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Help seeking, from family and friends

chapter
posted on 01.11.2018, 00:00 by Silke MeyerSilke Meyer
Informal sources of support are an important point of contact for victims of violent crimes, including sexual abuse. Family members and friends form a significant part of an individual’s informal social support network and are therefore often the first point of contact for help-seeking victims. While sexual violence is overall underreported, family members and friends are more likely to learn about the sexual victimization of a person known to them, including children and adult family members and friends, than any other formal or informal source of support. With around one in three women and one in five men experiencing sexual victimization over the life course (McGee, Garavan, de Barra, Byrne, & Conroy, 2002) and between 40 and 90 percent disclosing these experiences to informal sources of support (Littleton, Axsom, Breitkopf, & Berenson, 2006; Rickert, Wiemann, & Vaughan, 2005), it is crucial for family and friends to be aware of their potential role as a support source for help-seeking victims. This entry provides an overview of the factors associated with victims’ likelihood of seeking help from family and friends, including age, gender, feelings of shame and self-blame, victim-offender relationship, and the overall role of social reactions when disclosing the abuse to family and friends.

History

Editor

Postmus JL

Parent Title

Sexual violence and abuse: An encyclopedia of prevention, impacts, and recovery

Volume

1

Start Page

228

End Page

230

Number of Pages

3

ISBN-10

1598847554

ISBN-13

9781598847550

Publisher

ABC-CLIO, LLC

Place of Publication

Santa Barbara, CA.

Open Access

No

Era Eligible

No