Psychologist: Violence May Do Abuse Victims Disservice

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Psychologist: Violence May Do Abuse Victims Disservice

Psychologist Ólafur Örn Bragason, who specializes in forensic psychology, states that acts of violence against alleged perpetrators in sex offense cases may prevent victims from coming forward with their experiences.

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Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

Ólafur told RÚV that the discussions of such cases, sparked by coverage of the confessions of a pedophile and interviews with his victims on television last month, have thus far been very emotional but now it is time to seek solutions.

“Even though [the victims] want the persons in question to stop the abuse, they may not want to cause them any harm,” Ólafur stated, explaining that in many cases the victim is a child and the perpetrator a member of the family.

This was confirmed by Thelma Ásdísardóttir, project manager of Drekaslóð, a service center for victims of sexual abuse, in an interview on Morgunútvarpið radio program on Rás 2 on Tuesday.

“As in my case, it was my father who was the main perpetrator and I cared for him. I didn’t want anything to happen to him. So if … someone had wanted to attack him or hurt him, I’m not sure I would have opened my heart as I did at the time,” Thelma said.

There have been a number of incidents recently where suspected cases of sex offenses motivated acts of violence.

Click here to read more about two of these cases.

ESA