Discussion Spark: Crime Victims
In recent years, specifically after mass shootings, some news media have been vocal about not over-publicizing the names of alleged perpetrators, so as not to popularize them. Instead, news media have been giving more attention to the names and faces of victims so as to memorialize them.
In this Discussion Spark, you consider the importance of focusing on crime victims. Why is it important to focus on them? How might focusing on victim’s aid in preventing crime?
By Day 3 of Week 1
In a minimum of 150 words, describe why you believe it is important to focus on crime victims. Explain how focusing on the victims might help with crime prevention.
McGregor,J,2017. Crime ,news and the media . In A . Decker&R .Sarre(EDs.) ,The Palsgrave handbook of Australin and new zealand criminology ,crime and justice(pp.81-94).cham,Switzerland : Palsgrave Macmillan.
20 (80%) – 25 (100%)
Initial post is original and thought-provoking. Posting stimulates critical thinking. Relevance of the topic is demonstrated.
The mission of the National Center for Victims of Crime is to forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. We are dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime.
Cyber Victimization Among Adolescents: Examining the Role of Routine Activity Theory.
Kalia, Divya1 email@example.com
Journal of Psychosocial Research. Jan-Jun2017, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p223-232. 10p. 7 Charts, 1 Graph.
*ROUTINE activities theory (Criminology)
Routine activity theory
Using data from 200 high school students, age 16-18 years, we examined the associations between components of routine activity theory and vulnerability to cyber victimization. In particular, we focused on whether engaging in certain online activities increased one’s ‘target suitability’ as a potential victim and also, how parental supervision helped increase or decrease such ‘suitability’ online so as for one to fall prey to cyber victimization, as hypothesized in the RAT. The results showed that victims and non-victims differed only on the components of target suitability and parental supervision. The present research successfully provides support for the applicability of the routine activity theory in studying the phenomenon of cyber victimization across males and females. Additionally, questions are raised about revamping the Routine Activity Theory in light of the ever increasing technological advancements and awareness of cybercrimes. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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1Scholar, Department of Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi-110025.
2Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi-110025.
Academic Search Complete
Daigle ,L.E (2018). Victimology (2nb Ed).A Thousand Oaks CA sage publishing.
Chapter 1 Introduction to Victimology What Is Victimology? The term victimology is not new. In fact, Benjamin Mendelsohn first used it in 1947 to describe the scientific study of crime victims. Victimology is often considered a subfield of criminology, and the two fields do share much in common. Just as criminology is the study of criminals—what they do, why they do it, and how the criminal justice system responds to them—victimology is the study of victims. Victimology, then, is the study of the etiology (or causes) of victimization, its consequences, how the criminal justice system accommodates and assists victims, and how other elements of society, such as the media, deal with crime victims. Victimology is a science; victimologists use the scientific method to answer questions about victims. For example, instead of simply wondering or hypothesizing why younger people are more likely to be victims than are older people, victimologists conduct research to attempt to identify the reasons why younger people seem more vulnerable. The History of Victimology: Before the Victims’ Rights Movement As previously mentioned, the term victimology was coined in the mid-1900s. Crime was, of course, occurring prior to this time; thus, people were being victimized long before the scientific study of crime victims began. Even though they were not scientifically studied, victims were recognized as being harmed by crime, and their role in the criminal justice process has evolved over time. Before and throughout the Middle Ages (about the 5th through the 16th century), the burden of the justice system, informal as it was, fell on the victim. When a person or property was harmed, it was up to the victim and the victim’s family to seek justice. This was typically achieved via retaliation. The justice system operated under the principle of lex talionis, an eye for an eye. A criminal would be punished because he or she deserved it, and the punishment would be equal to the harm caused. Punishment based on these notions is consistent with retribution. During this time, a crime was considered a harm against the victim, not the state. The concepts of restitution and retribution governed action against criminals. Criminals were expected to pay back the victim through restitution. During this time, a criminal who stole a person’s cow likely would have to compensate the owner (the victim) by returning the stolen cow and also giving him or her another one. Early criminal codes incorporated these principles. The Code of Hammurabi was the basis for order and certainty in Babylon. In the code, restoration of equity between the offender and victim was stressed. Notice that the early response to crime centered on the victim, not the state. This focus on the victim continued until the Industrial Revolution, when criminal law shifted to considering crimes violations against the state rather than the victim. Once the victim ceased to be seen as the entity harmed by the crime, the victim became secondary. Although this shift most certainly benefited the state—by allowing it to collect fines and monies from these newly defined harms—the victim did not fare as well. Instead of being the focus, the crime victim was effectively excluded from the formal aspects of the justice system. Since then, this state-centered system has largely remained in place, but attention—at least from researchers and activists—returned to the crime victim during the 1940s. Beginning in this period, concern was shown for the crime victim, but this concern was not entirely sympathetic. Instead, scholars and others became preoccupied with how the crime victim contributes to his or her own victimization. Scholarly work during this period focused not on the needs of crime victims but on identifying to whatextent victims could be held responsible for being victimized. In