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Counseling Hostage Families: What We Have Learned From the Iran Hostage Experience (From The Victimology Handbook: Research Findings, Treatment, and Public Policy, P 305-318, 1990, Emilio Viano, ed. -- See NCJ-126951)

NCJ Number
L Dane
Date Published
14 pages
Using a study of the coping process of 14 wives of the hostages held in Iran, this paper examines issues related to effective assistance to the families of hostages.
Information was obtained from interviews and from the administration of the Bugen-Hawkins Coping Response Profile, which measured differences in daily coping before and after the hostagetaking. Overall, the study identified family members as indirect crime victims. The wives of the hostages reported major needs involving three situational factors: economic needs or disruption in the family's income; the need to affiliate with persons and groups that can relieve anxiety and respond to victim needs; and the need to assess coping processes and their effectiveness. Victim assistance programs can help hostage families by establishing a national network of volunteers who have survived this type of crisis and who can provide informal guidance and role modeling for effective coping. Such volunteers can provide informal counseling and referral services. A victim assistance coordinator can encourage the establishment of a hostage family members' self-help group with officers having defined functions. Such a group must have objectives, long-term and short-term goals, tasks, and priorities. 10-item bibliography