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Objectives. Fear of crime and impact upon societyExtent of crime and crime trends in US and TN Effect of Victim BlamingDevelopment of the field of victim\'s rights and victimologyOrigins of victim\'s rights movement in US. Too often. Society views crime and victimization as and individual problem
Development of Victimology

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1. Development of Victimology Victim Academy 2008 Dr. Helen Eigenberg

2. Objectives Fear of crime and impact upon society Extent of crime and crime trends in US and TN Effect of Victim Blaming Development of the field of victim?s rights and victimology Origins of victim?s rights movement in US

3. Too often Society views crime and victimization as and individual problem and not a social problem. We ?don?t want to get involved? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvBKlBhfgPc

4. Fear of Crime

5. i-Clicker Question Most Americans are terribly afraid of crime. A=True B=False

6. i-Clicker Question Fear of crime in American is about equal to one?s risk of victimization. A=True B=False

7. What do most people think of when they think of crime/criminals? Poor Male Urban People of color Strangers Street crime

9. We are especially afraid of random ?street crime?

10. Fear of crime continues to permeate the social fabric of America (Kilpatrick, Seymour, and Boyle 1991) In a 1991 survey of a national probability sample of 1,000 adult Americans, more than four out of five Americans (82%) said they were personally very concerned about violent crime More Americans were concerned about violent crime and drug abuse than about unemployment, pollution, the deficit, or educational quality A majority of adult respondents reported that they were at least "a little fearful" of being attacked or robbed: When traveling on vacation or business (72%) Out alone at night in their own neighborhoods (61%). At home in their own house or apartment (60%)

11. How safe are we now?

12. Measuring Crime Is crime increasing or decreasing?

13. Two major sources of national data: Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and or NIBRS/TIBRS http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm (in TN: http://www.tbi.state.tn.us/divisions/isd_csu_sac.htm ) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/welcome.html

14. Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Prepared annually by police departments Measures crimes known to police Limited or no information on victim/offender relationship ? especially a problem for assault/domestic violence

15. National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) National random sample Victimization survey thus includes crimes not reported to the police

16. And the data say:

17. Crimes Committed in 2004 in Millions based on Data Source

18. i-Clicker Question Most crime in the US is violent crime as opposed to property crime. A=True B=False

19. Most crime is property crime (Source NCVS 2004)

20. i-Clicker Question Your risk of criminal victimization increases as you get older. A=True B=False

21. Age of Victims Violent crime rate per 1,000 persons in age group: NCVS (2004)

22. i-Clicker Question Whites are more apt to be victimized than other racial groups. A=True B=False

23. Race of Victims Violent crime rate per 1,000 persons (NCVS: 2004)

24. i-Clicker Question Men are more apt to be victimized than women. A=True B=False

25. Gender of Victims Violent crime rate per 1,000 persons NCVS (2004)

26. i-Clicker Question Women are most apt to be victimized by strangers. A=True B=False

27. Relationship of Offender to Victims by Gender of Victims (In percentages: NCVS 2004)

28. Relationship of Offender to Victims by Gender of Victims: Intimates and Strangers as Perpetrators (In percentages: NCVS 2004)

29. Separated Women ? Very High Victimization Rate

30. i-Clicker Question Crime rates in the US have increased in the past 20 years. A=True B=False

33. i-Clicker Question Correctional populations in the US are lower than most other industrialized (Western) countries. A=True B=False

34. i-Clicker Question Correctional populations in the US have been rising proportionate to the crime rate. A=True B=False

35. Correctional populations continue to climb at unprecedented rates

36. Why are we so afraid? Where does the fear come from? Media Politicians Rhetoric (war on crime) Drugs Ethnocentrism Desire for simplistic explanations Social structural belief systems that demonize ?others?

37. Perceptions and Reality Perceptions = Reality BUT Reality ? Perceptions

38. Effects of Fear of Crime It ruins the sense of community -- ?no-go? areas. Wealthy people protect themselves ? isolate or moving from the area ? leading to (street) crime being disproportionately located in poor areas When people are afraid, they change their habits. They to stay at home more and avoid ?dangerous? activities like taking public transport, walking down a certain road, being near certain ?types of people? etc. Leads people to become disillusioned with the criminal justice system -- a feeling of helplessness ? and a sense that the law does not serve victims.

39. Origins of Law The Tension Between Public Versus Private ?Justice? For Victims

40. Early Legal Systems Eye for an eye philosophy Sometimes attempted to make the victim whole Victims often responsible for securing their own justice Legally ? e.g. colonial times Outside legal systems ? e.g. blood feuds Some contend victim more central role

41. Role of Law as a State Interest Notion of Social Compact ? 1600 and 1700 philosophers Emphasis is that crime is a threat to social order -- hence crime as a state matter rather than individual one as attention shifts from harm to the individual to harm to the state victims loose their role in the criminal justice system (although retain it in the civil system) Thus part of focus for victim?s rights movement has been to put victim ?back? in the system

