Stockholm Syndrome: Why Victims Feel Love and Other Positive Emotions to Their Captors and the Relationship to Domestic Violence

San Francisco Syndrome

Rhodes and Jones (2009) discuss how positive feelings towards a captor may initially be developed as a survival instinct, but later be mistaken by victims as feelings for gratitude since the captor was the only person the victim could depend on for survival. This might generate ambivalent feelings of love mixed with anger, pity, and sorrow. Cantor and Price (2007) argue that perceived threat to one’s survival, small actions of kindness, and length of isolation are characteristics of Stockholm syndrome and can also be noticed in victims of domestic violence. Furthermore, they also discuss the paradox seen in Stockholm syndrome, and the similarity with cases of domestic violence, where the victims often choose to stay with their tormentors when given the chance to flee (Cantor & Price, 2007). Domestic violence has a relationship with Stockholm syndrome and might be the reason why battered women choose to stay in an abusive…

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