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Abstract

This exploratory study investigated whether rape victims’ subjective perceptions of whether to proceed with legal action were associated with their experience of disclosing to the police during their initial interview. Specifically, the study investigated associations between symptoms of PTSD, shame and self-blame post-rape, subjective perceptions of police empathy and subjective perception of victims’ intentions to take the case to court. Participants (N = 22) were found to have elevated levels of PTSD severity, shame and self-blame. Police empathy was positively correlated with victims’ ratings of likelihood of taking the case to court, and negatively correlated with PTSD severity and shame. These preliminary findings suggest that training police officers how to respond more empathically to psychologically distressed rape victims may potentially help reduce victim attrition rates. KeywordsRape–Attrition–PTSD–Shame–Self-blame–Empathy

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... The ability to understand others' situations and intentions (i.e., empathy or Theory of Mind (ToM)) involves being able to perceive events or phenomena from the point of view of another person (Baron-Cohen et al., 2015). Possessing this capacity is important when dealing with difficult situations, such as when dealing with a victim or a suspected perpetrator at a crime scene (Beauregard et al., 2007;Maddox et al., 2011) or when trying to de-escalate a conflict (Abanonu, 2018). ...
... Police need to demonstrate empathy also when working with crime victims (e.g., Maddox et al., 2011;Inzunza, 2022). This seems to be a somewhat challenging ability to learn for police students because the identity formation process that takes place within the profession struggles to treat vulnerable citizens appropriately (Charman, 2019). ...
... Within the police profession, it is often emphasized that to function well in daily work routines it is important to be prepared for complex and emotionally challenging situations with citizens in different contexts (Romosiou et al., 2019). Some examples of such situations include de-escalating conflict situations (Abanonu, 2018), interacting with victims of crime at crime scenes (Maddox et al., 2011), interrogating individuals with hidden agendas (Strömwall and Willén, 2011), or conducting investigative interviews of victims (Jakobsen, 2021). When facing these complex contact situations, there are several processes at work, both cognitive and emotional, and it is valuable to understand better how they are related. ...
Article
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Purpose Empathy has been widely theorized as an important ability in professions such as policing, in which to perform well individuals require multiple and interacting abilities, not least when resolving conflict situations. Even so, there are few studies investigating how subconstructs of empathy relate to other constructs such as general cognitive ability. The purpose of this paper is to establish, after evaluating psychometric properties, relationships among measures of empathy and cognitive ability in a sample of Swedish police students ( n = 157). Design/methodology/approach Multiple latent variable models of how the different measures work to predict tasks that can be seen as proxies for the ability to understand another person’s situation and intentions are evaluated to determine the most robust relationship(s) within the data. Findings We find support for the psychometric properties reported in previous studies with the used instruments. We also find support for perspective-taking, a cognitive empathy subconstruct predicting the ability to recognize emotions, and also the affective part of empathy, predicting general cognitive ability. These findings are discussed at length in the paper. Originality/value This research adds more knowledge to the issue of how general cognitive ability relates to cognitive empathy and other subconstructs of empathy or Theory of Mind.
... All participants described how they felt a strong sense of empathy with the victim. Previous research stresses empathy as an essential resource in meeting with victims (Figley, 1995;Maddox, Lee & Barker, 2011). However, empathic reactions to other's distress also risk the increased emergence of internalizing problems within the professional (Tone & Tully, 2014). ...
... It has also been linked to positive interpersonal and intrapsychic outcomes such as increased social engagement (Tone & Tully, 2014). Previous research has addressed the importance of empathy in meeting with victims of rape (Maddox et al., 2011). For example, victims who perceived POs as empathetic were more likely to continue with the legal process (Jordan, 2015;Maddox et al., 2011) and disclose more information (Greeson et al., 2014). ...
... Previous research has addressed the importance of empathy in meeting with victims of rape (Maddox et al., 2011). For example, victims who perceived POs as empathetic were more likely to continue with the legal process (Jordan, 2015;Maddox et al., 2011) and disclose more information (Greeson et al., 2014). However, research also shows that empathetic reactions to another's distress can increase the risk of internalizing problems in professionals (Tone & Tully, 2014) and contribute to their sharing the victim's feelings and symptoms (Turgoose et al., 2017). ...
Article
Professionals who work with traumatized individuals can develop secondary traumatization (ST). Little research has focused on ST among police officers and medical personnel who meet with raped women. Based on focus groups with these professionals (N = 28), a deductive thematic analysis was conducted with a focus on ST. Participants described listening to stories with traumatic content, and they showed signs of cognitive and emotional changes. They also described a lack of support, forcing them to find both constructive and destructive ways of coping on their own. Negative effects may lead professionals to continue working without understanding how they are affected. This can hinder professionals from taking care of themselves as well as from offering proper treatment to the victims they meet.
... Researchers investigating the impact of shame on distress among sexual assault victims have commonly examined three types of shame: assault-related shame (e.g., Feiring & Taska, 2005), general shame (e.g., Vidal & Petrak, 2007), and shame proneness (e.g., Stuewig & McCloskey, 2005). Although related (e.g., Feiring & Taska, 2005;Maddox et al., 2011), there are nuanced differences among them. Commonly conceptualized as a trait (as opposed to state or feeling of shame in the moment), shame proneness refers to the individual differences in the extent to which people experience shame across a range of situations (Lewis, 1971). ...
... These results suggest that specific victim-blaming attributions about sexual assault, either by the victim themselves or by the disclosure recipient, may be internalized by the victim and funneled into assault-related shame (and not general shame), which could then lead to PTSD and depression. While studies have found positive associations between general shame and blame (e.g., Zinzow & Thompson, 2011), these findings may be explained by the significant association between general shame and assault-related shame (Maddox et al., 2011). Additionally, the studies that found positive associations between blame and general shame did not assess assault-related shame (e.g., Zinzow & Thompson, 2011). ...
... Additionally, the studies that found positive associations between blame and general shame did not assess assault-related shame (e.g., Zinzow & Thompson, 2011). While Maddox et al. (2011) assessed both general shame and assault-related shame, the authors combined the two constructs into one variable, and thus the individual role of general shame and assault-related shame could not be examined. Given the state of the literature, the impact of general shame on distress may be overestimated due to shared variance with assault-related shame. ...
Article
Objective: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are highly prevalent among rape victims. Both blame (self-blame and victim-blaming responses to rape disclosure) and shame are frequently elevated among rape victims and contribute to PTSD and depression. However, it is unclear which type of shame is relevant. The aim of the current study was to examine the indirect effect of self-blame and victim blame on PTSD and depression via rape-related shame and general shame, in the presence of shame proneness and rape characteristics. Method: Online questionnaires were completed by 229 women who experienced adult rape and had disclosed to at least one person. Results: Findings revealed distinct patterns for PTSD and depression. For PTSD, there was a significant indirect effect of victim blame (and self-blame) via rape-related shame but not via general shame. In contrast, for depression, there was a significant indirect effect of victim blame (and self-blame) via both rape-related shame and general shame. Conclusion: Results emphasized the importance of considering the type of shame (i.e., rape-related shame and general shame) when explaining PTSD and depression among women who experienced rape. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... As the central witness in the post-sexual assault/rape institutional process, a victim who chooses to engage with the criminal justice system will likely be impacted in some way by their interactions with police. While no doubt some have been fortunate enough to have had positive experiences (Elliot et al., 2012;Frazier & Haney, 1996;Johnson, 2015;Lievore, 2003Lievore, , 2005Temkin, 1997), ample research has pointed to less than satisfying involvements (e.g., Lievore, 2005) and the often real possibility of a secondary victimization or re-traumatization created by negative interactions with law enforcement (see e.g., Campbell, 2008;Campbell & Raja, 1999;Jordan, 2008;Lievore, 2003Lievore, , 2005Maddox et al., 2011;Madigan & Gamble, 1991;Maier, 2008;Mulla, 2014;Parsons & Bergin, 2010;Patterson, 2011;Spencer et al., 2018;Spohn & Tellis, 2012). Secondary trauma may stem from factors including a distressing sense that officers were not considerate of their feelings and opinions (Johnson, 2015), as well as the demonstration of attitudes that doubt, stigmatize, blame, or shame (Ahrens, 2006;Campbell, 2008;Campbell & Raja, 1999;Lievore, 2005;Lonsway, 2010;Maddox et al., 2011;Maier, 2008Maier, , 2014Patterson, 2011;Spencer et al., 2018;Temkin, 1997;Venema, 2016Venema, , 2018. ...
... While no doubt some have been fortunate enough to have had positive experiences (Elliot et al., 2012;Frazier & Haney, 1996;Johnson, 2015;Lievore, 2003Lievore, , 2005Temkin, 1997), ample research has pointed to less than satisfying involvements (e.g., Lievore, 2005) and the often real possibility of a secondary victimization or re-traumatization created by negative interactions with law enforcement (see e.g., Campbell, 2008;Campbell & Raja, 1999;Jordan, 2008;Lievore, 2003Lievore, , 2005Maddox et al., 2011;Madigan & Gamble, 1991;Maier, 2008;Mulla, 2014;Parsons & Bergin, 2010;Patterson, 2011;Spencer et al., 2018;Spohn & Tellis, 2012). Secondary trauma may stem from factors including a distressing sense that officers were not considerate of their feelings and opinions (Johnson, 2015), as well as the demonstration of attitudes that doubt, stigmatize, blame, or shame (Ahrens, 2006;Campbell, 2008;Campbell & Raja, 1999;Lievore, 2005;Lonsway, 2010;Maddox et al., 2011;Maier, 2008Maier, , 2014Patterson, 2011;Spencer et al., 2018;Temkin, 1997;Venema, 2016Venema, , 2018. Such reactions can lead a victim to a "silencing" of her own narrative (Ahrens, 2006), one over which she typically already loses much control in the criminal justice process (Lievore, 2005). ...
... Victims who are confronted with secondary victimization may also be less likely to seek out necessary post-assault mental and physical health supports (Patterson, 2011). Conversely, Maddox et al. (2011) reported that those victims who perceived the police they interacted with as empathetic exhibited reduced symptoms of PTSD and shame (see also, Henninger et al., 2020). Clearly, the impacts of negative or positive engagement with the criminal justice system, particularly the police, can be of great significance for a victim's well-being. ...
Article
Full-text available
Police are central to the statutory response to sexual violence, shaping the direction an investigation may take. Evidence provided by victims is also key to the processing of sexual assault cases. From a 2013 comparative qualitative study involving interviews with police officers in one province in Canada ( n = 11) and one region in Scotland ( n = 10) who investigate such cases, we discovered striking unanticipated differences between the two groups in terms of how they perceived victims and the evidence they provide. This paper presents a thematic analysis of these data and considers possible implications and explanations.
