CRIM 101 – LEC 10 – Mar 21
The Family and The Household – Followed By A Little Leisure Time Activity
ASSAULTS AGAINST CHILDREN
Approximately 60% of assaults against children under the age of six are committed by
Close to two-thirds of those assaults are committed by parents (including step-parents,
foster-parents, and adoptive parents).
Two-thirds of homicides against children and youth also committed by close family
member; 60% committed by the father and 32% by the mother.
SEXUAL ASSAULTS AGAINST CHILDREN
One-third of sexual assaults are committed by family members.
Half of sexual assaults committed by family members when victim is under age of six,
slightly less than half when the victim is between ages of six and ten.
In most cases, offender in family-related sexual assaults is a male relative; over one-third
it’s the father, slightly less than one-third its brothers, rest are other male relatives.
ABDUCTIONS OF CHILDREN
More than two-thirds of all abductions are parental abductions.
Distribution of offenders evenly split between fathers and mothers.
In most cases of physical assault and homicide against children and youth, the main
contributing factor (or precursor) is either frustration or an argument.
Young children and female children/ youth more likely to be assaulted or killed in private
dwelling (usually their own home).
Males over age of 11 more likely to be assaulted on streets, at school, in parking lots, or
in other public places.
THE PRECURSORS cont.
In the case of younger children, it may be difficult for them to leave an abusive
environment, thus explaining their increased risk of victimization in their own home.
THE CONSEQUENCES (AFTERMATH)
In both physical and sexual assaults, almost half of children and youth do not sustain
injuries of any kind.
If they are injured, most involve minor injuries that do not require medical treatment.
Only 2% of females and 1% of males sustain serious injuries.
THE CONSEQUENCES (AFTERMATH) cont.
Long-term consequences of family related-violence against children and youth should
not be underestimated.
Abused children and youth more likely to be aggressive, abusive towards their future
spouses or children, and to suffer from other emotional problems. Children/youth who have been victims of family-related violence or have witnessed
family-related or have witnessed family related violence are more likely to engage in
violent criminal activity when older.
CRIMES AGAINST THE HOUSEHOLD
THE UCR vs. THE GSS
2004 Uniform Crime Report suggests that property crime, motor vehicle theft, and
break-ins have generally been on decline since the early 1990’s.
2004 General Social Survey suggests that household victimization (as reported by
survey participants) has continues to climb, increasing by 14% since 1999, and 28%
RETURN OF THE RAT
According to routine activities theory, opportunity theory and environmental
criminology, crimes against the household due to contemporary life-styles.
People spending more time away from home – at work, at school, at play, or travelling
between these points.
Leaving their homes and their personal property unprotected.
RISK FACTORS FOR CRIMES AGAINST THE HOUSEHOLD
Risk of household victimization considerably higher in urban areas than in rural areas.
Risk of household victimization higher amongst those who have lived in their dwelling
for less than a year.
Risk of household victimization higher amongst those who rent (rather than own) their
swelling, and who live in duplexes, row houses or semi-detached houses.
HIGH INCOME HOUSEHOLDS
Sacco and Kennedy say that there is no clear-cut relationship between household income
and the risk of household victimization.
According to most recent GSS, however, households with annual incomes of $60,000 or
higher had highest rates of victimization – 17% higher than middle income households,
and 88% higher than lower income households.
Findings contradict arguments by theorists such as Gottfredson and Hirsch – i.e., that
most crimes are committed on the spur-of-the-moment, because of the thrill or
excitement involved, and that offenders are not motivated by the prospect of economic
Findings that higher income households experience higher rates of victimization than
lower income households tend to support explanations premised upon social strain,
social inequality, and relative deprivation.
SEARCHING FOR TARGETS
According to Brantinghams’ environmental criminology, offenders are unlikely to
explore distant, unknown areas in search of suitable targets. Offenders most likely to search for targets that falls within their normal activity space
(i.e., where they conduct their day-to-day, routine activities).
SEARCHING FOR TARGETS cont.
Offenders prefer targets close to their own homes, because of time and difficulty
involved in travelling long distances, and dangers associated with venturing into
Households most susceptible to victimization are those that offer the offender easiest
access, and lowest risk of detection and apprehension.
Prefer corner dwellings on (or close to) major transportation routes, esp. inconspicuous
dwellings that are partially hidden or where there is little or no surveillance.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES AND CRIME LEISURE DEFINED
S & K define leisure as free time or spare time that is used specifically for recreation
Activities that people voluntarily choose to engage in, because there are source of
pleasure or satisfaction.
WHO HAS THE TIME?
Teenagers have more leisure time than married coupes who are raising a family, or
people who are working full-time.
Some forms of teen offending are also forms of leisure – e.g., painting graffiti on schools
or joyriding in stolen automobiles.
Even when not forms of offending, leisure-time activities often take place in venues
where there is a considerable amount of crime and victimization – e.g., raves, internet
cades, bars, sporting events.
LEISURE AS A CORRUPTER
Oft-repeated claims that certain leisure activities cause people – esp. young people – to
be come criminals.
In the past, attention focused on corrupting influence of everything from comic books to
rock and roll music to movie violence.
Attention now shifted to contemporary leisure-time activities, such as internet usage and
violent video games.
VIOLENCE IN THE MEDIA
THE WHOLE TRUTH
Some observers claim that murder rates doubled during 10-15 year period following
introduction of “free” television in Canada and the US.
Also claim that 10% of youth violence is caused by television viewing.
AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Some studies found negative effects (i.e., watching media violence actually reduces
violent behaviour in real life).
Other studies found weak effects that could be explained by other factors (e.g.,
individuals who already display violent tendencies may be inclined to watch violent
movies or violent TV programs) Many studies claiming to have found link between watching violent media and increase
in aggression were conducted in artificial settings, where research subjects were