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SOC 1500 (173)
Chapter 4

SOC*1500 Chapter 4

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SOC 1500
Mavis Morton

Chapter 4 – Victims and Victimization Victims can influence criminal behaviour by playing an active role in the criminal incident (ex. Provoking/insulting the attacker) Loss and Suffering of Victims:  Victims’ suffering does not end after the crime is committed, they must relive the scenario in questioning by police, and even put under some suspicion by police  Their property is often kept for a long time as evidence and sometimes never given back  May suffer stress and anxiety  They are more likely to experience a lower quality of life afterwards Perception of Risk of Being a Victim  People don’t rely on their own experiences to feel risk of being a victim  Crime can be distorted by the media – this effects demands for police services, public’s perception of courts and how politicians develop programs to fight crime Cycle of Violence  Victims of certain crimes are more likely to commit crimes themselves  More likely to commit crimes if they are the target of physical abuse or exposed to interadult violence Victim Characteristics Gender: women are overall more likely to be victims; in certain crimes male victims outweigh women and vice versa Age: young people commit a greater proportion of certain crimes; this may be due to the life style of young people (partying, drinking, staying out late) Social Status: the poorest Canadians are more likely to be the victims of crimes; poverty increases the risk of child abuse Relationship: a surprising number of violent crime victims are either related to or acquainted with their attackers Repeat Victimization  Certain patterns of behaviour encourage victimization – people can become chronic victims  They are a combination of personal and social factors  Finkelhor and Asdigian found THREE characteristics that increase likelihood of becoming a victim: 1) Target Vulnerability – physical weakness makes them an easy target 2) Target Gratifiability – the victim has a quality that the offender wants to obtain 3) Target antagonism - the victim arouses anger, jealousy or destructive impulses in the offender Theories of Victimization Hans Von Hentig: portrays the victim as someone who ‘shapes and molds the criminal’ Schafer: focuses on the victim’s responsibility in provoking or encouraging the criminal Victim Percipitation Theory - Can be either active or passive Active: occurs when victims act provocatively (threats, fighting words) Passive:  Occurs when the victim has certain personal characteristics that unknowingly threatens or encourages the attacker  For example: women in the work force may be seen as threatening by insecure and emotionally unstable men.  Hatred can be pass
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