraw from reality. Reactions of battered women to the battering incident were surveyed through a 200-page questionnaire administered in a personal interview and psychological tests. The 400 participants were recruited through public announcements and human service agencies in Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota and varied in age, ethnic and racial backgrounds, education, and socioeconomic levels. Their responses appeared to be fairly consistent with those of other types of victims. Approximately 60 percent felt that they could not control the batterer or his behavior and concentrated instead on protecting themselves during the attack. High levels of fear and depression were reported after the battering incidents, but approximately 46 percent also expressed considerable anger. With the exception of shock, the intensity of the women's emotions increased from the first to the third battering incident. Another victim pattern followed by battered women was the tendency to withdraw immediately after the incident rather than to escape or seek help. Responses to questions regarding feelings of guilt or blame were inconsistent in that 58 percent reported feeling guilt and shame after the first battering, while 81 percent stated that the attack was mostly the batterer's fault. Tables summarizing the response data and 28 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Abused women; Battered woman syndrome; Comparative analysis; Psychological victimization effects
Note: Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, Tucson, Arizona, April 11, 1980.
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