This informative paper on polyvictimization highlights its definition and scope, impacts on children and families, and ways to address and mitigate its effects, specifically through trauma-informed approaches.
This paper seeks to provide information on the identification, assessment, and mitigation of the impacts of polyvictimization, which is defined as the cumulative impact of diverse forms of traumas and victimizations on an individual. The paper cites more than 15 studies, many of which focus on children; however, it notes that the impacts and effects appear to be the same for adult survivors. It recommends methods for identifying and assessing polyvictimization, stressing the importance of screening survivors on multiple levels since it can affect mental, behavioral, physical well-being, and increase the possibility of life adversities as well as future victimizations. The paper also provides guidance on how to address the needs of people who have been subject to polyvictimization and suggests that Family Justice Centers and similar models may work collaboratively with holistic service delivery spaces to provide a trauma-informed approach, with consideration to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when addressing the needs of individuals seeking help.
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