“Stockholm Syndrome is a survival strategy,” says Hvovi Bhagwagar, a Mumbai based clinical psychologist and behaviour skills consultant. “Research has found that victims who submit are treated better by their captors.”
“Anyone in a situation of extreme duress may start sympathising with the abuser,” says Hvovi. “But the good news is that only 27 to 30 per cent people develop this problem, the rest of them still show normal reactions,” she adds.
“If victims of abuse get empathy, professional help and social support, there is no reason why they cannot lead a normal life again,” says Hvovi. A word of caution though. “Most victims of trauma don’t really show clear symptoms like disturbed sleep, crying spells and restlessness initially,” says Hvovi.
Featured in Femina, July 5, 2012.