... Similarly, shortcomings in response to sexual assault (SA) have been demonstrated through a national backlog of untested forensic medical exams in U.S. cities (Campbell et al., 2017) and high rates of case attrition (Morabito et al., 2019). Also, SA victims who have contacted police have reported experiencing disbelief and stigma, producing secondary victimization and discouraging victim cooperation (Campbell, 2008;Lorenz et al., 2019;Maddox et al., 2011;Patterson, 2011aPatterson, , 2011b. ...
... Police have regular contact with DV and SA victims and possess the ability to influence case processing (Campbell, 2008;Maddox et al, 2011;Patterson, 2011aPatterson, , 2011b. Moreover, scholars have argued that police may draw upon existing frameworks or schema to inform decisions surrounding the need for intervention (Robinson, 2000;Watson et al., 2014). ...
... Police may respond to gender violence in ways that are belittling and disenfranchising because schema could suggest these incidents are not intervention-worthy offenses. Alternatively, positive police responses to DV and SA victims consist of compassion and empathy (Maddox et al., 2011), which can include the decision to provide service referrals and involve victim advocates. ...
Article
Limited research exists on police officers’ service provision for sexual and domestic violence survivors after they formally report. This study used surveys from 452 commissioned officers at an urban police department in one of the five largest and most diverse U.S. cities to examine police perceptions of victim advocates, self-reported frequency of referral, and predictors of service referral among police. Findings revealed officers were relatively likely to provide referrals and held somewhat favorable attitudes of advocates. Knowledge of services and positive perceptions of advocates increased the frequency of service referral to victims. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
... In the case of formal support providers, there may be instances where their other professional responsibilities, for example obtaining an account within a certain timeframe, get in the way of offering the type of support that a victim would find helpful. Additionally, in the case of both types of support provider, it may be that they are unaware that the response they are giving is unhelpful, and it is possible that the distressing nature of sexual assault means that victims are less able to recognise positive responses in the people that they disclose to (Maddox, Lee & Barker, 2011). ...
... The findings indicate that there was a significant increase in officers' feelings of empathy towards the depicted victims, the amount they believed their accounts and their rating of severity of assault, which suggests an improvement in their attitudes to victims. This is encouraging given the importance that victims place on officer empathy when considering whether to take their case forward to court proceedings (Maddox et al., 2011) and also when thinking about the damaging psychological and physical consequences that can occur when victims do not feel that they are believed (see lit review). ...
... Many of the senior officers we met with during the initial phases of setting up this project, however, expressed concern that their staff were already well-trained in this area. They also did not necessarily share our view that further training might be beneficial, despite previous research indicating that officers often mislabel symptoms of PTSD as indicators of lying (Maddox et al., 2012) and the important link between police officers' empathy and victim PTSD and presentational style (Maddox et al., 2011). ...
Conference Paper
This thesis focuses on how sexual assault victims are viewed by the police and is presented in three sections. The work was part of a joint project conducted with another DClinPsy trainee, David Turgoose (Turgoose, 2015). The literature review considers research which examines the psychological and physical consequences for victims of rape and sexual assault who receive a negative reaction from others to their disclosure of their experience. The most common effect of a negative reaction was an increase in the likelihood of victims’ experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Additionally, a link between negative reactions to disclosure and other psychological and physical difficulties were found. The empirical paper reports on a quantitative study exploring the outcome of a PTSD training programme for specialist police officers working with victims of rape. Officers’ knowledge and attitudes improved immediately following the training, however these changes were not maintained at follow-up. The majority of officers found the training useful, potentially indicating that further clinical psychology collaboration with the police would be helpful. The critical appraisal reflects on the process of completing this research, with a focus on the challenges of collaborating with the police and the way in which those were negotiated. Additionally, more general considerations of the challenges of conducting research are discussed.
... A growing body of research suggests that victims' experiences of engaging with professional services, including police, could have a big impact on attrition rates in rape cases. For example, the amount of empathy that victims perceive in their investigating police officer has been associated with the likelihood of them deciding to continue with the prosecution process and go to court (Maddox, Lee & Barker, 2011). Patterson (2011) suggested that victims who were made to feel more comfortable with their interviewing officer were more likely to disclose more information. ...
... López-Pérez, Ambrona, Gregory, Stocks & Oceja, 2013;May, 2013). Previous research suggests that police empathy can be important in the engagement of rape victims in legal prosecution and court processes (Maddox et al., 2011). ...
... The relationship between empathy and compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress is not clear and requires further investigation. It is important to investigate any factors that might be affecting police officers' ability to feel and display empathy, especially given the importance of empathy when interviewing rape victims (Maddox et al., 2011). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aims: This study examined whether compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout in police officers who interview rape victims were associated with empathy and years of service. It also evaluated a brief training intervention which aimed to teach officers about these concepts and impart self-help strategies for managing stress. Method: 142 specialist police officers attended the training intervention and completed measures of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, burnout, dispositional and situational empathy, and knowledge. Measures were completed immediately before the training and at 8-10 week follow-up. Results: There were no associations between empathy and compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress. High dispositional empathy was associated with low burnout. Compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout increased the longer participants had been in their occupational role. Participants’ knowledge and awareness of these concepts increased following the training. Conclusions: The findings do not support the hypothesised association between empathy and compassion fatigue, within a police population. They do suggest a higher risk of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout after more years in trauma-related job roles. Longitudinal research is required to further explore these relationships. Training interventions and more organisational support may be useful for helping police officers who work with sexual assault victims. Further research should test the effectiveness of such interventions and self-help strategies and how they might best be embedded within the systemic context.
... A plethora of research has shown how important criminal justice figures, especially police officers who hold a significant "gate-keeping" role, are misguided by this belief (Frazier and Haney 1996;Spohn and Tellis 2019). Research by Maddox et al. (2011) investigating police perceptions of IPR discovered that 40% of officers believed a victim to be more credible if she reported her attack immediately afterwards. It is important to recognize here that UK government estimates and independent academic research universally agree that less than one in six victims of sexual violence will ever formally report their experiences to the authorities (ONS 2018; Waterhouse et al. 2016;Widanaralalage et al. 2022). ...
... As is likely expected from the persistent and pervasive nature of rape myths, the existence of rape-supportive attitudes is detrimental to the fairness of the criminal justice system and impartiality mantra preached in the context of trial juries. A wealth of existing research indicates that justice professionals, police practitioners, and legal decision makers endorse problematic misconceptions pertaining to intimate partner violence (Hester and Lilley 2017;Maddox et al. 2011;Nielsen et al. 2018). The possible consequences of these myths are therefore important to consider. ...
Article
Full-text available
The focus of this paper is to highlight and review evidence surrounding common Intimate Partner Rape (IPR) myths, their prevalence in society, and identify those who are most likely to endorse such beliefs. Six core IPR myths are discussed related to misconceptions surrounding (1) women’s decisions to remain in abusive relationships, (2) why women delay or never report IPR, (3) women’s perceived motivations when an IPR report is made, (4) a perceived lack of trauma that occurs as a consequence of this type of rape, (5) male sexual entitlement within intimate relationships, and (6) whether it is even possible to rape a marital partner. This article draws together a wealth of studies and research that evidence why such IPR myths are indeed factually inaccurate and examines how victims, justice professionals, police practitioners, and legal decision-makers endorsement of false beliefs pertaining to intimate partner rape serve to hinder various justice pathways. We discuss the consequences of rape mythology in so far as they create social barriers that prohibit the reporting of rape, impact upon the progression of an allegation through the criminal justice system and ultimately, obstruct rape victims’ access to justice. The review concludes by considering evidence regarding the possible benefits of education interventions in reducing the problematic influence of rape myths.
... Police officers may use victims' expressive emotions as a basis for victim credibility and truthfulness (Ask, 2010;Franklin et al., 2020;Maddox et al., 2011), which can affect attributions of culpability. Misconceptions of trauma, therefore, was assessed with an initial pool of 9 items generated from Ask's (2010) Beliefs About Crime Victim Behavior Scale. ...
... Results indicated stronger adherence to trauma misperceptions increased attributions of culpability directed toward male SSIPV victims. Prior research has suggested victims who did not present in the expected behavioral manner may be perceived as being deceptive, manipulative, not credible, or unworthy of criminal justice intervention (Ask, 2010;Maddox et al., 2011). This may be confounded for male SSIPV victims as they have suffered from issues of legitimacy and credibility when formally reporting (Baker et al., 2013;Callan et al., 2021;Potoczniak et al., 2003) potentially leading increased assignment of blame among police officers. ...
Article
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has garnered the attention of scholars, policymakers, and social justice actors for several decades. Shortcomings in police response to IPV may be related to police attributions of victim culpability. A dearth of research has assessed police officers’ assignment of blame, responsibility, and causality directed toward IPV victims, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+. Using a randomly assigned, experimental vignette design, the current study employed surveys from a sample of 305 police officers commissioned at a sizeable police department in one of the most populous and diverse U.S. cities to (1) assess culpability attributions directed toward same-sex IPV (SSIPV) victims, (2) determine whether culpability attributions differed between male and female SSIPV victims, (3) examine officer demographic, occupational, attitudinal, and experimental predictors of IPV culpability attributions directed toward SSIPV victims, and (4) assess differences in predictors of culpability between male and female SSIPV victims. Results from the current study suggest police officers attributed average levels of culpability toward SSIPV victims and levels were not significantly different between male and female SSIPV victims. Adherence to heteronormative IPV myths and trauma misperceptions increased police officers’ attributions of culpability directed toward same-sex victims. Presence of physical evidence decreased culpability attributions among police officers. Educational programming developed for police officers should focus on the dynamics of IPV and cultural competency. Future research should continue to explore police officers’ perceptions of and responses to SSIPV incidents.
... Social support has been found to mediate psychological adjustment following abuse (Maddox et al., 2011). The psychological outcomes of women who disclose their experiences of sexual abuse seem to depend on whether or not the listener is supportive and empathetic (Campbell et al., 2006), with extensive research showing that women who have been raped are often revictimized by the medical and legal systems they turn to for help (Patterson et al., 2009). ...
... Women who have been raped need and deserve social support (Maddox et al., 2011) and an empathetic listener (Campbell et al., 2006); therefore, the need for continuity and psychosocial support should not be overlooked. Our participants made every effort to support the women before and during examinations, but they emphasized that the women needed more than that. ...
Article
Full-text available
The focus of this study was on female emergency medical personnel’s experiences of treating women who have been raped and on their own experiences of being women themselves working in this situation. We interviewed 12 female medical personnel in four focus groups of two to five participants each. The material was analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Participants’ experiences were structured under two main themes: Prerequisites for care and Effects on oneself. As women, the participants emphasized their understanding of other women and stressed the importance of offering flexible care and taking time with each patient. They described how their work affected them personally, making them increasingly aware of men’s violence against women and their need for support from their colleagues. They also discussed structural barriers to both patient care and self-care. If unaddressed, such shortcomings risk negatively affecting raped women seeking medical care and may also be detrimental to the health and well-being of the professional offering care.
