Secondary victimization occurs when victims of crime feel they have been subjected to inadequate, insensitive or inappropriate treatment, attitudes, behaviour, responses and/or practices by criminal justice and social agencies, which compound their original trauma. In order to investigate how an under-researched group of victims of crime may be subjected to secondary victimization by the criminal justice system (CJS), which in this research refers to the police, the Coroner's Service and the legal (or court) system, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 women who had been bereaved by homicide. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) identified instances of multiple secondary victimization from all systems considered. Recommendations for how to reduce the secondary victimization of 'co-victims' of homicide are made, including: improving communication and promoting understanding between co-victims and the CJS; statutory rights for co-victims; and participatory rights in the legal process, such as access to victims' lawyers or auxiliary prosecutors.
- co-victims of homicide
- interpretative phenomenological analysis
- secondary victimization