Victims and victimology
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Victims and Victimology. Basic Questions/Data Gathering Effects of Victimization Theories of Victimization. The Level and Cost of Victimization. 37 million criminal incidents (1996) Including estimates of non-NCVS crimes, 49 million Cost: $450 billion?.

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Victims and Victimology

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Victims and victimology

Victims and Victimology

Basic Questions/Data Gathering

Effects of Victimization

Theories of Victimization


The level and cost of victimization

The Level and Cost of Victimization

  • 37 million criminal

  • incidents (1996)

  • Including estimates of non-NCVS crimes, 49 million

  • Cost: $450 billion?


How do we know the cost of crime

How do we know the “cost” of crime?

  • Tangible Costs

    • To Victim

    • To Society

  • Intangible Costs

    • To Victim

    • To Society


Estimating victim loss through jury awards

Estimating victim loss through jury awards

  • Looking only at cases that go to civil (tort) court

    • Are these a representative sample of “complete” and “incomplete” crime?

    • Think of the “typical” assault.

      • Is it worth $9,350?

  • PROBLEM: use of this data to justify the expense of prison


Immediate problems of crime victims

Immediate Problems of Crime Victims

  • Financial Loss

    • Property

    • Wages

    • Medical Expenses

  • Physical and Emotional Pain


Post victimization suffering

Post-Victimization Suffering

  • “Double Victimization”

    • Intensive questioning by police

    • What is going on in the case?

    • Property is often kept for a long time

  • Psychological Harm

    • Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, fear, antisocial behaviors


Where do victimizations take place

Where do Victimizations Take Place?

  • Urban areas (more than rural)

  • Certain neighborhoods (and areas within these neighborhoods)

  • Open, public areas and businesses


What demographic characteristics are related to victimization

What Demographic Characteristics are Related to Victimization?

  • Gender

  • Social Status

  • Marital Status

  • Age

  • Race/Ethnicity


Victim offender relationships

Victim-Offender Relationships

  • Crime tends to be intra-racial rather than inter-racial

  • In violent crimes, the victim is at least “well known” to the offender in 40% of the cases.

    • Much less often in property cases


Theories of victimization

Theories of Victimization

  • Explain who gets victimized and/or why

    • Victim Precipitation theory

    • Lifestyle Theories

    • Routine Activities Theory


Victim precipitation theory

Victim Precipitation Theory

  • Active (e.g., take the first swing)

    • Rape?

  • Passive? (e.g., love triangle)

  • Difference between empirical documentation and normative statements

    • Empirical facts do not “excuse” or justify


Lifestyle theories

Lifestyle Theories

  • All of these designed to explain the correlates of victimization

    • High Risk Lifestyle

    • Equivalent Group Hypothesis

    • Proximity Hypothesis


Routine activities theory

Routine Activities Theory

  • To predict “direct predatory crime”

  • The convergence in time and space of:

    • Motivated Offenders

    • Suitable Targets

    • Lack of Capable Guardianship

  • Usually assume presence of offenders


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