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Scand J Caring Sci. 2008 Sep;22(3):445-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2007.00550.x.

Assaulted victims of nondomestic violence in Norway--injury, crime characteristics and emotions during the assault.

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Faculty of Health, Buskerud University College, Norway.


Violence is a negative and depressing part of human relationships, whereas consequences related to interpersonal violence cause a number of health problems in the world. The aim of this paper is to describe socio-demographic characteristics, injury, crime characteristics and emotions during the event in assault victims of nondomestic violence, and further evaluate possible associations between these factors. Data were collected from 149 victims by questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Our results show that most of the victims were young men assaulted by unknown attackers in public places. The educational levels and the levels of employment in the present sample are high compared with those of other studies. Seventy-six per cent of the participants suffered injuries to the head, face or eyes. About one-third of the sample had serious injuries that required specialist treatment. Anxiety was the most frequent emotion felt during the assault, followed by aggression. Female victims were more likely to experience shock (p < 0.01) and anxiety (p < 0.01) during the incident than men. Nineteen per cent of the participants reported feeling shocked and frightened simultaneously. About 60% experienced a combination of subjective factors, such as fear of serious injury, being killed during the assault and actual physical injury. It is reasonable to expect a high occurrence of future psychopathology among our participants.

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