Women's experiences of victimization and survival

Author(s)Severson, Margaret, Postmus, Judy L, and Berry, Marianne
Title Women's experiences of victimization and survival
Source Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare Jun 2009, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p145-167
Date 2009
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary The literature suggests links between childhood and adult experiences of victimisation and youth and adult outcomes such as substance abuse and involvement in abusive relationships. This study was designed to address existing research gaps by investigating in a large sample of both incarcerated and non-incarcerated women three key issues: prevalence rates of violence in these different samples; the relationship between youth or adult victimisation and adult outcomes; and the life events in adolescence and adulthood, and other intervening factors such as coping skills and social supports that may be related to adult outcomes. The results showed that rates of victimisation and the co-occurrence reported in this study are high across all types of victimisation and across all samples. Incarcerated women reported higher rates of victimisation in all areas except physical intimate personal violence. Results also found that there were significant differences between the groups in their use of adaptive coping strategies and their level of social support. It was found that generally women receiving services report better adaptive coping skills but less perceived social support. Suggestions for future research include a similar exploration of adolescent girls and more exploration into the role of culture, ethnicity and race and their relationship to the experience of victimisation.
Keywords Victimisation; women; mental health; outcomes; experiences; services
Topic Psychological effects and treatment