Mental health professionals regularly encounter violence. These incidents are often not reported to the police. The considerations regarding the decision to report or not are often made rationally. However, emotions also influence the victims decision. The influence of institution itself is very important. The institutes policy and the attitude of colleages and the manager are influential factors.
Reasons not to report
1534 mental health professionals filled in the questionnaire. 67 Percent reported that they were victims of a total of 2648 incidents. Most of the incidents, almost three quarter (n=1853), were not reported to the police. Victims often do not find it necessary to report the incident to the police (36%).
- Incident was handled within the institution (365 times)
- Did not occur to the victims to report the incident to the police (289 times)
- Violence (aggression) is seen as an occupational hazard (258 times)
- Reporting to the police is seen as useless (193 times)
All reasons to report can be found in Factsheet 2
Reasons to report
Victims reported 704 incidents (27.5%) to the police. The most important reason to report is that the patient was repeatedly violent (57.1%). Other reasons to report the incident to the police was to set a limit on the behavior (54.9%), to protect other colleagues and patients (43.7%), reporting is the institutions policy (33.3%) and reporting was advised by the employer (16.0%).