The impacts of working with victims of sexual violence: A rapid evidence assessment

Journal article


Crivatu, I., Horvath, M. and Massey, K. 2021. The impacts of working with victims of sexual violence: A rapid evidence assessment. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380211016024
AuthorsCrivatu, I., Horvath, M. and Massey, K.
AbstractAim: Supporting clients who have experienced trauma can lead to trauma symptoms in those working with them; workers in the sexual violence field are at heightened risks of these. This article collated and critically appraised papers, published from 2017 onward, in the area of people assisting victims of sexual violence. It explores the impacts and effects the work has on them, their coping and self-care mechanisms, and organizational support offered to them. Design: A question-based rapid evidence assessment with a triangulated weight of evidence approach was used. Academic and nonacademic databases were searched. Twenty-five papers were included for analysis based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Results: Most studies were of medium to high methodological quality. Negative impacts included trauma symptoms, disrupted social relationships, behavioral changes, and emotional and psychological distress. Ability to manage negative impacts was influenced by overall organizational support, availability of training, supervision and guidance, workloads and caseload characteristics, individual characteristics, and their coping and self-care mechanisms. Positive impacts included empowering feelings, improved relationships, compassion satisfaction, and posttraumatic growth. Conclusions: Impacts are significant. Support at work and in personal life increases staff’s ability to cope and find meaning in their role. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
KeywordsPsychologists; Trauma; Sexual violence; Compassion fatigue; Vicarious trauma; Practitioners
Year2021
JournalTrauma, Violence, & Abuse
PublisherSAGE
ISSN1524-8380
1552-8324
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380211016024
Official URLhttps://doi.org/10.1177/15248380211016024
Publication dates
Online18 May 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited27 May 2021
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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