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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74205 Find in a Library
Title: Criminals and Their Victims
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:24  Issue:2  Dated:(1980)  Pages:128-133
Author(s): M Schmideberg
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article discusses some typical victims of crime and underlying causes of their victimization and recommends emotional support and practical help rather than financial restitution to crime victims.
Abstract: Organized assaults are generally aimed at wealthy institutions or individuals, but the most common crimes are directed toward the weak and poor, who are often afraid to contact the police. The poor do not have the resources for protecting themselves and their property, are frequently victimized, and suffer more from the consequences. The sick, old, and socially vulnerable or intimidated are easy targets. Many people acquire a 'victim mentality' that invites attack; those who have witnessed or experienced ill-treatment as children are more likely to tolerate the same behavior as adults. In addition, victims often display masochistic, suicidal, and defeatist attitudes which affect their bearing and behavior and thus invite attack. Many people take unnecessary risks or fail to take proper precautions--behavior which may stem from simple causes or from deep psychological problems. Studies have shown that more violent crimes are committed by assailants known to the victim than by strangers. Victims are often unwilling to testify against a family member, and many professionals still do not recognize potentially dangerous situations in the context of their perceptions of normal family life. Finally, the prevalence of male criminals and female victims is seen as a result of the encouragement of aggressiveness in men and the lack of support and assistance given women. The article recommends the use of volunteers to provide emotional support and practical aid to victims and of police as a logical source for referrals to link victims and volunteers. A link between offender and offended, such as the British Bristol Victim Support Scheme (BVSS), can serve to alleviate the bitterness many victims feel toward offenders and those concerned with helping offenders.
Index Term(s): Psychological victimization effects; Victim attitudes; Victim counseling; Victim crime precipitation; Victim-offender relationships; Victim-witness intimidation; Victimology
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