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NCJ Number: 92783 Find in a Library
Title: Implications of the Victimization Syndrome for Clinical Intervention With Crime Victims
Journal: Personnel and Guidance Journal  Volume:62  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1983)  Pages:219-222
Author(s): D B Kennedy
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews predictable emotional stages that crime victims pass through and proposes crisis intervention techniques to help victims resolve the crisis and grow stronger as a result of their experience.
Abstract: Although the average American usually assesses the gravity of a crime in direct proportion to the amount of physical injury and dollar loss to the victim, studies have established that a victim's suffering is emotional in nature because his or her self, sense of trust, and autonomy have been violated. Victims typically pass through three psychological stages: (1) impact -- a state of emotional shock when they feel numb, vulnerable, and helpless; (2) recoil -- a waxing and waning of tensions when victims are alternately obsessed with thoughts of the crime and blame and then put the incident out of their minds; and (3) reorganization -- emotional equilibrium returns and the victims have sufficient energy to do new things and return to their former selves. A major determinant of the victim's quality of recovery is the support offered by significant others or professional human service workers. A crisis counseling paradigm consisting of four steps seems appropriate for most victims: assessment of the individual and his or her problem, planning the therapeutic intervention, intervention, and resolution of the crisis and anticipatory planning. The therapist must remember that the crisis is centered in the victim's emotional response to the crime rather than the crime itself and that victims commonly delay requests for assistance. In addition, the therapist must help the victim cope with guilt, but be prepared to deal with fantasies of violence and revenge. For victims who are likely to experience a delayed recovery, such as rape victims, the therapist may recommend participation in a self-help group. Approximately 40 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Counseling; Crisis intervention; Psychological victimization effects
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