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More Than Just a Scratch: A Scoping Review on Physical and Psychological Consequences of Violence against Police

Violence against police is a reality for many officers. Despite growing concerns over the rise in violence against police and the serious individual and societal repercussions associated with it, a comprehensive overview of the psychological and physical consequences of ...

Published onNov 17, 2023
More Than Just a Scratch: A Scoping Review on Physical and Psychological Consequences of Violence against Police
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Abstract

Violence against police is a reality for many officers. Despite growing concerns over the rise in violence against police and the serious individual and societal repercussions associated with it, a comprehensive overview of the psychological and physical consequences of verbal and physical violence against police remains elusive. By performing a scoping review (n = 21) of studies and reports identified via database searches (Web of Science and Google Scholar), reference mining, and purposive sampling, and published between 2010 and 2023, this article is the first of its kind to map psychological and physical consequences of violence against police, as well as risk and protective factors that respectively increase and decrease adverse consequences. Results indicate that officers experience primary victimization by a range of different adverse consequences, but also deal with secondary victimization. The literature has come to a standstill due to lack of (recent) studies and a lack of diversity on how consequences of violence against police are studied. We argue that this lack of academic attention might be influenced by predominant societal perspectives and officers’ perceived victim status, and discuss the implications for police, policymakers, and research.

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