Homepage|Research|Crisis Information|Hotlines

Secondary Victimization

 

Overview

What is secondary victimization?

Secondary victimization is the re-traumatization of the sexual assault, abuse or rape victim. It is an indirect result of assault which occurs through the responses of individuals and institutions to the victim. The types of secondary victimization include victim blaming, inappropriate behavior or language by medical personel and by other organizations with access to the victim post assault. (Campbell et. al., 1999)

 

Online resources

 

Information about secondary victimization

Student Material to Victim Empowerment: Bridging The Systems Mental Health and Victim Service Providers

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/new/victempow/student/student.txt

"After the trauma of a crime, many report being victimized by the very systems that were designed to help them. The media, health services and criminal justice system can respond to victims of crime in ways that make them feel traumatized again. A counselor can help to reduce the chances of secondary victimization by helping victims to understand their rights. "

 

Secondary injuries

http://www.nycagainstrape.org/survivors_factsheet_49.html#6

"Victims not only have to struggle with primary injuries in the aftermath of the crime, but they must also battle with the "secondary" injuries. Secondary injuries are injuries that occur when there is a lack of proper support. These injuries can be caused by friends, family and most often by the professionals victims encounter as a result of the crime. Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, social service workers, the media, coroners, clergy, and even mental health professionals can cause secondary injuries. Those individuals may lack the ability or training to provide the necessary comfort and assistance to the victim. Often, those individuals blame the victim for the crime. Failing to recognize the importance of the crime or to show sympathy can be damaging to the victim's self-worth and recovery process.

Perhaps the most agonizing experience for victims involves dealing with the criminal justice system if and when an offender is apprehended. At this level, the crime is considered to have been committed against the state, and victims become witnesses to the crimes."

 

Crime Victims and the Media*


"In its rush to be the first with the news, the media can often inflict a "second victimization" upon crime victims or survivors. Common complaints that victims have include: interviewing survivors at inappropriate times; filming and photographing gruesome scenes; searching for the "dirt" about the victim; seeking interviews with friends or neighbors', interviewing or photographing child victims; printing victims' names, addresses or places of employment; and scrutinizing victims' past. After a crime, victims are frequently physically and mentally numb. They are confused and disoriented.


A recent study shows that television news directors agree in principle that crime victims have privacy rights and the individual's right to privacy is not outweighed by the public's desire to know. However, directors are less likely to adhere to this principle if they know a competitor is going to break the story.

While victims have rights when dealing with the media, many yield to media pressures and answer questions that they would not consider answering under other circumstances. In most cases, there are no legal remedies if his or her rights are violated.

The National Victim Center developed this list of rights for victims:


To say "no" to an interview
To select the spokesperson or advocate of the victim's choice
To select the time and location for media interviews
To request a specific reporter
To refuse an interview with a specific reporter even though he or she
has granted interviews to other reporters
To say "no" to an interview even though the victim has previously
granted interviews
To release a written statement through a spokesperson in lieu of an
interview
To exclude children from interviews
To refrain from answering any questions with which the victim is
uncomfortable or that the victim feels are inappropriate
To avoid a press conference atmosphere and speak to only one reporter
at a time
To demand a correction when inaccurate information is reported
To ask that offensive photographs or visuals be omitted from airing or
publication
To conduct a television interview using a silhouette or a newspaper
interview without having a photograph taken
To completely give the victim's side of the story related to the
victimization
To refrain from answering reporters' questions during a trial
To file a formal complaint against a reporter
To grieve in private
"

 

Rape Coverage: Shifting the Blame

"Rape, and in particular acquaintance rape, has become something of a human interest story-of-choice for mainstream newspaper editors recently. But more coverage has usually not meant better."

 

Secondary Victimization from the Criminal Justice System and Society

http://www.victimology.nl/onlpub/hb/node9.html

 

Secondary victimization of rape victims: insights from mental health professionals who treat survivors of violence

 

Secondary Victimization

http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/sexual/Helping_SV.htm

 

Journal articles

Winkel, F., (1991) Rape victims' style of self-presentation and secondary victimization by environment : an experiment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 6(1):29-40. Find this journal title in a library

Abstract:

"Rape victims differ in their style of communicating their experience to others in their environment. The present experiment tests the hypothesis that a numbed style of self-presentation, as compared an emotional one, will result more strongly in secondary victimization by those around her."

 

Campbell R, Raja S. (1999) Secondary victimization of rape victims: insights from mental health professionals who treat survivors of violence. Violence Vict. 14(3):261-75. Link Find this journal title in a library

Abstract:

"Rape victims may turn to the legal, medical, and mental health systems for assistance, but there is a growing body of literature indicating that many survivors are denied help by these agencies. What help victims do receive often leaves them feeling revictimized. These negative experiences have been termed "the second rape" or "secondary victimization." If indeed secondary victimization occurs, then these issues may be raised in rape survivors' mental health treatment. In the current study, probability sampling was used to survey a representative sample of licensed mental health professionals about the extent to which they believe rape victims are "re-raped" in their interactions with social system personnel. Most therapists believed that some community professionals engage in harmful behaviors that are detrimental to rape survivors' psychological well-being. Implications for future research on secondary victimization are discussed."

 

Author Hattendorf, J., & Tollerud, T.R. (1997). Domestic Violence: Counseling Strategies That Minimize the Impact of Secondary Victimization. Journal Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 33(1), 14-23. Find this journal title in a library

Quote:

"This paper reviews developmental factors associated with domestic violence, describes the processes of secondary victimization and traumatic response, and discusses the implications for intervening appropriately with battered women."

