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Chapter 12 Victimology
Victimology: the study of the social and personal experiences of victims and their
contributory role, if any, in the criminal event
Typology of victims based upon victim-offender relationships.
a. Primary victimization—in which an individual falls victim to crime.
b. Secondary victimization—in which an impersonal agency such as a business is
c. Tertiary victimization—in which the government or public order is offended, perhaps
through regulatory violations.
d. Mutual victimization—in which the participants in an offence (such as drug sales,
gambling, and prostitution) willingly involve themselves.
e. No victimization—a category reserved for offences committed by youth that could not
be committed by an adult, such as the buying of cigarettes by an underage person.
Theories explaining victimization:
The lifestyle model (by Michael Hindelang, Michael Gottfredson and James Garofalo)
-holds that the likelihood that an individual will suffer a personal victimization depends
on the concept of lifestyle.
The routine activities approach (by Albert Cohen and Marcus Felson)
-holds that occurrences of personal victimization are dependent upon the routine or daily
activities of people and are the outcome of elements including the motivated offender, a
suitable target and a capable guardian.
The opportunity model (by Lawrence E. Cohen, J.R. Kluegel and Kenneth Land)
-contends that the risk of criminal victimization depends largely on people’s lifestyle and
daily activities that bring them into direct contact with potential offenders in the absence
of capable guardians.
Integrated lifestyle/opportunity theory (by Ezzrat Fattah)
-a comprehensive scheme comprised of various components including:
a. Opportunities, linked to targets.
b. Risk factors, related to socio-demographic factors.
c. Motivated offenders, who select their targets based on specific criteria.
d. Exposure, of the victim to potential offenders.
e. Associations, between offenders and victims.
f. Dangerous times and dangerous places, including evenings, places of public
g. Dangerous behaviours, such as provocation, which increase the risk of victimization.
h. High-risk activities, which increase the potential for victimization.
i. Defensive/avoidance behaviours, which tend to contribute to the reduction in the risk of
j. Structural/cultural proneness, which means the most powerless and marginalized are
most likely to be victimized.
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