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SOC 1500 (173)
Chapter 4

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SOC 1500
Andrew Hathaway

CHAPTER 4 VICTIMS AND VICTIMIZATION Victimology: The study of the victim’s role criminal transaction  About 25% of Canadians victimized in previous year  Overall, 7.4 million incidents reported  Breakdown: 31% violent, 36% household, 34% theft personal property  Most victimizations not reported COST OF CRIME • $3.5 billion per year in personal property claims • $2 billion in claims for commercial property • Auto theft accounts for 13% of property crime (Insurance Board of Canada) • Also, loss of productivity, medical costs, insurance premiums, security/surveillance costs • Does not include costs of white-collar crime • Ex. tax evasion, stock market manipulation VICTIMS OF CRIMES Antisocial behaviours: Abuse in childhood causes person to be reserved and quiet. Awkward, doesn’t know how to socialize. Cycle of violence: Phenomenon of child victims of abuse becoming adult criminal  Stress and anxiety o Post-traumatic stress disorder o Suicide, mental health problems, homelessness  Girls who were sexually abused as children, are more likely to be suicidal than those who were not  Spousal abuse  Male victims can also go through the trauma except they feel weak and helpless  Antisocial behaviour o Abuse in childhood is related to drug problems, crime in adulthood.  Males are more likely to use violence if  They were abused.  They witnessed spousal abuse.  Females show adjustment problems if  They were exposed to family violence. PERCEPTION OF RISK  Fear of victimization exceed actual risk o Ex. 2003, 43% of Torontonians are worried about child abductions and home break-ins  Media focuses on sensational crime o Ex. On TV killers kill at random, when normally the killer knows the person.  Thomas Fleming said that killers like Paul Bernardo create a fear within the public out of proportion to their incidence  Fear of crime decreasing like walking home alone. The media helps distort our expectation NATURE OF VICTIMIZATION  Victimization survey o Canadian Urban Victimization Survey, 1982  Showed significant underreporting of crimes. o General Social Survey (GSS), 2009  Done in a 5 year cycle o International Crime Victims Survey  Canadian victimization rates are lower than many other developed countries.  Gender o Male, female rates of victimization similar o Males greater risk of robbery, assault o Females greater risk of sexual assault, criminal harassment o Males more likely victimized by strangers o Females more often by acquaintances  Age o Youth 15 – 24 are most victimized, 284/1000, especially sexual assault and robbery o Youth also overrepresented as perpetrators o Elderly have much lower rates of victimization, but greater fear o Much personal victimization occurs within families  Social status o Low-income have more personal victimization, burglary, violence o Street youth are particularly vulnerable o Poverty increases the risk of child abuse o Aboriginal rates higher overall  Relationship o Single people experience more violent victimization o Going out at night increases risk of victimization by strangers o Homicide is usually by family or acquaintance o ¾ of spousal homicide victims are female o Child victims of violence are usually victimized by family members and acquaintances REPEAT VICTIMIZATION  Many crimes involve repeat victimizations, both personal and household. o Target vulnerability (weak, helpless) o Target gratifiability (desirable goods or qualities) o Target antagonism (anger, jealousy) THEORIES OF VICTIMIZATION 1) VICTIM PRECIPITATION THEORY  Active precipitation (Wolfgang) o Victim provokes offender through actions, taunts, and threats o Ex. Women who kill their abusive husbands  Issues o Active precipitation and sexual assault  Such as rape. Such cases involve blaming the victim. o Passive precipitation and aggression  Can be caused when two people are arguing over something or someone such as a job, girl/boy, or another commodity Aggravating factor: Circumstance that makes crime more serious; racism makes assault more serious. Result in harsh hate crime Mitigating factor: Circum
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