Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

Mental health needs of crime victims: Epidemiology and outcomes

Author(s)Kilpatrick, Dean and Acierno, Ron
Title Mental health needs of crime victims: Epidemiology and outcomes
Source Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol 16 No 2 April 2003 pp. 119-132
Date 2003
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary This paper examines the scope and mental health impact of crime from an epidemiological perspective. Measures of criminal victimisation are derived from two basic types of sources: official government sources and private research. The strengths and limitations of the sources of data are discussed. A review of risk factor literature is presented with the risk of being assaulted considered in terms of gender, age, race, socioeconomic status, prior victimisation history, and other factors. The prevalence of PTSD among crime victims is examined, as well as depression and substance abuse. Risk factors for developing PTSD are explored. Suggestions are provided for future epidemiological research as well as the development of standardised crime and risk factor definitions that can be used at the local, police, and victims service agency levels.
Keywords Mental health; risk factors; epidemiological estimates; posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD; depression; substance abuse; panic
Topic Psychological effects and treatment