Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 75 Issue 1 (March 2002), Pages 1-122

Families of homicide victims: Psychiatric responses and help‐seeking (pages 65-75)

The number of homicides in the UK is increasing: 850 homicides were recorded in England and Wales last year, but little is known about their impact on surviving family members. This study describes their psychological and social effects. Relatives seeking help from Victim Support were surveyed about their experiences, responses and help‐seeking and asked to complete a number of psychological measures. Victim Support workers provided additional information. High levels of post‐traumatic stress symptomatology and generalized distress were identified, as well as an increase in prescribed psychotropic medication Other effects included increases in anger and irritability, cigaretteconsumption and loss of employment. However, few family members had been referred forprofessional treatment.

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