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Crime victims in limbo: when collaboration between the municipal social services and victim support fails
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Det sociala arbetets organisering och villkor (Sovil))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1406-2064
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA. (Det sociala arbetets organisering och villkor (Sovil))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7426-9801
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Det sociala arbetets organisering och villkor (Sovil))
2014 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Becoming a crime victim is a traumatic experience, and victims often need psychosocial support in the aftermath of the incident. In Sweden, the municipal social services (MSS) have a responsibility to ensure that victims receive post victimization support; however in reality, nongovernmental organizations such as Victim Support often execute the support services. The aim of the study was to investigate how the MSS fulfill their responsibility for psychosocial support to crime victims. Further, the aim was to explore to what extent and in what way they collaborate with Victim Support. In total, nine interviews were conducted with social workers from the MSS, crime victim coordinators from Victim Support, and crime victims; from three medium-sized municipalities. Results show that the MSS are not successful in fulfilling their responsibility; the main reason being that social workers do not see this service as their primary responsibility. As a result, victims are referred directly to Victim Support, as they are more experienced supporting crime victims. However, this distinct diversion is not as apparent in municipalities who, instead of just referring to, collaborate with Victim Support. Here, there is a clear, shared responsibility for the support, through collaboration and coordination of interventions, to ensure that the victims receive the best support. The results also show that social workers within the MSS lack knowledge about crime victims’ reactions and needs, which calls for extended collaboration with mental health experts, to ensure that victims receive adequate support. One of the difficulties with collaboration is the confidentiality issue. The victim themselves need to give active consent for collaboration if it takes place on an individual level. This issue is analyzed from a structural view point, and solutions and obstacles are discussed. This is of great importance to policy makers in their decisions regarding support to crime victim organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keywords [en]
Crime victims, Municipal Social Services, Victim Support, collaboration, support
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-42267OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-42267DiVA, id: diva2:784561
Conference
Stockholm Criminology Symposium, Stockholm, Sweden, June 9-11, 2014
Available from: 2015-01-30 Created: 2015-01-30 Last updated: 2019-04-11Bibliographically approved

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Thunberg, SaraAhonen, LiaDegner, Jürgen

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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