this way, the damage that offenders cause was ignored. Instead, the ideas of victim precipitation, victim facilitation, and victim provocation emerged. The Role of the Victim in Crime: Victim Precipitation, Victim Facilitation, and Victim Provocation Although the field of victimology has largely moved away from simply investigating how much a victim contributes to his or her own victimization, the first forays into the study of crime victims were centered on such investigations. In this way, the first studies of crime victims did not portray victims as innocents who were wronged at the hands of an offender. Rather, concepts such as victim precipitation, victim facilitation, and victim provocation developed from these investigations. Victim precipitation is defined as the extent to which a victim is responsible for his or her own victimization. The concept of victim precipitation is rooted in the notion that, although some victims are not at all responsible for their victimization, other victims are. In this way, victim precipitation acknowledges that crime victimization involves at least two people—an offender and a victim—and that both parties are acting and often reacting before, during, and after the incident. Identifying victim precipitation does not necessarily lead to negative outcomes. It is problematic, however, when it is used to blame the victim while ignoring the offender’s role. Photo 1.1 A person left his keys in his car while he went shopping. By doing so, the person inadvertently made it easier for an offender to steal his car, thus facilitating his victimization. © iStockphoto.com/Toa55 Similar to victim precipitation is the concept of victim facilitation. Victim facilitation occurs when a victim unintentionally makes it easier for an offender to commit a crime. A victim may, in this way, be a catalyst for victimization. A woman who accidentally left her purse in plain view in her office while she went to the restroom and then had it stolen would be a victim who facilitated her own victimization. This woman is not blameworthy—the offender should not steal, regardless of whether the purse is in plain view. But the victim’s actions certainly made her a likely target and made it easy for the offender to steal her purse. Unlike precipitation, facilitation helps understand why one person may be victimized over another but does not connote blame and responsibility. Contrast victim facilitation with victim provocation. Victim provocation occurs when a person does something that incites another person to commit an illegal act. Provocation suggests that without the victim’s behavior, the crime would not have occurred. Provocation, then, most certainly connotes blame. In fact, the offender is not at all responsible. An example of victim provocation would be if a person attempted to mug a man who was walking home from work and the man, instead of willingly giving the offender his wallet, pulled out a gun and shot the mugger. The offender in this scenario ultimately is a victim, but he would not have been shot if not for attempting to mug the shooter. The distinctions between victim precipitation, facilitation, and provocation, as you probably noticed, are not always clear-cut. These terms were developed, described, studied, and used in somewhat different ways in the mid-1900s by several scholars. Hans von Hentig In his book The Criminal and His Victim: Studies in the Sociobiology of Crime, Hans von Hentig (1948) recognized the importance of investigating what factors underpin why certain people are victims, just as criminology attempts to identify those factors that produce criminality. He determined that some of the same characteristics that produce crime also produce victimization. We return to this link between victims and offenders in Chapter 2, but for now, recognize that one of the first discussions of criminal victimization connected it to offending. In studying victimization, then, von Hentig looked at the criminal-victim dyad, thus recognizing the importance of considering the victim and the criminal not in isolation but together. He attempted to identify the characteristics of a victim that may effectively serve to increase victimization risk. He considered that victims may provoke victimization—acting as agent provocateurs—based on their characteristics. He argued that crime victims could be placed into one of 13 categories based on their propensity for victimization: (1) young; (2) females; (3) old; (4) immigrants; (5) depressed; (6) mentally defective/deranged; (7) the acquisitive; (8) dull normals; (9) minorities; (10) wanton; (11) the lonesome and heartbroken; (12) tormentor; and (13) the blocked, exempted, and fighting. All these victims are targeted and contribute to their own victimization because of their characteristics. For example, the young, the old, and females may be victimized because of their ignorance or risk taking, or may be taken advantage of, such as when women are sexually assaulted. Immigrants, minorities, and dull normals are likely to be victimized due to their social status and inability to activate assistance in the community. The mentally defective or deranged may be victimized because they do not recognize or appropriately respond to threats in the environment. Those who are depressed, acquisitive, wanton, lonesome, or heartbroken may place themselves in situations in which they do not recognize danger because of their mental state, their sadness over a lost relationship, their desire for companionship, or their greed. Tormentors are people who provoke their own victimization via violence and aggression toward others. Finally, the blocked, exempted, and fighting victims are those who are enmeshed in poor decisions and unable to defend themselves or seek assistance if victimized. An example of such a victim is a person who is blackmailed because of his behavior, which places him in a precarious situation if he reports the blackmail to the police (Dupont-Morales, 2009). Benjamin Mendelsohn Known as the father of victimology, Benjamin Mendelsohn coined the term for this area of study in the mid-1940s. As an attorney, he became interested in the relationship between the victim and the criminal as he conducted interviews with victims and witnesses and realized that victims and offenders often knew each other and had some kind of existing relationship. He then created a classification of victims based on their culpability, or the degree of the victim’s blame. His classification entailed the following: 3 of 14 Completely innocent victim: a victim who bears no responsibility at all for victims
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