Victims of Crime
- What do we mean by “victim”
- Which people are most likely tobe vicitms?
- Effects of crime on victims
What do we mean by “Victim”?
- Official definition is very narrow:
- “ individual who is directly affected by crime”
- Does not consider the impact on families or communities, and usually omits “victims” who are not directly involved (eg fraud, pollution etc)
What does “victim” mean? Victim
- Victims are often self-defined……….what does this mean?
- Can you only be a “victim” if you recognise that a crime has been committed against you?
- Quote on p184 by Von Hentig
- How far do you agree that there are some people who are more victim prone?
- Very controversial topic especially when relating to rape
- Amir (1971) found that 20% of rapes were precipitated by the “victim”
- What criticisms of this theory are there?
- BCS shows that YOUNG SINGLE MALES are most likely to be victims of assault and robbery
- Strong link to age and gender
- Link with social class, but not as strong
- Surveys also show that FEAR of crime in increasing
Impact of Crime on Victims
- Various studies have looked into the impact of crime on victims
- Maguire (1994) – worst aspect of being burgled; 32% said loss of possessions, 42% said concern/worry/intrusion
- Shapland (1984) found that 75% of people who had been attacked were still worried 2 and ½ years after attack
- Morris (1987) found that vast majority of those who were victims of child abuse suffered from low self esteem and other problems into later life
- Macleod (1996) found 2/3 of ALL victims were emotionally affected by crime
- Chambers and Millar (1986) found that the impact was made more traumatic by the reaction of and dealings with the Criminal Justice System
- This was because of he worry and stress involved with the case and the outcome, or feeling let down by the CJS
The Islington Crime Survey
- What were the main findings from the Islington survey?
- What were the main differences between this survey and the BCS?
- What does it tell you about the impact of crime, especially in relation to women?
- BCS found 1/3 of respondents had been victims, but 50% of these had been victims more than once
- Therefore, 70% of crimes were against repeat victims
- High crime rate = high rate of multiple victimisation
Why are some people more likely to be multiple victims?
- 1. Vulnerability of property/ premises
- 2. Specific characteristic
- 3. Offenders repeat successful crimes
- Look at table 9.1 on p190 and discuss the questions listed on p190-191
- Majority of crimes against women take place in the home
- However, women fear crime outside the home and alter their behaviour as a result
Myth and Reality
- Women fear crime, but are actually unlikely to be victims – often risk is exaggerated by the press
- Look at the diagram on p192 – what process does this remind you of?
- However, others argue that certain women in certain areas ARE much more likely to be victims of crime
- Also, these women are unlikely to report domestic violence or sexual assault
The American Situation…..
- Poor Black women are 6x more likely to be raped than rich white women
- Girls aged 16-19 are more likely to be raped than 35+ women
- Who is most affected by crime?
- How does crime affect people?
- How are victims of crime treated?
- How do we find out about victims?
- What help is available for victims?
- What about victim precipitation and multiple victimisation???????