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University of Waterloo
SOC 201
Barry Mc Clinchey

SOC 201: Victims and Society Lecture #1: Tuesday September 10th 2013 How Do We Think About Victims? • There are many ways that victims are considered in societies • Victims of Disease (although some effort is often made to place some responsibility on the victim) • “blame the victim” – Well you hadn’t put yourself in that position it would not have happened to you • Victims of Natural Disasters • Victims of Negligence • Victims of State Persecution and War • Victims of Criminal Behaviors • Victims of Resource Exploitation: The Alberta Tar Sands – people end up drinking contaminated water as well as contaminated fish • Victims of Bullying • Victims of Fraud – Young well educated people are most likely to fall for swindles overall but older people are more likely to report these economic crimes – Seniors citizens prey to telemarketing frauds – People between 30 and 40 defrauded over the Internet Who is Responsible? • Its complicated to figure out who is truly responsible Individuals Wrongfully convicted • David Milaard wrongfully convicted Blaming the Victim • There is often consensus in societies to consider that there are some categories of victims in which there may be a tendency to assume that the victims must accept some degree of responsibility Clarifying the term “victim” • The Criminal Code of Canada basically considers someone a victim if he/she has been a victim of an offence under the Act (2007) • This means that a person injured or killed as a consequence of an impaired driver would be considered a victim – For many this definition is quite limited in scope We will adopt the definition used in the course text • Victim: one who is killed, injured, or otherwise harmed by another • Victimology: study of victims and the social context in which they exist • Criminology: study of crime is basically offender focused Victim Advocacy Groups • Less than third of the victims report incident to the police • Waterloo Region Crime Council –our local victim advocacy group King Henry II of England
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