Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 615-632

First online:

Recent Victimization in Women and Men with Severe Mental Illness: Prevalence and Correlates

  • Lisa A. GoodmanAffiliated withBoston College
  • , Michelle P. SalyersAffiliated withIndiana University Purdue University
  • , Kim T. MueserAffiliated withNew-Hampshire Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center
  • , Stanley D. RosenbergAffiliated withNew-Hampshire Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center
  • , Marvin SwartzAffiliated withDuke University
  • , Susan M. EssockAffiliated withMount Sinai School of Medicine
  • , Fred C. OsherAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine
  • , Marian I. ButterfieldAffiliated withDepartment of Veterans AffairsDuke University
  • , Jeffrey SwansonAffiliated withDuke University

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The problem of violence against individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) has received relatively little notice, despite several studies suggesting an exceptionally high prevalence of victimization in this population. This paper describes the results of an investigation of the prevalence and correlates of past year physical and sexual assault among a large sample of women and men with SMI drawn from inpatient and outpatient settings across 4 states. Results confirmed preliminary findings of a high prevalence of victimization in this population (with sexual abuse more prevalent for women and physical abuse more prevalent for men), and indicated the existence of a range of correlates of recent victimization, including demographic factors and living circumstances, history of childhood abuse, and psychiatric illness severity and substance abuse. The research and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

abuse mental illness victimization schizophrenia