... Women who have been raped often suffer several traumatic reactions including depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Wilson and Miller 2016). The psychological outcomes of women reporting sexual abuse seem to depend on whether they feel support and empathy from the professional (Ahrens et al. 2007;Maddox et al. 2011). Negative reactions from professionals, such as being cold or disbelieving, can exacerbate the psychological suffering within the victim, in literature referred to as re-victimization (Ahrens et al. 2010). ...
... Previous research in police officers encountering victims of sexual abuse stresses the importance of police empathy (i.e., a cognitive and emotional understanding of another's experience resulting in an emotional response reflective of a view that others are worthy of compassion and respect; Barnett and Mann 2013). For example, victims' likelihood of deciding to continue with the legal process has been linked to the level of empathy victims perceive in police officers (Maddox et al. 2011). Furthermore, victims who feel more comfortable with their interviewing police officer are more likely to disclose more information (Greeson et al. 2015). ...
Article
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Interactions with police officers are of great importance as to how the reporting raped woman continues to process what has happened. The focus of this study was on police officers' experiences regarding contact with women who report rape. Sixteen officers participated in focus groups, and the data were subjected to inductive thematic analysis. Participants stressed their wish to be supportive and empathic, but also their lack of support and prerequisites, e.g., lack of amenities in interrogation rooms. They felt frustrated and described their work as "trying" rather than succeeding. If unaddressed, such shortcomings risk negatively affecting both police officers and victims.
... These two studies provide valuable insight into police response to SM IPV, though gaps remain. Previous research has not accounted for endorsement of adverse attitudes, such as homophobia and heteronormative myths, and relevant case-related factors, including presence of evidence and the credibility of the outcry witness, which have influenced case processing in criminal justice (kaiser, O'Neal, & Spohn, 2017;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011, while also considering the effect of sexual orientation on decisions to arrest. ...
... Six vignettes portrayed a victim who filed a police report and presented with expressive emotionality, behavioral displays of upset, and a linear recollection of eventsexpectations cited among police for how a credible victim would behave (Ask, 2010;Maddox et al., 2011Maddox et al., , 2012. Stereotypical trauma response was described: "[victim] was crying and shaking while she/he recalled the details of the incident." ...
Article
Intimate partner violence (IPV) among sexual minorities (SM) remains a considerable social problem. Police response to survivors can have a significant impact on recovery, case attrition, and suspect apprehension. The present study employed a 3 (sexual orientation) × 2 (physical evidence) × 2 (trauma response) between-subjects factorial design with a sample of 467 police–participant survey responses among commissioned personnel in one of the five largest U.S. cities to examine predictors of arrest in a randomly assigned hypothetical IPV vignette while considering case and participant factors. Findings revealed arrest likelihood decreased when police were presented with an SM couple. Presence of physical evidence and increased importance on police processes increased arrest likelihood. Adherence to heteronormative IPV myths decreased arrest likelihood despite couple sexual orientation. Implications and future research directions are discussed. © 2019 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.
... While shame and humiliation are characteristics that can result from slut-shaming, victims of sexual assault also experience both reactions. For survivors of sexual violence, these emotions can be a deterrent to reporting to law enforcement (Weiss, 2010) and they can also lead to mental health issues such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (Elklit & Christiansen, 2013;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011;Snipes, Calton, Green, Perrin, & Benotsch, 2017). ...
... It is therefore imperative to ensure that officers operate without biases that may influence how they process a complaint. Especially because officer empathy toward crime victims appears to have an influence on their decision to take a case to court (Maddox et al., 2011). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This study attempted to ascertain the prevalence value of rape myths located within social media user comments on the website Facebook. Research using existing Internet-based comments may provide insight into current attitudes and beliefs surrounding sexual violence. Using a quantitative content analysis, this study gauged the prevalence of rape myths in user comments by referencing a preset code list created with rape myths from the Acceptance of Modern Myths About Sexual Aggression scale (AMMSA) and the Updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (IRMA) and by locating emergent codes in the dataset.
... The police work is based on interpersonal contacts at different levels (with other organizations such as schools and social services, with supervisors and colleagues within the police organization, as well as with citizens) (Inzunza, 2015). Therefore, several studies highlight the importance of empathy for performing police work, such as interviewing offenders (Holmberg & Christianson, 2002), interviewing and supporting victims of crimes (Langballe & Schultz, 2017;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011), building trust (Posick, Rocque, & Rafter, 2014), establishing good relationships with the community (Birzer, 2008;Holmberg, 2002) and interacting with the mentally ill (Krameddine & Silverstone, 2015). ...
... Similar studies in the police context have revealed positive associations with job performance (Adetula, 2016;Al Ali et al., 2012), subjective well-being (Dar, Alam, & Lone, 2011), job satisfaction, engagement and organizational commitment (Brunetto et al., 2012), leadership effectiveness (Ramchunder & Martins, 2014) and other variables. Furthermore the role of empathy for performing police work has been well-documented in several domains, such as interviewing offenders (Holmberg & Christianson, 2002), interviewing and supporting victims and witnesses of crimes (Langballe & Schultz, 2017;Maddox et al., 2011), building trust (Posick et al., 2014) and establishing good relationships with the community (Birzer, 2008;Holmberg, 2002), interacting with the mentally ill (Krameddine & Silverstone, 2015), etc. Finally, the role of resilience and stress management in the stressful police occupation has been extensively studied, especially in physical and mental health and work performance of police officers (Andersen et al., 2015;Balmer et al., 2014;Lovallo, 2016;Miller, 2008;Shane, 2013;Violanti, 2014). ...
Article
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This study investigates the effectiveness of an integrative group program of four 4-h sessions, designed to enhance emotional intelligence, empathy, resilience and stress management skills among police officers. Fifty police officers participated in this study, allocated to either the intervention group (n = 23) or the control group (n = 27). The participants completed various self-report questionnaires both before and after the implementation of the program, as well as three months later. Results indicated significant improvement of emotional intelligence, empathy, resilience and stress management levels in the intervention group, compared to the control group. In addition, the positive changes remained significant three months after the termination of intervention. This study provides empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of an intensive, broad targeting group program, which could be integrated into the Police Academies to bring benefits at an individual, social and organizational level.
... The police work is based on interpersonal contacts at different levels (with other organizations such as schools and social services, with supervisors and colleagues within the police organization, as well as with citizens) (Inzunza, 2015). Therefore, several studies highlight the importance of empathy for performing police work, such as interviewing offenders (Holmberg & Christianson, 2002), interviewing and supporting victims of crimes (Langballe & Schultz, 2017;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011), building trust (Posick, Rocque, & Rafter, 2014), establishing good relationships with the community (Birzer, 2008;Holmberg, 2002) and interacting with the mentally ill (Krameddine & Silverstone, 2015). ...
... Similar studies in the police context have revealed positive associations with job performance (Adetula, 2016;Al Ali et al., 2012), subjective well-being (Dar, Alam, & Lone, 2011), job satisfaction, engagement and organizational commitment (Brunetto et al., 2012), leadership effectiveness (Ramchunder & Martins, 2014) and other variables. Furthermore the role of empathy for performing police work has been well-documented in several domains, such as interviewing offenders (Holmberg & Christianson, 2002), interviewing and supporting victims and witnesses of crimes (Langballe & Schultz, 2017;Maddox et al., 2011), building trust (Posick et al., 2014) and establishing good relationships with the community (Birzer, 2008;Holmberg, 2002), interacting with the mentally ill (Krameddine & Silverstone, 2015), etc. Finally, the role of resilience and stress management in the stressful police occupation has been extensively studied, especially in physical and mental health and work performance of police officers (Andersen et al., 2015;Balmer et al., 2014;Lovallo, 2016;Miller, 2008;Shane, 2013;Violanti, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Enhancement of emotional intelligence and resilience of police officers is important, as these skills are connected to several positive variables of physical and mental health and work performance. This study aimed at the implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of a psychoeducational group intervention program designed to enhance emotional intelligence and resilience among police officers. Fifty police officers participated in the research, 23 in the intervention group and 27 in the control group. The participants completed the psychometric tools (EQ-i2.0, CD-RISC) before and after the implementation of the program and at the follow up three months later. The results showed improvement of emotional intelligence and components of it, as well as improvement of resilience levels in the intervention group compared to the control group. The positive effects remained significant three months after the intervention and were independent of gender. The results are discussed.
... It is a chain reaction and has immediate and indirect benefits. As an immediate benefit, if victims feel secure, they will provide more details, which brings about better chances of finding evidence proving the offense beyond reasonable doubt and sanctioning the offender (Lonsway & Archambault, 2021;Maddox et al., 2011;Patterson, 2011). If the crime is proven and the offender is sanctioned, society will be better protected from crimes. ...
Article
How we treat victims determines the amount of information we gain from a victim interview. It is also crucial for the security of victims, and for preventing revictimization in a criminal procedure. Nancy Oglesby, Esq., a career prosecutor, and Director of Justice 3D, was interviewed to highlight the necessity of trauma-informed, victim-focused interview practices. Oglesby has handled thousands of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and sexual violence cases with a trauma-informed, victim-centered criminal justice approach. The interview raises awareness of law enforcement, prosecution, victims’ advocacy professionals, and college students aspiring to continue in the field of special victims.
... The research assistants used a structured paper-based forms to capture detailed information from these. Dockets typically contained background information about the victim including Alderden and Long, 2016, Alderden, and Ullman 2012, Artz and Smythe, D. 2007a, Artz and Smythe, 2007b, Bougard and Booyens 2015, Du Mont et al. 2003, Forr et al. 2018, Frohman 1997, Gregory and Lees 1999, Grubb and Turner 2012, Hansen 2019, Jina et al. 2011, Kaiser et al.,2017, Koss 1985, Koss et al. 1988, Krahe et al. 2008, Lynch et al 2013, Maddox et al. 2011, Morabito et al, 2019a, Nagel et al. 2005, Nishith et al. 2001, O'Neal et al. 2015, Santtila et al. 2004, Siller 2018, Smythe, 2004, Smythe 2015, Snyder 2000, Spohn et al. 2001, Spohn et al. 2014, Spohn and Tellis, 2019, Swemmer, 2020, Taylor and Gassner, 2010, Ullman et al. 2005, Van der Watt et al. 2015, Vetten and Haffejee, 2005, Waterhouse et al. 2016, Watson 2015, Woodhams, and Cooke, 2013, Woodhams et al. 2012, Woodhams et al. 2019, Wong, and Balemba, 2016, *Point of highest attrition (Artz and Smythe, 2007b, Munro and Kelly, 2009, Daly and Bouhours, 2010, Burman et al., 2009, Vetten 2008Vetten et al. 2008, Lea et al., 2003;**Point of second highest attrition Coloured arrows depict the linkages between factors and impacts on attrition at the CJS stages. Notes: In Some instances, a rape victim may be seen at a health facility first and have evidence collected before reporting to the police for the purpose of this paper, we used a guilty verdict as the outcome and did nor include sentencing outcomes in the framework. ...
