Psychological Effects of Victimization

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Psychological Effects of Victimization A person who experiences a traumatic event may be expected to experience a range of psychological effects, and, for many years, it was assumed that these psychological effects would be the same regardless of the cause of the injury. However, a growing body of knowledge is demonstrating that the impact of criminal victimization is different than the impact of other types of injuries because the intent element makes a difference in how the victim perceives the harm. In addition, victims of different crimes may respond differently to victimization. The psychological effects of victimization are important because they can help guide the criminal justice system for how to interact with victims and how to make the process more victim-appropriate. For example, victims of violent crimes, like sexual assaults, may benefit more from a victim-centered criminal justice approach than victims of other types of crimes (Resick, 1987). However, one of the problems with the traditional approach to victimology is that it has distinguished between different groups of victims. Emerging research suggest that victim needs are similar across the entire spectrum of crime, particularly the victims' needs for information about the crime and the needs for financial restitution to make them whole (ten Boom & Kuijpers, 2012). Almost all victims of crime feel some element of shock. While the shock normally fades after a short period of time, it can be
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