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Stockholm Syndrome

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Stockholm syndrome; an issue that lends it name from a 1973 robbery of Kreditbanken in Stockholm, Sweden, in which two robbers held four bank employees hostage from August 23 to 28. These robbers shared a space with their victims and became emotionally attached and even defended them after. Today this syndrome is viewed as a psychological response to a situation where the victim has had their life placed in danger by the dominant person. During this time the captor has an advantage and the victims usually comply with their demand.

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Elizabeth Smart, is by far one of the greatest examples of this trauma, she was held captive for years by the dominators; however, she was allowed to walk in public and when she first learned that her two captors would be in trouble she sobbed uncontrollably. What makes a person who by all accounts should hate their dominator, turn this way? In this essay an attempt will be made to show how the causes rape, trauma, and victimization can make the victim have positive feelings towards their oppressor; the effect.

A look will be made at the different causes, the psychological effects of the causes, and the end product; Stockholm syndrome. Any crime that involves a hostage and dominator has grounds to be one of the worse and to make matters worse; the perpetrator will usually go for the worst case scenario as a means to get the victim to comply. “If you scream, I will kill your family. ” This is just an example of what can be used to gain compliance. Becoming a hostage is one example of a horrible crime, where the victims have to lean and depend on the dominator for all things necessary for survival.

The victim has to learn to bow without disapproval or the consequences can become detrimental to their welfare. This then leads to a psychological episode whose end product is something that is still puzzling to many psychologists today. How does it start to affect the victim psychologically? “A person held in captivity cannot escape and depends on the hostage taker for life. The captor becomes the person in control of the captive’s basic needs for survival and victim’s life itself. “(Fabrique, pg. 14). The captors usually threaten to kill the victim and give that perception that they are capable of doing just that.

The victim usually then , out of sheer will to survive, judges it safer to befriend the perpetrator by enduring the hardships and complying because the end product is better than resisting and facing murder. After they are treated to food, water, and shelter, the victim sees the perpetrator as showing some degree of kindness and this serves as the cornerstone of Stockholm syndrome. This effect of trauma is one that is very captivating because it has to be understood that this will not develop unless the captor exhibits some form of kindness towards the hostage. However, captives often misinterpret a lack of abuse as kindness and may develop feelings of appreciation for this perceived benevolence. ” (Fabrique, 14) On the off hand, if the captor is evil and shows the victim hatred, the hostage will respond with hatred which is not good to do. With some victims, even if the captor is evil they are compliant because it gives them more time. The end product is Stockholm syndrome. This essay gave accounts of the different causes of trauma, the psychological effects of the causes, and the end product; Stockholm syndrome.

This syndrome has plagued many people from the very beginning. People like Elizabeth Smart now have to go back to the beginning to change their lives and heal. This is something that will never go away for the world. As long as there are people who are there to prey on the innocent, there will be victims who will fall victim to their evil doings. Psychology is now developing techniques to make the effects easier to manage and after all is said in done, time will tell if the damages can be reversed.

Works Cited

Speckhand, Anna. “Stockholm Effects and Psychological Responses to Captivity in Hostages Held by Suicidal Terrorist.” Psychological Responses to the New Terrorism: A NATO-Russian Dialouge. Eds: S.Wessely and V.N. Krasnov. IOS Press, 2005 139-155. Print.

Adler, Nanci. “Enduring Repression: Narratives of Loyalty to the Party Before, During, and After the Gulag.” Europe-Asia Studies. Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, 2010. 211-234. Print.

Fabrique, Nathalie De. “Understanding Stockholm Syndrom.” FBI Law Enforcement Bullentin. Law Enforcement Bullentin, 2007. 10-15. Print.

Cite this Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome. (2016, Nov 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/stockholm-syndrome/

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