42. Victim Rights Movement Victimology as an Academic Discipline

43. Benjamin Mendelsohn Attorney and scholar who beginning in 1937 begins to talk about ?victimology? Conducts rape study in 1940 Goal of victimology: fewer victims search for methods to diminish harm to victims Calls for research on victimization Factors that produce victims are broad Subsequent studies look for causes of victimization by looking at victims Development of concept of victim precipitation (Wolfgang, 1958; Amir, 1971)

44. Exercise You have been given a dream cottage/cabin on the river. It is spectacular. Everything one could one in a vacation retreat. There is one hitch. There are two roads into the property. One takes 10 minutes from the main road and is well maintained but is a private road. The other, the public road, is not paved, bumpy, curvy and takes an hour to get to the main road. But it?s a free cottage/cabin! You have stayed there many times. You met the man that owns the private road. He is a grouchy hermit. He tells you that he will shoot anyone who uses that road. But it?s a free cottage/cabin! You have owned it for 2 years now. No problems. Take the main road. Gouchy man leaves you alone ? you stay off his road. Every time he sees you he tells you he will shoot anyone who uses his road. You are there and get a phone call that there has been an accident and someone you love is in the hospital needing a blood transfusion within 2 hours or they will die. You have their blood type. You get in your car and tear off to get to the hospital. You decide to take the shortcut road. The hermit shoots you. Who is to blame?You have been given a dream cottage/cabin on the river. It is spectacular. Everything one could one in a vacation retreat. There is one hitch. There are two roads into the property. One takes 10 minutes from the main road and is well maintained but is a private road. The other, the public road, is not paved, bumpy, curvy and takes an hour to get to the main road. But it?s a free cottage/cabin! You have stayed there many times. You met the man that owns the private road. He is a grouchy hermit. He tells you that he will shoot anyone who uses that road. But it?s a free cottage/cabin! You have owned it for 2 years now. No problems. Take the main road. Gouchy man leaves you alone ? you stay off his road. Every time he sees you he tells you he will shoot anyone who uses his road. You are there and get a phone call that there has been an accident and someone you love is in the hospital needing a blood transfusion within 2 hours or they will die. You have their blood type. You get in your car and tear off to get to the hospital. You decide to take the shortcut road. The hermit shoots you. Who is to blame?

45. i-Clicker Question Who is to blame for this crime? A=you B=grouchy hermit C=some one else

46. Victim Precipitation Divides some finite amount of responsibility between victims and offenders -- Victims can be fully responsible, completely innocent of precipitation, or somewhere in between. Proponents of this perspective contend that the victim?s actions are important in order to establish responsibility Opponents argue that it results in blaming the victim and diverts attention away from perpetrators and their responsibility for the crime.

47. Problems with Concept of Victim Precipitation

48. Circular Thinking Like criminologists, victimologists have often assumed there are differences between victims and non-victims Measure characteristics of victims only Lead to a failure to identify common characteristics that ?cause? victimization Only thing that causes victimization is to be victimized.

49. Conceptual Weaknesses Concept creates a continuum ranging from totally innocent victim to totally responsible victim Thus, victims are assigned some degree of responsibility for their victimization ? no matter how small (e.g., bad choices) If there is a finite amount of responsibility for a crime, then offenders accountability is automatically reduced when victims are blamed

50. Offender Responsibility

51. Offender Responsibility

52. Excuses Offenders Behavior Attention shifts to victim behavior rather than the actions of the offender Provides cultural framework which offenders use to rationalize their behavior Provides cultural framework which the criminal justice system uses that often endorses victim blaming in principle and in practice (e.g. affect judges, juries, prosecutors, and police actions)

53. Places Undue Responsibility on Victims Implies that victims know how to prevent victimization Ignores that many people in society have disproportionate risk of victimization How does one live in a society to ensure they are not victimized? Even if it were possible, do you want to live that way? Sometimes ?risky? behavior is not avoidable (e.g. hitchhiking when car breaks down)

54. Victim Blaming Results in additional trauma to victims who must deal not only with victimization but the added burden of being told that it is their fault Results in SILENCE But is often accepted with little outrage

55. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trUIVZFXVmw U Tube Video on Bill Riley and Child Sexual Assault Case

56. Why do we, as a society, endorse this idea? Just world hypothesis ? provides false sense of security and allows us to ignore random and unpredictable nature of crime Gives (false) sense of empowerment for individuals but may increase harm done to victims Helps answer difficult questions about the motivations of offenders and draws our attention away from the idea that traditional criminology?s inability to prevent crime Allows us to shift our attention from social structural problems to individual explanations ? ignores the idea that social problems may be rooted in the way our society is organized (e.g., gender, race, poverty).

57. Concept of Victim Precipitation Has been central to the study of victimology; however, it has posed many difficulties. Causes further victimization to some victims who blame themselves or who experience victim blaming by the criminal justice system or others in society Affects our very conceptualization of crime and victimization. Keeps us from asking very different questions which might drastically alter our understanding of both crime and victimization.