 

Golding, Jacqueline M.; Siegel, Judith M.; Sorenson, Susan B.; Burnam, M. Audrey; Stein, Judith A. (1989). Social Support Sources Following Sexual Assault. Journal of Community Psychology. 17 (1). p92-107, 16p. Find this journal title in a library

Abstract

Considerable research suggests that social support plays a crucial rote in coping with stressful life events. The present study used data from 3,132 randomly selected survey respondents to investigate the use and helpfulness of seven potential social support sources in coping with a particular life crisis: sexual assault. About two-thirds or the 447 sexually assaulted respondents had told someone about the assault. Over half had talked to a friend or relative (59.3%). Fewer respondents consulted police (10.5%), mental health professionals (16.1%), physicians (9.3%), clergy (3.9%), rape crisis centers (1.9%), and legal professionals (1.6%). Assault by a stranger, physical threat, fighting against the assailant, a high degree of sexual contact, and emotional distress concerning the assault were associated with talking about the assault, especially with police and physicians. Most of those who told someone found at least one person helpful (13.8%). Rape crisis centers (94.2%) and legal professionals (82.7%) were most frequently described as helpful, followed by mental health professionals (70.1 %), friends and relatives (66.6%). clergy (63.1%), physicians (55.6%). and police (38.2%). Results are compared to previous findings, and implications for research and intervention are discussed.

 

Rape Survivors' Experiences With the Legal and Medical Systems. By: Campbell, Rebecca. Violence Against Women, Jan2006, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p30-45, 16p, 2 charts. link Find this journal title in a library

Abstract

This study used a naturalistic quasi-experimental design to examine whether rape survivors who had the assistance of rape victim advocates had more positive experiences with the legal and medical systems compared to those who did not work with advocates. Eighty-one survivors were interviewed in two urban hospitals about what services they received from legal and medical system personnel and how they were treated during these interactions. Survivors who had the assistance of an advocate were significantly more likely to have police reports taken and were less likely to be treated negatively by police officers. These women also reported less distress after their contact with the legal system. Similarly, survivors who worked with an advocate during their emergency department care received more medical services, including emergency contraception and sexually transmitted disease prophylaxis, reported significantly fewer negative interpersonal interactions with medical system personnel, and reported less distress from their medical contact experiences.

See also : Secondary victimization bibliography (more articles)

 

Books

 

Madigan, L. and Gamble, N. (1991). The Second Rape: Society's Continued Betrayal of the Victim. New York: Lexington Books. Find this in a library

Websdale, N. (1998). Indigenous archaeology: American Rural woman battering and the justice system. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications. Find this in a library

 

Resources to research this subject:

Journals and articles

Search the NCJRS Abstracts Database

Google scholar or Findarticles

Finding books at the library

Online Libraries on sexual assault

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Search terms: revictimization, secondary victimization, Psychic trauma--Social aspects--Handbooks, manuals, Post-traumatic stress disorder--Handbooks, manuals,

Related links: Multiple victimization, Testimonials of secondary victimization, Hate crimes, Invisible community, Victim blame, Prevention,

See also : Secondary victimization bibliography (more articles)

References:

Campbell R, Raja S. (1999) Secondary victimization of rape victims: insights from mental health professionals who treat survivors of violence. Violence Vict. 14(3):261-75

Binder, Charles J.. (2005). Sexual Assault: The Victims, the Perpetrators, and the Criminal Justice System. Corrections Today. 67 (7). p110-110. Review of a book of the same name.

 

Please select a topic from the menu

Books

Websites

Cite this resource

Clear your computer history

Last updated 3/14/06 About.Contact

Find Journal Articles on this subject


Created by MEM

Home| Finding books at the library|Encyclopedias and Dictionaries|Biographies|Books on healing|Statistics|Websites |Films|Journals and articles |Bibliographies|Online Libraries|Victim blame|Theories |Privacy|Grants|Crisis hotlines| Crisis Information |Rape crisis sites|Rape crisis centers|Help rape victims|N.C. rape crisis resources|Message boards|Suicide hotlines|Louisiana|Victim Assistance|PTSD |OCD|DID|Eating disorders and rape|Self Injury|Health and emergency contraception|Therapy|Online therapy |Date rape drugs|Lesbian sexual assault|Feminist|Petitions|War and rape|Partners|Male survivors|Victim Assistance|Created by|More Information|Blog|Community thank you rainn

 

 


Search this site

hosted by ibiblio

The author is not responsible for any contents linked or referred to from his or her pages - unless s/he has full knowledge of illegal contents and would be able to prevent the visitors of his site from viewing those pages. If any damage occurs by the use of information presented there, only the author of the respective pages might be liable, not the one who has linked to these pages. Furthermore the author is not liable for any postings or messages published by users of discussion boards, guestbooks or mailinglists provided on his or her page. The author is not a psychiatrist or physician / medical doctor or legal attorney of any sort. This website is not intended to replace medical, psychiatric or legal care. Please seek professional attention as needed.The Information provided is not intended to replace obtaining medical evaluations and health care advice from qualified health care providers. This site's owners are providing Information for reference only, and do not intend said Information to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions, or for any other purposes.The owner/author of this site MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF SAID INFORMATION, OR THE FITNESS OF THE INFORMATION TO BE USED FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, LOSS, EXPENSE, OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND TO USER, OR TO ANY THIRD PARTY, RELATED TO THE USE OF SAID INFORMATION. Persons accessing any Information of the rape crisis information web site, directly or indirectly, assume full responsibility for the use of the Information and understand and agree that the author of rape crisis information is not responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising from the use of said Information.

Rape Crisis Information Pathfinder, UNC Chapel Hill, N.C., http://www.ibiblio.org/rcip/