Article
The attrition of rape cases within the criminal justice system is driven by different factors. We aimed to describe the patterns of rape case attrition and associated factors in South Africa. We analysed a national sample of 3,952 cases reported in 2012. We found that 35 per cent of cases were closed by police, 31 per cent were declined by the prosecutors, 16 per cent were enrolled but later struck off the roll, 19 per cent went on trial and 9 per cent were finalised with conviction. Aggravating circumstances, availability of forensic evidence and success at perpetrator arrests were key for case progression and increased likelihood of convictions. Thorough police investigations and continual training which addresses negative gender or other rape stereotyping are critical to ensure rape convictions.
... The presence of rape myth acceptance, gender stereotyping, and victim blaming, found to exist in the criminal justice system and society at large (Rollero & Tartaglia, 2019;Sleath & Bull, 2012;Stoll et al., 2017) poses a specific challenge to RASSO investigations. Rape myth acceptance and victim blaming has been widely researched and is found to detrimentally impact on the success of RASSO investigations and convictions and the mental health of the victim, lengthening their recovery time and increasing the risk of re-traumatisation (Grubb & Turner, 2012;Maddox et al., 2011;Moor, 2007). Multiple studies highlight the need to address these misconceptions to avoid any harmful impact on RASSO victims and on RASSO investigations and prosecution (Page, 2010;Rich, 2019;Sleath & Bull, 2012) and specialist knowledge and training may be required to adequately target these issues. ...
Article
Full-text available
The policing of rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO) is increasingly under scrutiny, with rising reporting rates, high attrition rates, and ever-decreasing charge and conviction rates. Internationally there appear to be common inadequacies in RASSO investigations. Given these issues, policing specialism may be an effective tool to improve the investigation of RASSO. This article systematically draws together the existing literature from around the world on the use of a specialist approach to tackling RASSO. A systematic literature review was conducted, and 18 papers were included for analysis based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria. From these documents, five key themes were found: investigation procedures and processes; victim care; specialist training, knowledge and skills; officer wellbeing and capacity; and policing outcomes. The review highlighted that the specialist policing of RASSO can improve the investigative process on several levels: improving the efficacy of the individual components of the investigation; better engagement with victims; better officer wellbeing; and overall improved policing outcomes. Further research is required into the specific mechanisms that results in improvements into the investigative process, the set-up of such specialist units, as well as how training in this area can be as effective as possible.
... Crimes against women are considered one of the most important social problems in many nations (DeKeseredy and Schwartz 2011;Michau et al. 2015;Simons and Morgan 2018). One key aspect of addressing this problem is optimizing the nature and manner of the police response, ensuring that it is efficient, effective, and compassionate (Maddox et al. 2011;Stanko 2007). Given the gravity of this issue, one useful approach may be to develop an effective performance management framework for police agencies that helps to improve their handling of crimes against women. ...
Article
Full-text available
Crimes against women have critical implications, not only for victims but also for overall community health and safety. Communities entrust law enforcement agencies with the responsibility to safeguard vulnerable people through effective and efficient policing approaches that provide a safe environment. Enhancing and improving the efficiency and performance of the police is an important part of preventing and reducing crimes against women. One approach to addressing specific performance targets is to adopt a performance management strategy. This paper examines survey data from 310 police officials in northern India about one such strategy: the balanced scorecard (BSC). Our analysis illuminates police perspectives about the perceived benefits of a generalized performance management strategy such as the BSC for improving police performance in addressing crimes against women and the needs of female citizens. Our findings reveal that respondents’ assessments of all four dimensions of the balanced scorecard are associated with their degree of optimism that performance measurement can improve the police response to crimes against women.
... Thus, the perceived credibility of victimsurvivors appears to play a key role in the early stages of attrition. Indeed, Maddox, Lee and Barker (2011) found that police officers considered a victim-survivor's credibility as a significant factor in attrition. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This PhD explored the role of rape myths and cultural narratives in serious sexual offences trials in England. The relationship between rape myths and cultural narratives that reflect structural oppressions such as sexism, classism, and ableism, is important to examine in the context of trials because attrition evidence shows that minoritised and marginalised women face particular barriers when accessing criminal justice. Court observations were used because they provide insight into the overarching trial narrative that is unaffected by participant recall (as would be the case in using interview and survey methods). Data were analysed using an intersectional feminist frame informed by critical discourse analysis, both of which focus on power structures. The key findings were that rape myths continue to permeate trial narratives, that they are re/produced by oppressive cultural narratives, and that these work together to undermine the credibility of victim-survivors. Structural inequalities and systems of oppression are reflected, often subtly, in the narratives deployed by barristers at trial and thus the credibility of victim-survivors is undermined in relation to how they are perceived and portrayed. These findings show that it is important to look beyond rape myths as an explanation for poor justice outcomes for victim-survivors of sexual violence and that structural inequalities and systems of oppression should be properly considered in future research, policy, and reform.
... Many police officers drawn to working within sexual assault and child abuse investigation gain satisfaction from working with victims and a critical skill in this work is empathy (Maddox et al. 2011;Oxburgh and Ost 2011;Peterson and Silver 2017). Empathy has been studied in policing populations primarily in relation to its role in victim engagement and case outcomes (Dando and Oxburgh 2015;Oxburgh and Ost 2011). ...
Article
Police working in sexual assault and child abuse investigation may be at risk of secondary trauma effects and burnout, particularly if they do not have protective mechanisms in place. Empathy has shown to be vital in protecting against secondary trauma and burnout, as well as enhancing compassion satisfaction. The current cross-sectional study surveyed 216 Australian police participants working in sexual assault and child abuse investigation exploring the relationship between different facets of empathy and professional quality of life factors. All facets of empathy predicted compassion satisfaction and negatively predicted burnout. Aspects of cognitive empathy negatively predicted burnout and secondary traumatic stress, while aspects of emotional/physiological and cognitive empathy positively predicted compassion satisfaction. Novel gender differences were found, with males at higher risk of burnout; tenure significantly predicted burnout and secondary traumatic stress; and results supported that empathy is a vital mechanism for sustaining wellbeing, satisfaction, and efficacy in this work.
... In contrast, the presence of empathy from police officers and the practice of sensitive interrogations of rape victims have also been positively correlated with victim-survivor participation and the chance of the case being taken to trial (Maddox et al., 2011). But empathy and other forms of emotions work is not always easy to achieve in a professional setting. ...
Article
Research has established the possibility for rape victim-survivors to experience secondary victimization as a result of encounters with the criminal justice system. However, most of this work is based in Anglo-American countries, with less attention to the issue in the Nordic context. In this article, I report on in-depth interviews with Swedish criminal justice professionals and their perspective on investigating and processing sexual violence cases, as well as interviews with professionals who work directly with rape victim-survivors and their external evaluations of the criminal justice system. While there is a general awareness of the need for an empathetic and sensitive response from police officers and support from the victim’s legal counsel, in practice, the process can be a ‘lottery’ for victim-survivors: while some individual police officers and lawyers are dedicated to victim-centred encounters, others are dismissive or hostile. I discuss policy initiatives, including training, specialization, and required competencies, that institutionalize and standardize victim-centred practices to promote a supportive environment for all sexual violence victim-survivors in the Swedish criminal justice system.
... The research team also informed stakeholders that burnout, particularly depersonalization, can be especially harmful when present in officers interacting with victims of sexual assault/ rape (Turgoose et al. 2017), as officers who experience high levels of burnout have reduced ability to interact with sexual assault victims in a victim-centered manner (Elliott et al. 2005; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] 2014). Thus, collecting data on MPD officers' exposure to trauma, burnout, and professional self-care would likely aid sex crimes detectives and prosecutors and enhance case outcomes by increasing victim willingness to engage with the criminal justice system, as lower officer burnout and more empathetic interviewing is related to obtaining better information and higher victim engagement with investigation and prosecution (Greeson et al. 2016;Maddox et al. 2011;Patterson 2011). Further, gaining information on officers' exposure to stressful events, burnout levels, and professional self-care engagement may promote trauma-informed policy and procedure changes regarding officers working sexual assault cases, and thereby, assist the local rape crisis center by reducing risk of victim retraumatization. ...
Article
Full-text available
Burnout, an occupational syndrome characterized by feelings of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization of victims, and diminished personal accomplishment, is highly prevalent among police officers, perhaps as a result of regular and repeated exposure to job-related stressful events. Burnout might be especially problematic for officers working with sexual assault victims, as this sensitive work requires officers to be exposed to trauma while conducting trauma-informed, victim-centered investigations. The current study used interagency, multidisciplinary collaboration and a mixed-method design to examine professional self-care as a mechanism to combat burnout among police officers (n = 331) at a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) site in the Southeast United States. Professional self-care better predicted each component of burnout than did exposure to job-related trauma, being injured on-duty, number of critical incident types experienced, and years on the force. Specifically, professional development activities (a component of self-care) best predicted reduced emotional exhaustion and depersonalization of victims. Officers’ qualitative responses supported quantitative survey data, with 48% requesting an increase in professional self-care opportunities (e.g., more trainings, professional support) offered by their organization. Although the nature of policing often precludes a route to reducing officers’ exposure to job-related stressful events, findings suggest that law enforcement organizations can positively impact officer burnout by enhancing professional self-care and broadly providing critical professional development experiences.
... The ability to understand other peoples' perspectives is especially important in situations where police officers are interacting with victims of crime (Maddox et al. 2011). However, it is also important when interrogating suspects, as it allows officers to understand other people's motives and behaviour (Holmberg and Christianson 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
As societies are becoming more heterogeneous and complex, the role of the police is becoming more demanding. To fulfil this role, police officers need several widely recognised skills and personal qualities, but less is known about how they are valued by police recruits. Thus, we have examined views of police recruits in six European countries on three competencies or characteristics of known importance for police work: knowledge, leadership, and the ability to form good relations with citizens. We have also explored variations in views of recruits in different organisations and changes in their views during their training. For these purposes, we used survey data collected in the RECPOL project. Since the data were collected from different populations and at different times, the analysis is based on measurement invariance methodology, and one of the aims was to highlight the importance of rigorous appraisal of the quality and comparability of similar survey data using such methods. The results reveal both differences and similarities in views of recruits in the surveyed countries and changes during training. Police culture appears to be a significant factor, as more items in the applied instrument could be validly used in comparisons of recruits in organisations with similar police traditions. The results also showed interesting contrasts, e.g. new recruits in Sweden rated good relations with citizens more highly than recruits in organisations with a more military history, but this pattern changed during training, presumably due to influences of the recruitment process, training and culture within the organisations.
