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NCJ Number: 141960 Find in a Library
Title: Fear of Victimization and Victimization Rates Among Women: A Paradox?
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:9  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1992)  Pages:419-441
Author(s): V D Young
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 23
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the paradox involving the high levels of fear and the low rates of reported victimization for females concludes that victimizations involving nonstrangers accounts for much of this gap.
Abstract: The 1989 Gallup Report noted that almost 60 percent of the women and only 25 percent of the men reported fear of crime. However, female rates of victimization are lower than those of males. Measurement problems and differential exposure to risk as outlined in the routine activities theory have been proposed as possible explanations for this gap. However, a more likely partial explanation relates to the gross underreporting of rape and domestic assault, two crimes in which most victims are female. Because of this underreporting, the conclusion that males are twice as likely as females to be victimized is probably inaccurate. In addition, the victimization of females by nonstrangers are frequent and chronic, often occur in settings that the victim previously perceived as safe, and involve situations that are socially isolating for the victim. Thus, the high level of fear among women can be interpreted as an objective reaction to these underreported victimizations and to their impact on daily life. Support for this perspective requires a reconceptualization of fear of crime, based on the recognition that the current perception of victimization and fear was standardized on male victims. Footnotes and 83 references
Main Term(s): Fear of crime; Male female victim comparisons
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Female victims; Rape; Victim-offender relationships; Victimization risk
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