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Do trials of perpetrators retraumatize crime victims?


Orth, Ulrich; Maercker, Andreas (2004). Do trials of perpetrators retraumatize crime victims? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(2):212-27.

Abstract

Attendance at trials of perpetrators could be retraumatizing for crime victims suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. To investigate this hypothesis, two studies were conducted in which retraumatization was defined as a significant increase in posttraumatic stress reactions. A cross-sectional study of 137 victims of rape and nonsexual assault revealed that trial variables do virtually not predict posttraumatic stress reactionsat a time several years after trial. A longitudinal study of 31 victims of rape and nonsexual assault revealed intraindividual stability of posttraumatic stress reactions for the time interval from a few weeks before the trial to a few weeks after the trial; in addition, interindividual stability was high. The results of both studies do not support the retraumatization hypothesis, which should therefore be used with caution.

Abstract

Attendance at trials of perpetrators could be retraumatizing for crime victims suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. To investigate this hypothesis, two studies were conducted in which retraumatization was defined as a significant increase in posttraumatic stress reactions. A cross-sectional study of 137 victims of rape and nonsexual assault revealed that trial variables do virtually not predict posttraumatic stress reactionsat a time several years after trial. A longitudinal study of 31 victims of rape and nonsexual assault revealed intraindividual stability of posttraumatic stress reactions for the time interval from a few weeks before the trial to a few weeks after the trial; in addition, interindividual stability was high. The results of both studies do not support the retraumatization hypothesis, which should therefore be used with caution.

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27 citations in Web of Science®
38 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2004
Deposited On:31 Oct 2012 14:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:02
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0886-2605
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260503260326
PubMed ID:15006002

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