... The results in the first study showed that the humane style led to more admissions, and in the next study, that the humane style led to more details. Maddox (2011) interviewed rape victims, one group in face-to-face interviews and another group that completed an online questionnaire. They found that perceived empathy was positively correlated to rape victims' rating of their likelihood of taking the case to court and negatively correlated to PTSD and shame. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the literature and in modern training programmes, empathy is considered important for the process of building rapport. Yet there is no distinct definition of empathy in the context of the police interview, and how to display empathy is poorly operationalized. In addition, there have been different attempts to measure empathy. The aim of the current study is to explore how detectives display empathy through the observation of four video-recorded police interviews of traumatized young victims of the 2011 Utøya terror attack in Norway and research interviews with the detectives who conducted the police interviews. The detectives demonstrated understanding and interest, and empathy was displayed both verbally and non-verbally. Furthermore, the interviews were characterized by cooperation. Due to the lack of consensus on empathy in police interviews, the study raises the question of what kind of empathy should be displayed in police interviews and whether empathy should be replaced with more appropriate concepts in police training.
... Rape complainants are also equally likely to appear distressed or with controlled affect (Burgess & Carretta, 2016;Burgess & Holmstrom, 1974;Carretta & Burgess, 2013). Complainants experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression at high rates (Norris & Kaniasty, 1994;Snipes, Calton, Green, Perrin, & Benotsch, 2017; and often suppress emotion to manage their trauma (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1986;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2012). This means many rape complainants may be unfairly judged as not credible due to their emotional demeanor when giving evidence. ...
Preprint
Rape cases have a disproportionately high attrition rate and low conviction rate compared to other criminal offenses. Evaluations of a rape complainant’s credibility often determine whether a case progresses through the criminal justice system. Even though emotional demeanor is not related to witness honesty or accuracy, distressed rape complainants are perceived to be more credible than complainants who present with controlled affect. To understand the extent and robustness of the influence of emotional demeanor on credibility judgments of female adult rape complainants, we conducted a systematic review, meta-analysis and p-curve analysis of the experimental simulated decision-making literature on the influence of complainant emotional demeanor on complainant credibility. The meta-analysis included 20 studies with participants who were criminal justice professionals (e.g., police officers and judges), community members, and mock jurors (N = 3128). Results suggest that distressed demeanor significantly increased perceptions of complainant credibility, with a small to moderate effect size estimate. Importantly, the results of p-curve analysis suggest that reporting bias is not a likely explanation for the effect of emotional demeanor on rape complainant credibility. Sample type (whether perceivers were criminal justice professionals or prospective jurors) and stimulus modality (whether perceivers read about or watched the complainant recount the alleged rape) were not found to moderate the effect size estimate. These results suggest that effective methods of reducing reliance on emotional demeanor to make credibility judgments about rape complainants should be investigated to make credibility assessments fairer and more accurate.
... Rape complainants are also equally likely to appear distressed or with controlled affect (Burgess & Carretta, 2016;Burgess & Holmstrom, 1974;Carretta & Burgess, 2013). Complainants experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression at high rates (Norris & Kaniasty, 1994;Snipes, Calton, Green, Perrin, & Benotsch, 2017; and often suppress emotion to manage their trauma (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1986;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2012). This means many rape complainants may be unfairly judged as not credible due to their emotional demeanor when giving evidence. ...
Article
Rape cases have a disproportionately high attrition rate and low conviction rate compared with other criminal offenses. Evaluations of a rape complainant's credibility often determine whether a case progresses through the criminal justice system. Even though emotional demeanor is not related to witness honesty or accuracy, distressed rape complainants are perceived to be more credible than complainants who present with controlled affect. To understand the extent and robustness of the influence of emotional demeanor on credibility judgments of female adult rape complainants, we conducted a systematic review, meta-analysis, and p-curve analysis of the experimental simulated decision-making literature on the influence of complainant emotional demeanor on complainant credibility. The meta-analysis included 20 studies with participants who were criminal justice professionals (e.g., police officers and judges), community members, and mock jurors (N = 3128). Results suggest that distressed demeanor significantly increased perceptions of complainant credibility, with a small to moderate effect size estimate. Importantly, the results of p-curve analysis suggest that reporting bias is not a likely explanation for the effect of emotional demeanor on rape complainant credibility. Sample type (whether perceivers were criminal justice professionals or prospective jurors) and stimulus modality (whether perceivers read about or watched the complainant recount the alleged rape) were not found to moderate the effect size estimate. These results suggest that effective methods of reducing reliance on emotional demeanor to make credibility judgments about rape complainants should be investigated to make credibility assessments fairer and more accurate. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
... Patterson & Campbell, 2010). Conversely, appropriate police responses (e.g., compassion and empathy, resource referral) have mitigated trauma sequela, augmented victim statements, and encouraged continued victim cooperation during the investigation (Greeson, Campbell, & Fehler-Cabral, 2014;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011;D. Patterson, 2011a). ...
Article
Full-text available
Police perceptions of a victim’s self-presentation style can have an impact on secondary victimization, case processing, and public safety. Trauma survivors may present to police with flat or restricted affect, emotional numbing, and disjointed recollections. Often, police personnel have misperceived manifestations of trauma as indicators of reliability and credibility. Using a trend design, this study employed a sample of 979 police from one of the five largest U.S. cities to examine the relation between trauma-informed training and endorsement of trauma misperceptions. Multivariate ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models were estimated and revealed mean adherence to trauma misperceptions was significantly lower among participants who had completed training, controlling for demographic, occupational, and attitudinal variables. Implications and future research are discussed.
... These authors surmised that officers with higher levels of empathy had a greater appreciation for social barriers and emotional distress experienced by victims (Gracia, Garc ıa, & Lila, 2014;Lila, Gracia, & Garc ıa, 2013). Maddox et al. (Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011) considered the influence of police empathy in cases of rape and determined that higher police empathy led to greater likelihood of cases going to court, as well as lower PTSD severity and shame in victims. Switching from work with victims to interviews with alleged offenders, Oxburgh and colleagues sought to determine whether the use of empathy would assist with eliciting more information about a crime (Oxburgh & Ost, 2011;Oxburgh, Ost, & Cherryman, 2012). ...
Article
Firefighters (N = 186) from two urban centers completed a set of questionnaires measuring empathy, traumatic stress, mental distress, aggression, world assumptions, and personality. Response rate was 81.5%. Both traumatic stress and mental distress were associated with higher use of emotional empathy. Emotional empathy was also related to anger, aggression, and sense of self-worth, as well as worldviews that included benevolence and meaningfulness. Of the big five personality traits, only neuroticism was associated with emotional empathy. Emotional empathy appears to be a substantial contributor to increased traumatic and general mental distress in firefighters.
... Examples of secondary victimization are if the victim feels that her/his story is met with disbelief or if the one listening is cold and distant (Campbell, 2005;Patterson, 2010). Being met with these attitudes can increase the victims' feelings of shame and anger, and further, increase the risk of the victim blaming her/himself for what has happened (e.g., Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011). In an interview study with Christian victims of sexual abuse, the respondents described that when their experiences were not validated it was like being abused once again (Rudolfsson & Portin, 2018). ...
Chapter
Every year thousands of people are subjected to sexual abuse and a substantial part of that abuse occurs within the family. Many victims of sexual abuse find it hard to disclose being a victim, especially if someone close, that the victim loves and trusts, is the perpetrator of the abuse. For the victim who has a religious faith, besides the psychological consequences suffered, the victim’s faith may also become traumatized. This chapter will outline the psychological consequences of being sexually abused as well as the potential consequences on the victims’ faith, highlighting the search for meaning and the effect of sexual abuse on an individual’s relation to God. Thereafter, commonalities and diversities in religious coping across religions will be outlined. Specific challenges will be discussed, highlighting reactions from faith communities, the role of family structure, sexual moral, shame, and lack of knowledge. Lastly, conclusions and practical implications will be outlined.
... Many victims stop pursing a case after negative interactions with police officers (Anders & Christopher, 2011;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011;Patterson, 2011). It may be that first responders and detectives treat victims they perceive as not credible or not genuine in ways that make them less willing to cooperate. ...
Article
In sexual assault cases, prosecutorial charging decisions may be influenced by legal factors like offense seriousness and convictability and extralegal rape myths. We use data on sexual assaults in Los Angeles, to test for the effects of victim behavior, victim credibility, and “real rape” stereotypes on the decision to file charges. We also test the liberation hypothesis, examining whether rape myths influence the charge decision more in less serious nonpenetrative cases then in penetrative cases. Results show that victim credibility and behavior, but not consistency with real rape stereotypes, affect charging decisions, even after controlling for legally relevant factors, and they influence prosecutors’ charging decisions equally in penetrative and nonpenetrative cases. Rape myths also influence the charging decision indirectly via victim cooperation. We conclude that rape myths are incorporated into the criminal justice system’s definition of and response to sexual violence, so cannot be addressed by changing case screening policies.
... Examples of secondary victimization are if the victim feels that their story is met with disbelief, or if the one listening is cold and distant (Campbell 2005;Patterson 2010). Being met with these attitudes can increase the victims' feelings of shame and anger and further increase the risk of the victim blaming themselves for what has happened (Maddox et al. 2011). In this study, the informants described that when their experiences were not validated, it was like being abused once again. ...
Article
Full-text available
The focus of this research was on ways in which Christian congregations can address the concept of forgiveness when caring for victims of sexual abuse, and to make suggestions for a restitution mass as a possible way for congregations to work with these victims. Interviews with seven women and one man, who were victims of sexual abuse, were analyzed according to inductive thematic analysis. Our focus was on abuse that had occurred outside Church, i.e., not perpetrated by representatives for the Church. The informants described how attending services in Church could trigger their memories of sexual abuse, and they struggled to understand the concept of forgiveness; who they were to forgive and what made their forgiveness good enough. They expressed a need for the Church to offer them a safe space, rituals where their experiences would be acknowledged, and to meet with other victims of sexual abuse. We argue that representatives for the Church need to acquire knowledge about sexual abuse and its consequences before offering care. Further, the presence of victims of sexual abuse in a congregation demands that the congregation create appropriate conditions where the victim's needs and concerns are put into focus. Addressing forgiveness and offering rituals must be done in such a way that it does not consolidate the victim's feelings of exclusion, guilt, and shame.
... Officers' classification of cases (as "good" or "legitimate") also appears to be guided by schematic thinking constructed around particular myths, as shown by Venema (2016b). Assessments of victim credibility are equally influenced by the presence/absence of rape myth-related information, such as negative victim reputation (Page, 2008a(Page, , 2008b(Page, , 2010, an unexpected emotional response to the incident (Ask & Landström, 2010;Bollingmo, Wessel, Eilertsen, & Magnussen, 2008;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011;Venema, 2016b), voluntary alcohol consumption (B. A. Campbell, Menaker, & King, 2015;Schuller & Stewart, 2000;Sims, Noel, & Maisto, 2007), and a closer victim-perpetrator relationship (Felson & Paré, 2008); all of which prompt more negative assessments from officers. Such studies suggest that, when officers' expectations of victims are violated, there is an associated impact on levels of belief, as officers evaluate reports of rape against their predetermined ideas of what rape should look like (Hazelwood & Burgess, 1995). ...
