Consequences of Victimization

Let us revisit Polly, the young woman whose victimization was described in Chapter 2. When we left her, Polly was on her way back home after leaving a bar alone at night, and she was robbed and assaulted by two men. But Polly’s story does not end there, and although the incident itself ended, Polly dealt with it for quite some time. Polly made it home safely; she entered her apartment, locked her door, and started to cry. She felt scared and alone, and her head was hurting. She told one of her roommates, who was home when she returned, what happened. Her roommate, Rachel, told her she should call the police and have someone look at her head. Polly was hesitant—after all, she did not know what to expect—but she really wanted to make sure that the men were caught, so she called the police and told the dispatcher what had occurred.

The police and emergency personnel arrived. She was taken to the hospital for her head injury and was released after receiving 10 stitches. Before she could go home, though, the police wanted to take her statement. They questioned her for more than an hour, asking minute details about what happened and about the offenders. They also asked her why she was walking home alone at night. The police officers left her with assurances that they would do everything they could to identify her attackers.

The days passed, and Polly had a hard time forgetting about the men and what had transpired. She was having a hard time getting out of bed. In fact, she missed several days of class. She found herself avoiding going out alone at night. She felt as though her life had taken an unexpected, unwanted, and frightening turn—one that she was worried would forever alter her life. Polly’s concerns, like others’, were most likely not unfounded.


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