The impact of vicarious trauma on professionals involved in child sexual abuse cases (CSA)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is an increasing awareness of psychological effects on working with trauma survivors (e.g., sexual abuse victims). However, little research focused on such issue. Adopting a qualitative approach, this study explored vicarious trauma (VT) among professionals working with child sexual abuse (CSA) cases in Malaysia. A total of 18 professionals (police officers, social workers, counselors, and medical social workers) were interviewed. Results indicated that respondents experienced shock and disbelief, confusion, fear, flashback, hyper vigilance, irritability, and sleep difficulties caused by work. Furthermore, their work also affected relationship with friends, family members, and children. This study disclosed the fact that most of the professionals were not even aware that they could be negatively affected by their work with CSA victims. Also, the study emphasized the importance of information and training about possible risks of working with trauma survivors to reduce the occurrence of VT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume19
Issue numberSPEC. ISSUE
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

sexual violence
trauma
social worker
police officer
sleep
counselor
Malaysia
family member
anxiety
Trauma
Child sexual abuse
Child Sexual Abuse
Social workers
Survivors
Social Workers

Keywords

  • Child sexual abuse
  • Professionals' trauma
  • Sexual abuse
  • Vicarious trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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title = "The impact of vicarious trauma on professionals involved in child sexual abuse cases (CSA)",
abstract = "There is an increasing awareness of psychological effects on working with trauma survivors (e.g., sexual abuse victims). However, little research focused on such issue. Adopting a qualitative approach, this study explored vicarious trauma (VT) among professionals working with child sexual abuse (CSA) cases in Malaysia. A total of 18 professionals (police officers, social workers, counselors, and medical social workers) were interviewed. Results indicated that respondents experienced shock and disbelief, confusion, fear, flashback, hyper vigilance, irritability, and sleep difficulties caused by work. Furthermore, their work also affected relationship with friends, family members, and children. This study disclosed the fact that most of the professionals were not even aware that they could be negatively affected by their work with CSA victims. Also, the study emphasized the importance of information and training about possible risks of working with trauma survivors to reduce the occurrence of VT.",
keywords = "Child sexual abuse, Professionals' trauma, Sexual abuse, Vicarious trauma",
author = "Salina Nen and Jill Astbury and Nasrudin Subhi and Khadijah Alavi and Lukman, {Z. M.} and {Sarnon @ Kusenin}, Norulhuda and Fauziah Ibrahim and {Mohd Hoesni}, Suzana and Mohamad, {Mohd Suhaimi}",
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AU - Nen, Salina

AU - Astbury, Jill

AU - Subhi, Nasrudin

AU - Alavi, Khadijah

AU - Lukman, Z. M.

AU - Sarnon @ Kusenin, Norulhuda

AU - Ibrahim, Fauziah

AU - Mohd Hoesni, Suzana

AU - Mohamad, Mohd Suhaimi

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N2 - There is an increasing awareness of psychological effects on working with trauma survivors (e.g., sexual abuse victims). However, little research focused on such issue. Adopting a qualitative approach, this study explored vicarious trauma (VT) among professionals working with child sexual abuse (CSA) cases in Malaysia. A total of 18 professionals (police officers, social workers, counselors, and medical social workers) were interviewed. Results indicated that respondents experienced shock and disbelief, confusion, fear, flashback, hyper vigilance, irritability, and sleep difficulties caused by work. Furthermore, their work also affected relationship with friends, family members, and children. This study disclosed the fact that most of the professionals were not even aware that they could be negatively affected by their work with CSA victims. Also, the study emphasized the importance of information and training about possible risks of working with trauma survivors to reduce the occurrence of VT.

AB - There is an increasing awareness of psychological effects on working with trauma survivors (e.g., sexual abuse victims). However, little research focused on such issue. Adopting a qualitative approach, this study explored vicarious trauma (VT) among professionals working with child sexual abuse (CSA) cases in Malaysia. A total of 18 professionals (police officers, social workers, counselors, and medical social workers) were interviewed. Results indicated that respondents experienced shock and disbelief, confusion, fear, flashback, hyper vigilance, irritability, and sleep difficulties caused by work. Furthermore, their work also affected relationship with friends, family members, and children. This study disclosed the fact that most of the professionals were not even aware that they could be negatively affected by their work with CSA victims. Also, the study emphasized the importance of information and training about possible risks of working with trauma survivors to reduce the occurrence of VT.

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KW - Professionals' trauma

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