Victims' response to trauma and implications for interventions: A selected review and synthesis of the literature

Author(s)Hill, James
Title Victims' response to trauma and implications for interventions: A selected review and synthesis of the literature.
Source Report prepared for the Department of Justice Canada Nov 2003.
Date 2003
Document type Research report
Coverage Canada
URL http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/rs/rep-rap/2003/rr03_vic2/index.html
Summary The focus of this literature review and synthesis was to identify cognitive changes that are related to crime victimisation and relate this to clinical issues around interventions. The author considers the many different ways a person may react to crime and the likely psychological effects, such as experiencing fear, anger, embarrassment, disruptions in feelings of control, feelings of anxiety and intrusive memories. The author also examines a model that delineates the stages in the victimisation process. Crime severity and other crime characteristics such as use of a weapon and pre-victimisation characteristics, including abuse history, often affect how a victim faces the challenges. It is noted that victims do not go back to a pre-victimised state, but are forever changed by victimisation. The focus of the clinical research on PTSD, anxiety and depression is examined and some possible strategies to use in addressing trauma in victims, such as Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TMC), are evaluated. Further research is suggested regarding examination of vicarious traumatisation on natural supports and research on the utility of CISM and TMC to crime victims.
Keywords Psychological effects; mental health; psychological changes; cognitive change; interventions
Topic Psychological effects and treatment