3.2.1 Michael C. Baurmann, quoted and summarized
Sexualität, Gewalt und psychische Folgen: Ein Längschnittuntersuchung bei Opfern sexueller Gewalt und sexuellen Norm-verletzungen anhand von angeziegten Sexualkontakten (Wiesbaden, Bundeskriminalamt Forschungsreihe Nr. 15, 1983)
[P. 15] Persons who become known as victims of non-violent criminal sexual acts often find that the world around them attributes more significance to the situation than they themselves do, and that subsequently, they have scarcely any say in how the indecent sexual contacts are assessed. When the statements of persons who have become known as sexual victims are taken seriously, and psycho-diagnostic studies of victim harm are examined carefully, one comes to the inevitable conclusion that only a portion may be characterized as 'victims'; frequently, they do not personally feel they have been harmed.
27] For better differentiation, a distinction could be made between
[...] Especially in other-declared victims, it can happen that, following the actual criminal act, an improper response from one's surroundings can cause initial or additional - harm. (secondary victimization).
Secondary victimization is generally understood to mean those influences that are in some way connected to or alongside the primary victimization, which in and of themselves cause harm to the victim. These influences are only indirectly related to the actual criminal act. Secondary victimization is frequently caused by the victim's close acquaintances and relatives, as well as representatives of formal control authorities such as police officers, judges, and attorneys.
Strictly speaking, secondary victimization occurs when people or institutional agents acts in such a way -- following the primary victimization -- that they inflict additional harm upon the victim; this secondary victimization is generally unintentional, frequently unconscious, and sometimes negligent.
[P. 85] The present study will empirically investigate what serious cases really look like, and where the actual dangers to sexual victims lie.
For those who have only been declared by others to be victims, hardly any methods have been developed for asking questions and eliciting answers concerning either the sexual victimization itself, or the overall circumstances they face.
Although the penal code declares these persons to be victims, their own subjective feelings are not in accord with this view; therefore, convenience samples may be the only possible way of reaching them.
[P. 155] Up until now [...] only two outcomes -- "harmed" versus "unharmed" -- have ever been considered; this ignores the possibility of sexual contacts being beneficial. Obviously, those interactions that result in "no harm" also comprise sexual contacts in which there were advantageous effects for the so-called 'victim.' This is quite conceivable in cases where the 'victim' him/herself felt respected, accepted, embraced, loved, supported and so on.
[P 188] As a whole, the results of the various studies on harm to sexual victims may be summarized as follows: Only about one-third to a maximum of two-thirds of all sexual victims appear to have been harmed in a primary way by the punishable sexual act itself. Many studies have shown substantially smaller proportions of harmed victims. And yet, again and again, authors have claimed these percentages are higher, without any empirical basis for making that claim.
[P. 299] Many studies no longer even pose the question as to whether the perpetrator might have had a neutral, non-violent, or even friendly contact with the "victim." When negative answer options are the only ones provided, negative descriptions of perpetrator behavior are, naturally, the only ones that will be given.
[P. 409] When one examines the literature, it is striking how frequently authors who are untrained in psychodiagnostic evaluation make layman's assumptions and declarations regarding harm to sexual victims. It is also striking that "experts" in this field frequently express a great deal of skepticism regarding victims' ability to personally describe the nature and causality of their own injuries. Instead, many "experts" uncritically ascribe certain symptomatologies to victims.
[...] One gets the impression that many authors fail to clearly distinguish between symptoms that already existed prior to the offense, and those that have some causal connection with the victimization.
[P. 424] Child witnesses [victims] of punishable sexual contacts are generally not harmed by the contact itself; therefore, care must be taken that they are not initially harmed by the behavior of adults subsequent to the sexual contact being disclosed.
Looking at the effects of criminal sexual acts on the declared victim, it turned out that many reported sexual contacts did not cause any harm at all. From this, it follows that the uncritical use of terms like "victim" and "harmed" is, for a large portion of those who are registered as sexual victims, inappropriate [...]
Obviously, the words "victim" and "harmed" strongly imply that the person in question has been injured. But for many of the persons interviewed here who became known as victims, these terms just do not apply.
[P. 470] If one takes seriously the subjective assessments of those most directly effected, one finds that, among reported sexual contacts, based on primary harmful effects to declared victims, there is actually a very large proportion of criminal acts for which there is no victim.