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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessing crime victims' coping needs Krakow, Nathan


There is mounting evidence that psychological reactions to criminal victimization can be far more severe, much longerlasting, and recovery less complete than had been originally thought. The plight of crime victims is often compounded by a suspectibility to a 1 'second wound', or aggravation of their distress, arising from the neglect or mistreatment by those whom victims rely on for support. There is, at the same time, evidence that both the criminal justice system and the mental health profession have often been ill-equipped to adequately tend to the needs of this population. Despite a growing research interest in victimization (e.g., social psychology, counselling psychology, psychiatry, criminology), there is a lack of integration of victimization-related research both across and within these disciplines. As a result, those counselling crime victims and their families find insufficient guidance in the literature for intervening with this population. In the aftermath of their misfortune, victims need to regain what was abruptly taken from them (i.e., a sense of safety, trust, agency, self-esteem, intimacy, a sense of the world as meaningful). To facilitate post-trauma counselling, an assessment of crime victims' coping needs is presented in the context of an interventive framework. The framework distinguishes victims' identified needs according to (1) victims' intermediate vs. long-term coping needs, (2) what victims need from others vs. what they can do for themselves, and (3) what victims need from whom. These distinctions serve to operationalize crime victims' adjustment processes. Furthermore, these distinctions require an integration of an otherwise diverse victimization literature.

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