Impact of sexual violence on disclosure during Home Office interviews

This is a study of the psychological barriers to disclosing sexual violence in a legal interview.

Bogner, D., Herlihy, J. and Brewin, C. (2007). The impact of sexual violence on disclosure during Home Office interviews. British Journal of Psychiatry 191 75-81

This study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, investigates barriers to disclosure in asylum interviews. It replicates an earlier study by Van Velsen et al.(1) which suggested that people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with a history of sexual violence are likely to have high numbers of avoidance symptoms. We replicated and extended this study, showing that these avoidance symptoms, together with shame and dissociation, are directly related to the difficulties that people report disclosing their past histories in interviews for asylum claims.

(1) Van Velsen, C., Gorst-Unsworth, C. & Turner, S. (1996) Survivors of torture and organised violence: demography and diagnosis. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 181-193.

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