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

Crivatu, Iona, Horvath, Miranda and Massey, Kristina (2021) The impacts of working with victims of sexual violence: a rapid evidence assessment. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 24 (10). pp. 56-71. ISSN 1524-8380

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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.

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.

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.

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

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: practitioner, professional, review, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, sexual violence, burnout
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Other Departments (Central units) > Research & Enterprise
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 10:08
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 11:13

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