Article
Purpose: Previous studies suggest that officers' level of rape myth acceptance (RMA) is predictive of their case decision making and judgements towards victim-survivors. However, few studies have directly assessed the relationship between RMA and responsibility and authenticity judgments. Methods: 808 UK police officers categorised as ‘high’ or ‘low’ in rape myth acceptance made judgements of victim and perpetrator responsibility, and case authenticity, towards one of 16 vignettes depicting a hypothetical rape scenario varying on victim-perpetrator relationship, victim reputation, and initial point of resistance. Results: Officers categorised as ‘high’ in RMA rated victims as more responsible, perpetrators as less responsible, and cases as less authentic than those deemed to be ‘low’ in RMA. When rape-myth related factors were present, both individually and in combination, judgements by officers ‘high’ in RMA were more negative than those ‘low’ in RMA. Conclusions: Results suggest that officers ‘high’ in RMA may judge victims of rape differently to those ‘low’ in RMA, particularly when rape myth-related extra-legal case factors are present. The potential implications for training and selection are discussed.
... Increased empathy predicted increased resource referral-a finding that affirms the importance of empathy on the potential for additional help-seeking behavior, such as formal police reporting, rape crisis center intervention, or the solicitation of professional physical/mental health care, beyond the initial acknowledgment of victimization to a friend or family member. Existing evidence has identified the importance of empathy in encouraging victim participation in the criminal justice system (see Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011). Research should continue to assess empathy among formal support providers like victim advocates, mental health professionals, and criminal justice personnel in terms of how personal feelings of compassion predict victim-centered, trauma-informed engagement with sexual assault survivors. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aftermath of sexual assault warrants further attention surrounding the responses provided by those to whom survivors disclose, especially when perpetrator type or victim race may affect whether the bystander response is supportive or attributes culpability to the victim. Disclosure responses have significant consequences for survivors’ posttrauma mental health and formal help-seeking behavior. The current study used a sample of 348 self-report, paper-and-pencil surveys administered during the fall 2015 semester to a purposive sample of undergraduate students with a mean age of 20.94 years old at a midsized, Southern public university. Survey design included a randomly assigned 2 × 2 hypothetical sexual assault disclosure vignette. The objective of the study was to assess the effect of perpetrator type (stranger vs. acquaintance) and victim race (White vs. Black) on empathic concern, culpability attributions, and resource referral. Between-subjects factorial ANOVA and multivariate ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models were estimated to identify the role of vignette manipulations, participant-sexual victimization history, and rape myth acceptance on empathy, culpability, and resource referral for the sexual assault survivor portrayed in the vignette. Multivariate analyses included main effects and moderation models. Findings revealed increased culpability and decreased resource referral for victims of acquaintance rape as compared with stranger rape, independent of victim race. Although no direct victim race effects emerged in the multivariate analyses, race moderated the effect of culpability on resource referral indicating culpability attributions decreased resource referral, but only when the victim was Black . Implications from the results presented here include a continued focus on bystander intervention strategies, empathy-building techniques, and educational programming targeting potential sexual assault disclosees and race stereotypes that disadvantage victims of color.
Article
Cybercrime is a growing issue, still not fully understood by researchers or policing/law enforcement communities. UK Government reports assert that victims of cybercrime were unlikely to report crimes immediately due to the perception that police were ill-equipped to deal with these offences. Additionally, these reports identify policing issues including a lack of cybercrime knowledge. This paper reviews current research, providing a comprehensive account of cybercrime and addressing issues in policing such offences. We achieve this by describing the technological, individual, social and situational landscapes conducive to cybercrime, and how this knowledge may inform strategies to overcome current issues in investigations.
Article
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We explored adults’ perceptions of evidence-based interview frameworks in the context of sexual assault, in order to examine stakeholders’ suggestions that police interviews are not sensitive to complainants psychological and emotional needs. Participants (N= 91) watched a video of an implied sexual assault and were randomly assigned to one of three interview conditions: the cognitive interview (CI), a streamlined interview for vulnerable witnesses (SIM), and the same streamlined interview with narrative practice (SIM+P). After the interview, participants evaluated their perceptions of the interview process and interviewer. Their non-verbal behaviors during the interviews were also compared across interview frameworks. CI participants reported more information than SIM and SIM+P participants, but the reverse was true when interview length was controlled. CI participants perceived the interview as more effortful than SIM participants, but there were no other differences in perceptions or non-verbal behavior. Implications for interviewers are discussed.
Article
Several empirical studies have found that violence against teachers is a highly prevalent phenomenon in schools across the United States and has detrimental negative effects on victimized teachers. However, no empirical research has been conducted to explore the moderating effect of procedural justice on the relationship between victimization and physical/emotional distress. The present research, using a sample of victimized teachers via physical assault and theft/vandalism in a metropolitan region in Texas, investigates whether victimized teachers’ perception of procedural justice can play a significant role in moderating the negative impacts of violence against teachers on victimized teachers’ physical and emotional wellbeing. The results indicate that victimization via theft/vandalism and physical assault is closely related to victimized teachers’ emotional and physical distress. The findings show that the level of procedural justice schools demonstrate when handling teacher victimization incidents is associated with beneficial effects of reducing physical and emotional harm among victimized teachers.
Article
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A crime victim's first contact with the police may strongly influence subsequent investigations and prosecutions, as well as the crime's impact on the victim. The outcomes of such contacts may depend strongly on the degree to which the victim exhibits the characteristics of an ideal victim. This study sought to find valid ways of evaluating the constructs of victim ideality and police empathy, and to clarify the relationship between the two considering background factors, and outcomes. With a cross-sectional design data were collected from approximately 300 crime victims from cities in Colombia using a questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SEM, MIMIC, and logistic regression models. Being an ideal victim was found to influence the empathy displayed by police (as perceived by the victims), which in turn influenced factors important to citizens exposed to crime. Several areas in need of development based on the principles of procedural justice are identified.
Article
The way in which police officers interview sexual offence victims is pivotal to how their cases proceed through the criminal justice system (CJS). However, such interviews have previously been found to be lacking in overall quality, with some interviewers finding them technically difficult and stressful to conduct. In addition, victims often feel disbelieved, unsafe and/or uncomfortable during their police interview. The present study provides insight into the personal experiences of five female adult rape/sexual assault victims regarding their police interviews and the aspects that encouraged them to cooperate and engage during the interview process. Following semi-structured interviews, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to identify three key themes: (i) heading into the unknown, (ii) difficulty of talking about the crime and (iii) helpful and unhelpful interviewer approaches. Implications for practice are discussed, together with the need to further our understanding of this specialist area of police work.
Article
Empathy with a rape victim was examined based on knowing a rape victim (not oneself), personal sexual victimization experience, and participant gender. Undergraduates (n = 531) at a midsize public university in the Northeast United States completed the Rape-Victim Empathy Scale, the Sexual Experiences Survey-Short Form Victimization, and questions regarding knowing a rape victim. Empathy scores were greater for those who reported knowing a rape victim than for those who did not. Women with personal sexual victimization experience reported greater empathy than men with personal sexual victimization experience and all nonvictims, but no differences emerged among female nonvictims and all men. Findings suggest that knowing a rape victim may provide some degree of vicarious experience with rape that helps individuals better understand a rape victim’s perspective, and factors influencing rape empathy among men and nonvictims needs more attention in future research.
Article
Democratic policing, as opposed to regime policing, must meet at least three requirements: there is democratic accountability of and for the police; the police adhere to the rule of law; and the police behave in a manner that is procedurally fair in service of the public. The article presents a conceptual framework of nine dimensions applicable to different contexts with a view to facilitate policies and practices towards democratic policing. It is argued that the ultimate result being sought is a legitimate police service. If legitimacy is the result, then trust is the outcome preceding it. Legitimacy is dependent on the public's trust that State power will be used in the public interest. Public trust therefore fulfils an important legitimising function. Levels of trust in the police are driven by the police's ability and performance record with reference to three outputs : objectivity, empathy and responsivity. The latter three outputs flow from five input variables, namely: knowledge of what works in creating a safer society from a policing perspective; rights-based policing; accountability of the policing (inclusive of transparency); efficiency and effectiveness of resource utilisation; and the police as citizens also entitled to rights and protections. The utility of the conceptual framework lies in providing a coherent and linked-up view to analyse police organisations and support the development of reform proposals. Keywords: Democratic policing; regime policing; public trust; legitimacy; human rights; police reform; professional policing.
Chapter
What factors contribute to witness retraction, disengagement or withdrawal from the legal processing of cases, thereby bringing a halt to prosecution processes? The review focused mainly on offences of personal and sexual violence against adult victims. Eight electronic databases were searched, locating a total of 3264 potentially relevant records of which 39 studies were retained for review. While there are numerous studies on attrition, the proportion of them concerned with retraction, disengagement or withdrawal was small. Factors associated with retraction and withdrawal in cases of partner violence included where a couple are living together; where despite conflicts, they have apparently reconciled; where the victim wants the partner to be rehabilitated rather than punished; where the abuser agrees to have counselling or other help; and where the victim engages in self-blame or feels ashamed. Factors associated with cases of rape and sexual assault included victims fearing that their accounts will not be believed and of being cross-examined in court, especially when that can be done by the defendant. Women are more likely to disengage from rape cases if they are more highly distressed, engage in self-blame, have become pregnant or have been hospitalized. Crime investigations that include taking photographs, gathering forensic evidence, video-recorded statements, victim impact statements and where victims are quickly put in contact with support services are more likely to be followed to prosecution. Participation is sustained where victims have found the initial police contact more helpful, which can be influenced by training.
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex condition with affective components that extend beyond fear and anxiety. The emotion of shame has long been considered critical in the relation between trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms. Yet, to date, no meta-analytic synthesis of the empirical association between shame and PTSD has been conducted. To address this gap, the current study summarized the magnitude of the association between shame and PTSD symptoms after trauma exposure. A systematic literature search yielded 624 publications, which were screened for inclusion criteria (individuals exposed to a Criterion A trauma, and PTSD and shame assessed using validated measures of each construct). In total, 25 studies employing 3,663 participants met full eligibility criteria. A randomeffects meta-analysis revealed a significant moderate association between shame and posttraumatic stress symptoms, r = .49, 95% CI [0.43, 0.55], p < .001. Moderator analyses were not completed due to the absence of between-study heterogeneity. Publication bias analyses revealed minimal bias, determined by small attenuation after the superimposition of weight functions. The results underscore that across a diverse set of populations, shame is characteristic for many individuals with PTSD and that it warrants a central role in understanding the affective structure of PTSD. Highlighting shame as an important clinical target may help improve the efficacy of established treatments. Future research examining shame’s interaction with other negative emotions and PTSD symptomology is recommended.
