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SOC 201 (24)

Definitions and Understanding of Victimology

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University of Waterloo
SOC 201
Barry Mc Clinchey

Definitions and Understanding of Victimology How do we think about victims? - Victims of disease (effort often place some responsibility on the victim) o i.e. victims of smoking - Victims of natural disasters - Victims of negligence – negligence behaviour causing a tragedy - Victims of state persecution and war - Victims of criminal behaviour - Victims of resource exploitation - Individuals wrongfully convicted - Victims of bullying - Victims of fraud - Blaming the victim o Tendency to assume that victims must accept some degree of responsibility (consensus of societies) Clarifying the term “Victim” - The Criminal Code of Canada considers someone a victim if he/she has been a victim of an offence under the Act (2007) - Injured/killed as a consequence of impaired driving would be considered a victim - “Victim” refers to one who is killed, injured, or otherwise harmed by another - “Victimology” – the study of victims and the social context in which they exist (victim’s perspective) - “Criminology” – the study of crime (basically offender focused) Victim Advocacy Groups - Educating victims in seeking help in reporting/victim services - Understand legal concepts and other advice - Helping/counseling with “what do I do next”/other processes - Services in communities emerging into provincial legislation HISTORY – King Henry II of England and Common Law - Individual roles in society and of the state (King Henry) Concepts of victims and offenders - The historical relationship set the responsibility for retribution on the victim - The offence violated the victim - The commission of the offence violated “nature” - Necessary to accomplish a
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