58. Changing the way we view victims could radically change our view of crime. What if crime waves, media coverage and official crime statistics had little to do with the real victimization level? What if we found our fears and insecurities about crime artificially manipulated for political purposes? Suppose we discovered that most people commit crime, not just certain groups? What if the real career criminals were corporate offenders, not common criminals? What if we found that victims have often been offenders before, and vice versa? What if we discovered that we were as likely to be victimized by a friend or relative as by a stranger?

59. Developments in the Victim?s Rights Movement Five Critical Factors Affecting Development of the Victim?s Rights Movement

60. 1. Impact of Social Movements of 1960s Raises issues related to civil disobedience, role of government, and equality. Demonstrated power of grassroots movements. (re)Introduced violence against women as a social problem and pursued changes to benefit women.

61. 2. Impact of LEAA Begins in 1965 as part of Johnson?s war on crime Makes crime a federal issue ? really for first time Focuses on system wide planning, upgrading training/education of cj personnel, and improving law enforcement Uses formula grants at state level (blueprint for all that follow) Gave out billions of dollars ? highest was in 1973 ? 1.75 billon Never any agreement or congressional debate about substantive approach in terms of national crime policy ? only about how to distribute funds Politically expedient ? taking action on crime w/out a coherent philosophy

62. Problems Large bureaucracy Overlapping responsibility (state/feds) Changing structure and congressional requirements Annual funding process ? effect on long term planning and programming Crime control is not a federal issue CJS resists innovation Contributed to the politicalization of crime Focus on symbolic rhetoric more than coherent strategy (Feeley, M. and Sarat, A. (1980). The Policy Dilemma. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.)

63. 2. Impact of Law and Order Movement Victim assistance programs proliferate: by 1995, all fifty states and the District of Columbia had enacted crime victim compensation programs. Get tough on crime philosophy and conservative crime control policies

64. 3. Impact of Legislative Movement Victims of Crime Act (VOCA -- 1984) As of 1999, thirty-one states had passed constitutional amendments dealing with victimization. As of 1995, forty-eight states had passed victims' rights legislation in the form of Victims' Bills of Rights for a series of statutory protections that essentially mirror a unified Victims' Bill of Rights statute. 1990s: Congress passed major legislation that addresses hate crimes, campus security, child protection, violence against women, sexual assault, kidnapping, and gun control Violence Against Women Act (VAWA ? 1994)

65. VOCA (more information at: http://www.ovc.gov/) Federal efforts for victim compensation began in 1964 and subsequent funding from LEAA LEAA loss of funding places many program in jeopardy VOCA passed in 1984 Primarily funds victim assistance and compensation programs 1986 first funds distributed to states 1988 VOCA amended to require states to pay benefits to domestic violence victims and drunk driving victims Initiated process whereby federal government would provide victim compensation funds for state compensation programs Funds from fines, bond forfeitures, and asset forfeitures Helped standardize state compensation laws

67. VOCA Funding 2004 170,739 claims were approved at an average payout of slightly more than $2,400. Assault cases accounted for the majority of paid claims (82,100) and total payout amount. Domestic violence-related claims under the assault category account for 83 percent of the assault claims

69. Challenges Identifying and meeting the needs of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse victims Adequate funding -- cuts in state funding coupled with a large growth in claims More applicants who lack private medical insurance Processing cases in efficient and timely nature

70. VAWA (for more information visit: http://www.usdoj.gov/ovw/) First introduced in 1990 ultimately passed 1994 First piece of federal legislation designed specifically to address violence against women including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, Provided for improved prevention and prosecution of violent crimes against women and children Significantly increased the amount of federal funding available to support service programs at state level Re-authorized many times (2000, 2005)

71. VAWA funds in Millions of Dollars

72. 4. Impact of Coordinated Community Response Influence of Duluth and efforts to address domestic violence Major growth/popularity in domestic violence efforts nationally Spreading to other social problems Recognizes the need to use multi-faceted, coordinated response

73. 5. Impact of Professionalism of the Movement Victim service providers work in a very diverse array of settings -- areas of expertise and training are increasing multidisciplinary in nature. Growing recognition that certification or some other form of credentialing is necessary. Increased professionalization related to salary issues California State University-Fresno (CSUF) developed the first victimology major (1991) and the first graduate concentration in victimology (1992) National Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA) curriculum and NOVA certification

74. Backlash against the Movement Victim feminism ?abuse excuse? Claims of exaggeration of problems Commercial exploitation Sensationalizing exploitive civil suits (McDonalds hot coffee) Dismissing experts/researchers as victims with ?chips on their shoulders? ? challenge their objectivity

75. Effects of Backlash Trivializes the real and prevalent issues Silences victims (stigmatization) Perpetuates victim blaming and invisibility Continues to make certain types of victimization seem rare and isolated rather than pervasive and common Perpetuates a victim blaming culture Continues to perpetuate mis-information about the nature of crime and victimization

77. Future Developments Continued legislative reforms Acknowledgement of other major social systems and the role they play (e.g., medical, religious, educational) Continued increase in partnerships and coordinated responses Massive proliferation of research and continued (piecemeal) programmatic changes in the field Continued politicization of crime and hence victimization


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