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Marieke Pijnenborg: are people with psychosis more likely to be perpetrators or victims of violence?

Are people with psychosis more likely to be perpetrators or victims of violence?

You may not expect it, but people with psychosis are more likely to become victims of violence, namely 4 to 6 times more often than people without psychosis. People with psychosis are more vulnerable due to factors such as addiction, a poor living environment, or being homeless. Having delusions, hallucinations or in some cases being aggressive can also make people more vulnerable to violence. This violence is also more often committed by an acquaintance than by a random perpetrator.

Marieke Pijnenborg

Research into victimization among patients of mental health care institutions in the Northern Netherlands shows that, compared to national and international studies, the risk of victimization is somewhat lower in the Northern Netherlands. This may be due to the rural environment, the stronger connection between people in the North and lower crime rates than in the western part. However, even here in the North, people with psychoses are more often targeted. Of the more than 300 people who took part in the survey, one third reported that they had been the victim of a crime or of abuse in the past year. This usually took place in their own home or living environment.

Not all victims report a threat, physical and/or sexual violence, for example out of fear or for not being believed. Moreover, in only half of the cases the incident was reported to the treatment provider. Unfortunately, as a result, insufficient attention is paid to dealing with the consequences, and the risk of repetition is high.

prof. dr. G.H.M. (Marieke) Pijnenborg
First name
Psychotic Disorders
Last modified:30 March 2023 11.47 a.m.
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