Stockholm Syndrome


The term Stockholm Syndrome has also been referenced in the Dugard case.

Stockholm Syndrome develops under four conditions:

1. The victim perceives the abuser as a threat to their survival, physically or psychologically.
2. The victim perceives the abuser as showing some kindness, however small.
3. The victim is kept isolated from others.
4. The victim does not perceive a way to escape the abuser.

The interrelationship between traumatic bonding and Stockholm Syndrome is magnified in a case such as Jaycee Lee Dugard who depended on her captors for her survival while suffering years of abuse.

The presence of traumatic bonding and Stockholm Syndrome are both evident in abusive relationships with less dramatic histories. Even without a kidnapping, a victim can feel dependent on an abuser which is magnified through the intermittent abuse and unequal power balance. Victims experience a very real threat to their survival – evidenced by the increase in violence typically experienced by victims when they attempt to leave a violent relationship.