Staff experiences of working in a Sexual Assault Referral Centre: the impacts and emotional tolls of working with traumatised people

Massey, Kristina, Horvath, Miranda, Essafi, Shanaz and Majeed-Ariss, Rabiya (2019) Staff experiences of working in a Sexual Assault Referral Centre: the impacts and emotional tolls of working with traumatised people. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 30 (4). pp. 686-705. ISSN 1478-9949

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Abstract

This study considers the impacts on staff of supporting people who have reported sexual violence and attend a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). This paper focuses on the staff’s perspectives of the stresses and emotional tolls they experience including the coping mechanisms they utilise. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 staff, and a focus group was held with a further four staff of a SARC. The data were examined using thematic analysis. Findings indicated that staff experienced positive emotions connected to the meaningfulness of the work and team spirit as well as a range of unpleasant emotions. Staff also reported emotional numbing, in connection to the specificity, volume and sometimes unpredictable nature of the work. Coping mechanisms used by staff focused on the supportive connection to family, nature, and other team members; the value of clinical supervision; and the avoidance of topics related to work.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vicarious trauma, sexual assault, coping mechanisms, qualitative
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Applied Social Sciences
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 11:39
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 11:39
URI: http://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2080

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