Crime victims and the social services: Social workers' viewpoint

Author(s)Ljungwald, Carina and Svensson, Kerstin
Title Crime victims and the social services: Social workers' viewpoint.
Source Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology & Crime Prevention; 2007, Vol 8, Issue 2, p138-156, 19p. 2007
Date 2007
Document type Journal article
Coverage Stockhom, Sweden
Summary For this study focus groups were held in Stockholm with social workers to find out how social workers defined and described crime victims, and how they supported them. It was found that when social workers talk about crime victims they primarily talk about weakness and innocence, women and children, and violence, making up a concept of the ideal victim. However it was found that when describing real persons the range of victims was broadened. The category 'crime victim' has not gained acceptance among the social workers participating in the study. Another interesting finding was that the social workers talked about what they could do for crime victims and not how they should assess needs. The social workers also felt that social services are not the right organisation for crime victims. On an individual level, however, it was evident that social services constantly assisted victims of crime, but perhaps categorised differently, using terms such as abused women, or drug abusers. Questions that came out of this study for future research included whether crime victims are helped by being categorised individually as crime victims.
Keywords Support; social workers; social services; women; children; victimisation
Topic Service delivery