Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Vulnerabilities of Victims Impede Detection of Abuse

preexisting cognitive deficit such as dementia not only impairs the ability of victims to communicate but potentially compounds the trauma of the sexual assault.[9] The vulnerability of this population places them at unusually high risk for severe traumatic reactions to assault, researchers assessed, noting that 11 of the 20 victims died within 12 months of the assault.[10] Many of the victims remained silent about the attack—the incidents came to light only after suspicious signs or evidence were noted by a staff or family member.[11]

Catherine C. McNamee is a Social Science Analyst at the National Institute of Justice. Mary B. Murphy is the Managing Editor of the NIJ Journal.