Examining Social Workers’ Exposure to Client Violence: The Case of Turkey


Short-term and long-term psychosocial effects of client violence on social workers have been observed. Meanwhile, social work settings are also known to be divided into risk categories against all sorts of attacks from clients. This descriptive study is based on analyzing the factors affecting client violence through client violence against 130 social workers working in various public institutions and organizations registered to the NASW in Turkey. Of the participants, 56.2% are female social workers; the participants have an average age of 32.3 ± 7.6 years. The most common type of violence is verbal abuse/verbal assault (89.9%). Interestingly, the majority of social workers (70.2%) who’ve been exposed to violence clearly expressed that the violence to which they’d been subjected would recur and that they alert for this. These statements were actually the most intense psychosocial effects seen in social workers. In addition, a significant difference was seen to exist between social workers’ exposure to client violence with respect to social work settings (p ˂ 0.05). The study findings have revealed social workers’ needs to have work environments and social work practice settings where client violence does not occur to be important for not experiencing negative psychosocial effects in order to remove the barriers to a successful professional life.


Psychosocial effects client violence social workers social work settings Turkey