Book
Bringing together cutting-edge theory and research that bridges academic disciplines from criminology and criminal justice, to developmental psychology, sociology, and political science, Thinking About Victimization offers an authoritative, comprehensive, and refreshingly accessible overview of scholarship on the nature, sources, and consequences of victimization. Written in a lively style with sharp storytelling and an appreciation of international research on victimization, this book is rooted in a healthy respect for criminological history and the foundational works in victimization studies. It provides a detailed account of how different data sources can influence our understanding of victimization; of how the sources of victimization-individual, situational, and contextual-are complicated and varied; and of how the consequences of victimization-personal, legal, and political-are just as complex. This book also engages with contemporary issues such as cybervictimization, intimate partner violence and sexual victimization, prison violence and victimization, and terrorism and state-sponsored violence. Thinking About Victimization is essential reading for advanced courses in victimization offered in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, social work, and public policy departments. With its unapologetic reliance on theory and research combined with its easy readability, undergraduate and graduate students alike will find much to learn in these pages. © 2019 Jillian J. Turanovic and Travis C. Pratt. All rights reserved.
Article
Purpose Perspective taking (PT), as part of the empathy concept, is an important ability in the police profession. It is important to understand how PT can be measured, but also whether it changes over time. The purpose of this paper is to compare the outcomes of three different measures of PT, and to see whether police students’ PT changes at different stages of their education. Design/methodology/approach Three measures, one self-reported and two objective tests, were administered to Swedish National Police recruits at three distinct stages of their police training. The outcomes of the measures were psychometrically analyzed, after which associations between measures and between-group differences were assessed. Findings The result showed that the measures provided results that were in line with what had been reported in earlier studies. There were no significant correlations between the total scores of the three measures, yet students who graded their abilities higher on the subjective instrument did perform better on one of the objective tests. The findings also showed that recruits in later parts of their training self-reported significantly lower PT values than recruits at the beginning of their training. Originality/value This study adds knowledge on the ability of different types of instruments to measure PT and how this construct may develop over time among police recruits.
Article
Rape victims can benefit from trauma-informed approaches when reporting rape to police. Police interviewing skill can prevent survivor re-victimization while eliciting useful crime statements. However, rape myth acceptance and police culture may pose obstacles to a trauma-informed approach. Client empowerment, demystification, trigger reduction, and expressed concern for victim safety can be implemented by police agencies. Interdisciplinary collaboration, combating sexual harassment, gender balancing, emotional debriefing of officers, accountability to victims, new reporting methods, and advanced training protocols are elements of a trauma-informed approach.
Article
This article provides the first comprehensive examination of the phenomenon of unequal access to procedural justice for older victims of crime. It analyses quantitative and qualitative data exploring the interactions of older people with the criminal justice system of Northern Ireland. It identifies that older victims of crime are less likely to have a successful crime outcome (known as ‘detection’ or ‘clear-up’ in other jurisdictions) to their case when compared to other adults. The results provide evidence of a system failing to adequately take into account additional vulnerabilities that disproportionately impact on older victims’ ability to engage with the justice process. There is an analysis of the relationships between vulnerability, resilience and access to justice. The current conceptual understanding of vulnerability as applied to older people within the justice system is challenged. The findings are relevant for researchers and policy-makers in the United Kingdom, Ireland and further afield concerned with the treatment of older and vulnerable victims by the justice system.
Article
There is a growing body of investigations showing that shame and guilt are important features of various psychological problems including anxiety disorders. This study quantitatively summarized the magnitude of the associations of shame and guilt with anxiety symptoms. We looked both at the associations with broader categories of anxiety symptoms (i.e., undifferentiated anxiety symptoms, trait and state anxiety), but also with symptoms specific to individual anxiety disorders. In most cases, shame was more strongly associated with anxiety symptoms (in general medium effect sizes) than guilt (in general small effect sizes). When controlling for the shared variance of shame and guilt, in most cases only shame remained significantly associated with anxiety symptoms. Moderation analyses testing for the effect of subtype of shame/guilt, type of measurement, clinical status, age and gender were conducted. Two types of guilt seem to be equally maladaptive as shame, generalized guilt (involving a free-floating guilt separated from specific contexts) and contextual-maladaptive guilt (involving an inappropriate or exaggerated feeling of responsibility). External shame (perceived negative evaluations of others) seems to be more strongly associated with social anxiety symptoms than internal shame (negative self-evaluations). Results for other moderators and implications are discussed in light of the existing theoretical and empirical data.
Article
Research has long highlighted the importance of complainant credibility in influencing sexual assault (SA) case outcomes. Despite these findings, few studies have investigated the police decision to question a complainant’s credibility. This study uses data on SAs reported to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 2008 to address this issue, specifically focusing on the effects of rape culture. Results suggest that indicators of “real rape” and measures of complainant “character flaws” influence the likelihood that an officer will question a complainant’s credibility. Notably, all indicators measuring officer perceptions of complainant “character flaws”—whether reputation issues were present, the complainant suffered from mental health issues, her testimony was inconsistent, and if the officer believed she had a motive to lie—increased the likelihood that the police would question her credibility. Practical implications, theoretical advancements, and directions for future research are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the present article is to review the literature on the psychological impact of rape on adult female victims. Typical patterns of recovery, types of symptoms, and variables affecting recovery are all reviewed. Among the problems discussed are fear and anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, poor self-esteem, social adjustment issues, and sexual dysfunctions. The moderating variables that are reviewed are preassault variables such as prior psychological functioning and life stressors; within-assault variables such as acquaintanceship status, level of violence, and within-crime victim reactions; and postassault variables such as social support and participation in the criminal justice system.
Article
Full-text available
The revised version of the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory with an added advice-giving scale was given to 240 female and 95 male students, who completed it in terms of their current closest personal relationship. The correlations between the 80 items were factor-analysed using a principal-factor solution to determine whether the items represented the five postulated factors of advice-giving, empathy, congruence, and level of and unconditionally of regard. Eighteen factors were extracted and rotated by the Varimax method. The first five factors extracted accounted for 36.3% of the variance and reflected the five postulated factors, thus partially supporting the factorial validity of this questionnaire.
Article
Full-text available
This study involves Sexual Offences Investigative Technique (SOIT) officers completing a semi-structured questionnaire (disseminated with the assistance of a British police force). This questionnaire included questions about their specialist occupation regarding the provision of victim care, their investigative function and how it adheres to responsibilities outlined in policy documents regarding expectations of the SOIT officer. Questions about service provisions were then put to male and female rape survivors to investigate whether a differential level of service exists regarding victim gender. For example, survivors were asked as to (i) the response of the police on reporting, (ii) the procedures followed, (iii) the level of communication maintained throughout their case and (iv) their suggestions for improvement of the service received in light of their experience. The police and survivor data were analysed using thematic analysis and compared. Key issues which were highlighted by survivors and police officers included the importance of regular communications about the progress of the case. Rape survivors also expressed a lack of confidence in the judicial system; this was more pronounced in adult males. Furthermore, the limited resources available to SOIT officers were found to impact negatively on the service provided to rape survivors.
Article
Full-text available
This article describes the development and validation of a new measure of trauma-related thoughts and beliefs, the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI), whose items were derived from clinical observations and current theories of post-trauma psychopathology. The PTCI was administered to 601 volunteers, 392 of whom had experienced a traumatic event and 170 of whom had moderate to severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Principal-components analysis yielded 3 factors: Negative Cognitions About Self, Negative Cognitions About the World, and Self-Blame. The 3 factors showed excellent internal consistency and good test-retest reliability; correlated moderately to strongly with measures of PTSD severity, depression, and general anxiety; and discriminated well between traumatized individuals with and without PTSD. The PTCI compared favorably with other measures of trauma-related cognitions, especially in its superior ability to discriminate between traumatized individuals with and without PTSD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
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A recent study indicated that 94.4% of reported sexual assault cases in the UK do not result in successful legal prosecution, also known as the rate of attrition (Kelly, Lovett, & Regan, 2005). Scant research has examined the role of trauma-related psychological processes in attrition. Victims of sexual assault (N =22) completed questions about peri-traumatic dissociation, trauma memory fragmentation, account incoherence during police interview, and likelihood of proceeding with legal cases. Higher levels of dissociation during sexual assault were associated with participants reporting more fragmented trauma memories. Memory fragmentation was associated with participants indicating that they provided more incoherent accounts of trauma during police interview. Importantly, people who viewed themselves as providing more incoherent accounts predicted that they would be less likely to proceed with their legal cases. The findings suggest trauma impacts on memory, and these trauma-related disruptions to memory may paradoxically contribute to attrition.
Article
Full-text available
Rape survivors who speak out about their assault experiences are often punished for doing so when they are subjected to negative reactions from support providers. These negative reactions may thereby serve a silencing function, leading some rape survivors to stop talking about their experiences to anyone at all. The current study sought to examine this worst case scenario. Focusing on the qualitative narratives of eight rape survivors who initially disclosed the assault but then stopped disclosing for a significant period of time, this study sought to provide an in-depth description of how negative reactions silenced these survivors. Three routes to silence were identified: 1) negative reactions from professionals led survivors to question whether future disclosures would be effective; 2) negative reactions from friends and family reinforced feelings of self-blame; and 3) negative reactions from either source reinforced uncertainty about whether their experiences qualified as rape. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Article
Chapter 3: A major revision: Crafting the 64-item RI and emergent adaptations Chapter preamble from the volume by Godfrey T Barrett-Lennard, "The Relationship Inventory: A complete resource and guide". Wiley, 2015.> Even before my original study was reported (previous chapter) the new Inventory was in demand for further studies, and was being revised for this wider application. The first amending revisions were prepared at short notice and most of these ran to 72 items for the four retained scales – as in the major Wisconsin study. However, by the time the monograph was in circulation (early 1963) a full data-supported revision was in progress, and was completed in its initial format the next year. While in use from that point on a published full account of the revision and its varied adaptations did not appear until 1978. This chapter retells essential parts of that detailed report, with contemporary relevance in mind. The way the revision was done, and how its adaptations and applications in varied contexts unfolded, help to define the RI still. While the Inventory can be applied without this knowledge it remains relevant for critical understanding and well-informed use of the instrument. The 1978 report nearly did not see the light of day. The editor of the document journal thought at first that it was redundant in view of Gurman’s fine review (1977) at that time. In fact, there is no overlap in purpose and hardly any in content, as Gurman (when I asked him) and I both pointed out. There were no other crises before final acceptance as a Selected Document in Psychology. Each issue of that publication consisted of informative abstracts; and the full documents had to be individually ordered. In these respects and looking back the periodical was experimental and it was discontinued by the mid-1980s. I went on to distribute many hard copies of my report myself, until this eventually became impractical, and am so glad that the document’s core content is again accessible to fellow-investigators and other interested readers.
