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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69560 Find in a Library
Title: Promises or Pitfalls - A Prospectus on Comparative Victimology
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1980)  Pages:85-94
Author(s): D L Blazicek
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Victims should be studied from cross-cultural perspectives as cross-cultural inquiries can lend fresh approaches to solving the problems of victimization and understanding victim-criminal justice system interactions.
Abstract: In the advancement of comparative victimology, victims must be studied in their entirety (i.e., before, during, and after the crime event) and with regard to their interactions with the criminal justice system. Currently, there is no single comprehensive umbrella for conceptualizing the field of victim studies, nor is there a comprehensive theory of victimology. Similarly, there is no uniform type of victim, as variations occur in psychological and social factors, immediate reaction and coping mechanisms, and treatment of the victim in the system. Studying the victim in the criminal justice system from cross-cultural perspectives can broaden insights into the discipline of victimology as well as into cultural perspectives and attitudes about certain crimes and certain victims. The system can be improved through additions of other cultures' methods of handling victims. More significantly, international victim-assistance programs could be developed, ways of preventing international crime could be recognized, and international agreements or laws could be developed. Studying the victim could lead to improvement of the quality of justice, knowledge of whether the offense was victim precipitated, determination of why extralegal factors (i.e., victim's appearance, social class) influence the quality of justice, and assurance that victim's rights are safeguarded. Further study could also assist in the development of appropriate social service agencies to treat and aid victims of crime, in better statistical reporting, in better understanding of why certain crimes occur disproportionately in certain areas or societies, and in a clearer portrayal of the interaction and intervention factors influencing the victim. Moreover, victimology from cross-cultural perspectives can aid in determining offense seriousness, offense costs, ways to involve victims in ameliorating their circumstances, and developing meaningful victim-assistance programs. About 50 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Cultural influences; International cooperation; Victimology
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