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Arch Iran Med. 2020;23(COVID-19 Special Issue): S6-S8.
doi: 10.34172/aim.2020.s2

Scopus ID: 85084170628
  Abstract View: 1226
  PDF Download: 501

Original Article

The Past Victim, the Future Abuser

Ali Firoozabadi 1,2*

1 Research Center for Traditional Medicine and History of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2 Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Hafez Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Ali Firoozabadi, MD; Hafez Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Email firooza@sums.ac.ir

Abstract

Background: Childhood trauma exerts a significant effect on psychological life of people. It is a ubiquitous phenomenon. We face a social epidemic with serious consequences that shatter the life of survivors. Victimization in early years of life entraps the individuals in the victim-rescuer-abuser triangle. Many perpetrators and criminals have had history of childhood abuse. The main objective of this study was the assessment of patients with a history of child abuse who behaved in abusive manner in adulthood.

Methods: By reviewing the files of 3694 patients referred to my outpatient private clinic, I tried to gather data to answer the questions related to this study including history of abuse, victimization, substance abuse, and the percent of patients who were involved in abusive behaviors in adulthood.

Results: In total, 1075 patients reported a history of some abuse during childhood (29.10%). Of them, 19.44% (total = 209, 78 men and 131 women) behaved as an abuser for most of their life. The prevalence of substance abuse in people with history of abuse was 36.6% compared to 28.36% in those without. The prevalence of acting as an abuser and perpetrator in adult life was 27.5%, 19.5%, 18.4% and 11.11% among the divorced, married, single and widowed respectively.

Conclusion: This preliminary study showed that a significant number of patients with history of childhood abuse involved in abusive behavior and victimization of others in adulthood. Paying attention to this issue by mental health practitioners and policy makers can prevent the intergenerational transmission of abuse and development of a more peaceful society.

Keywords: Child abuse, Iran, Shiraz, Trauma, Victim
Cite this article as: Firoozabadi A. The past victim, the future abuser. Arch Iran Med. 2020;23(4 suppl 1):S6–S8. doi: 10.34172/ aim.2020.s2.
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Submitted: 25 Feb 2019
Accepted: 12 Oct 2019
ePublished: 01 Apr 2020
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