Article
An experimental scale to measure shame, the Internalized Shame Scale, is described with data on reliability and validity presented from a large nonclinical sample of college students and adults and a small clinical sample that included clients with alcohol problems. Implications from the scale for understanding the phenomenology of shame and its relationship to addictions is discussed.
Article
In the 1980s, in the wake of growing public concern, changes were made to police procedures for dealing with complaints of rape. Academic research into the experience of women who reported rape to the police after these changes were instituted, is almost non-existent. This article is based on the findings of a qualitative study of a group of women whose cases were recorded as rape by the Sussex police between 1991 and 1993. It looks at their response to their contact with the police at each phase of the criminal justice process from reporting through to the trial where this occurred. It also considers the overall attitude of victims to the handling of their cases by the police and examines those aspects which were particularly positive or negative. It concludes that, while there is much good practice, the task of improving services for rape victims is not yet complete.
Article
This article presents the key findings of a research project investigating changing police policies and practices at two London police stations in relation to rape and sexual assault cases. Despite a shift to the more sensitive treatment of women reporting sexual attacks, the attrition rate remains high. The police practice of 'no-criming' a high proportion of cases is compounded by the negative role of the Crown Prosecution Service and the extreme difficulty of securing a conviction when cases do come to court. The paper concludes by emphasizing the need for a radical overhaul of the judicial process.
Article
The Internalized Shame Scale (ISS) (Cook. 1987) appears to be a reliable ind construct-valid instrument for both clinical and nonclinical populations; it may have specific application to the treatment of shame in drug dependent populations.
Article
An experimental scale to measure shame, the Internalized Shame Scale, is described with data on reliability and validity presented from a large nonclinical sample of college students and adults and a small clinical sample that included clients with alcohol problems. Implications from the scale for understanding the phenomenology of shame and its relationship to addictions is discussed.
Article
The present study investigated disclosure of sexual assault to members of one's social network in a convenience sample of sexual assault victims (N = 155) completing a mail survey. Three sets of correlates (demographics, assault characteristics, postassault experiences) of the timing of sexual assault disclosure and subsequent social reactions received from social network members were examined. Delayed disclosure was associated with childhood sexual assault history, completed rape, and avoidance coping, whereas early disclosure was associated with offender preassault alcohol use and postassault medical attention. Negative social reactions were more common among women who used avoidance coping and victims who told physicians or police about their assaults. Positive social reactions were associated with higher income, less physical injury due to the assault, less self-blame, less postassault distress, and saying that a friend/relative or a rape crisis center was helpful regarding the assault. Implications of these results for research and treatment of sexual assault survivors are discussed.
Article
Rape victims differ in their style of communicating their experience to others in their environment. An emotional style of self-presentation can be distinguished from a numbed style of presentation. The present experiment tests the hypothesis that a numbed style of self-presentation, as compared to an emotional one, will result more strongly in secondary victimization by the environment. Experimental results suggest among others that a victim characterized by an emotional self-presentation is more strongly perceived as a woman who exhibited caution, and as a person who was not responsible for the situation. Some implications of this perceptual bias in observers are discussed.
Article
A sample of 391 adult females were interviewed about lifetime criminal victimization experiences, crime reporting, and psychological impact. In total, 75% of the sample (n = 295) had been victimized by crime, and 41.4% of all crimes were reported to the police. Reporting rates differed by crime type. Burglary had the highest reporting rate (82.4%); and sexual assault the lowest (7.1%). Of all crime victims, 27.8% subsequently developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Major implications are the following: Prevalence rates are extremely high and reporting rates are low. The prevalence of PTSD indicates that crime has both an immediate and long-term psychological impact. Suggestions for improved victim services are discussed.
Article
PREFACE ABBREVIATIONS TABLE OF CASES TABLE OF STATUTES 1. Rape, Rape Victims and the Criminal Justice System 2. Defining and Redefining Rape 3. Alternative Approaches 4. Evidence 5. Assisting the Victims of Rape 6. Conclusion SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX
Article
The relationship between shame measures, in particular the Other As Shamer Scale (OAS), and self-report measures of psychopathology was explored in a non-clinical population. Results indicate that beliefs about negative evaluations by others is associated with measures of clinical relevance. Additionally, shame scales which tap into global negative beliefs, including the OAS, are more strongly associated with measures of psychopathology than scales which focus on shame responses to specific events.
Article
The present article reports on the development and validation of a self-report measure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PTDS), that yields both a PTSD diagnosis according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994 DSM-IV) criteria and a measure of PTSD symptom severity. Two-hundred forty-eight participants who had experienced a wide variety of traumas (e.g., accident, fire, natural disaster, assault, combat) were administered the PTSD module of the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID; Spitzer, Williams, Gibbons, & First, 1990), the PTDS, and scales measuring trauma-related psychopathology. The PTDS demonstrated high internal consistency and test-retest reliability, high diagnostic agreement with SCID, and good sensitivity and specificity. The satisfactory validity of the PTDS was further supported by its high correlations with other measures of trauma-related psychopathology. Therefore, the PTDS appears to be a useful tool for screening and assessing current PTSD in clinical and research settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Explores some of the components of shame, with a special focus on shame emotions and cognitions, and shame proneness. The chapter attempts to draw attention to overlapping areas of psychological theory and research; for example, the complexity of the cognition–emotion interface. It is suggested that shame researchers and theorists may be in danger of creating yet another subdivision within psychology with its own key concepts and literature, and with a risk of becoming detached from closely related fields. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Research on the detection of deception, via non-verbal cues, has shown that people's ability to successfully discriminate between truth and deception is only slightly better than chance level. One of the reasons for these disappointing findings possibly lies in people's inappropriate beliefs regarding ‘lying behaviour’. A 64-item questionnaire originally used in Germany, which targets participants' beliefs regarding truthful and deceptive behaviour, was used. The present study differed from previous research in three ways: (i) instead of a student population, police officers and lay people were sampled, (ii) both people's beliefs regarding others' deceptive behaviour and their beliefs regarding their own deceptive behaviour were examined, and (iii) both non-verbal cues to, and content characteristics of, deceptive statements were examined. Results were consistent with previous studies, which found significant differences between people's beliefs regarding deceptive behaviour and experimental observations of actual deceptive behaviour. Further, police officers held as many false beliefs as did lay people and finally, participants were more accurate in their beliefs regarding their own deceptive behaviour than they were in their beliefs regarding others' behaviour.
Article
Participants viewed one of six video-recorded versions of a rape victim's testimony, role-played by a professional actress in one of six versions: Two versions of the testimony, representing a strong and a less strong rape scenario, were given in a free-recall manner with one of three kinds of emotions displayed, termed congruent, neutral and incongruent emotional expressions. Credibility judgements were strongly influenced by the emotions displayed, but not by the content of the story. When video watching was compared to reading a transcript of the testimony, results indicated that perceived credibility was reduced when the witness displayed neutral or incongruent emotions. Story content and displayed emotion contributed equally to estimates of the probability of a guilty verdict. We conclude that perception of credibility is strongly influenced by social stereotypes regarding appropriate emotional expression. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
There is growing interest in the association of shame with various personality traits and psychopathology. This study modified a self-report measure to focus upon beliefs about how others evaluate the self (the “Other As Shamer” scale) and explore its correlations with other measures of shame. An initial analysis of the scale indicates satisfactory reliability and a three factor structure, with one factor called ‘inferiority’ accounting for the largest proportion of the variance. Results support the view that shame involves both self-evaluations and beliefs about how the self is judged by others.
Article
There is increasing recognition of emotions other than fear in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and recent research has looked at the role of shame. Cognitive theory suggests that PTSD is caused by traumatic experiences being processed in a way that causes ongoing current threat. In this paper we suggest that shame might contribute to the creation/maintenance of ongoing current threat as it attacks an individual's psychological integrity. A correlational design was used to investigate some of the factors that might contribute to a shame response within a PTSD sample. It was hypothesized that individuals with PTSD who report higher levels of shame would be more prone to engage in self-critical thinking and less prone to engage in self-reassuring thinking than individuals with PTSD who report lower levels of shame. Data were gathered using self-report questionnaires, and results supported the hypotheses. It is suggested therapy for shame-based PTSD needs to incorporate strategies to help individuals develop inner caring, compassion and self-reassurance.
Article
The present survey based on 70% returns (N = 140) of a random sample of 200 women at one college indicated that, although 5% had been date raped, none reported the rapes to authorities due to feelings of self-blame and embarrassment. That rapes are not reported perpetuates a self-fulfilling prophecy that rapes do not occur. A victim of rape may feel she is the only one and may be reluctant to become the exception who reports. This denial by both collage authorities and victims does not encourage programs for prevention and treatment.
Article
To examine the role of cognitive-affective appraisals and childhood abuse as predictors of crime-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, 157 victims of violent crime were interviewed within 1 month post-crime and 6 months later. Measures within 1 month post-crime included previous physical and sexual abuse in childhood and responses to the current crime, including shame and anger with self and others. When all variables were considered together, shame and anger with others were the only independent predictors of PTSD symptoms at 1 month, and shame was the only independent predictor of PTSD symptoms at 6 months when 1-month symptoms were controlled. The results suggest that both shame and anger play an important role in the phenomenology of crime-related PTSD and that shame makes a contribution to the subsequent course of symptoms. The findings are also consistent with previous evidence for the role of shame as a mediator between childhood abuse and adult psychopathology.
Article
Post-traumatic stress disorder is currently classified as an anxiety disorder with fear as the predominant emotion. This has led to the development of treatment techniques such as exposure aimed at alleviating fear. This article highlights the need to address other emotional responses, in particular shame and guilt, when assessing and treating PTSD. Hence, it presents two clinical models of shame-based PTSD and guilt-based PTSD. These models are offered as aids to clinicians in assessing and formulating cases of PTSD where shame and guilt are salient issues. The models highlight the importance of assessing meaning in the context of pre-existing schemas and address two pathways to the development of shame and/or guilt: schema congruence and schema incongruence. Several treatment implications are drawn from the models.
Article
Late disclosure or non-disclosure during Home Office interviews is commonly cited as a reason to doubt an asylum seeker's credibility, but disclosure may be affected by other factors. To determine whether and how sexual violence affects asylum seekers' disclosure of personal information during Home Office interviews. Twenty-seven refugees and asylum seekers were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and self-report measures. The majority of participants reported difficulties in disclosing. Those with a history of sexual violence reported more difficulties in disclosing personal information during Home Office interviews, were more likely to dissociate during these interviews and scored significantly higher on measures of post-traumatic stress symptoms and shame than those with a history of non-sexual violence. The results indicate the importance of shame, dissociation and psychopathology in disclosure and support the need for immigration procedures sensitive to these issues. Judgments that late disclosure is indicative of a fabricated asylum claim must take into account the possibility of factors related to sexual violence and the circumstances of the interview process itself.
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