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

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Nen, Salina, Astbury, Jill, Subhi, Nasrudin, Alavi, Khadijah, Lukman, Z. M, Sarnon, Norulhuda, Fauziah, Ibrahim, Hoesni, Suzana Mohd and Mohamad, Mohd Suhaimi (2011) The impact of vicarious trauma on professionals involved in child sexual abuse cases (CSA). Pertanika journal of social science and humanities, 19. pp. 147-155. ISSN 0128-7702


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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Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1103 Clinical Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID24912, vicarious trauma, child sexual abuse, professionals’ trauma, hyper-vigilance, sensory sensitivity, exhaustion symptoms, flashback, sleep difficulties, post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, PTSD, trauma work
Citations in Scopus 12 - View on Scopus
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