skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 98169 Find in a Library
Title: Why Do Victims Fail to Report? The Psychology of Criminal Victimization
Journal: Journal of Social Issues  Volume:40  Issue:1  Dated:(1984)  Pages:39-50
Author(s): R F Kidd; E F Chayet
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews emotional and cognitive reactions to criminal victimization.
Abstract: It draws connections between the contents of these reactions and victims' reluctance to report the crime to authorities. Since between one half and two thirds of all crimes are not so reported, understanding these connections is critical. We argue that nonreporting is the result of three factors acting singly or in concert: (a) victim fear, (b) feelings of helplessness and the perceived powerlessness of police, and (c) the threat of further victimization from authorities. We believe victims react in relatively rational ways. Despite the apparent loss of control and the strong fear engendered by the experience, the victimization does not lead people to report it to authorities. Instead, reporting to police is often realistically viewed by victims as ineffective and potentially costly. (Publisher abstract)
Index Term(s): Reactions to crime; Victim reactions to crime; Victimization
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.