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Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology Sixth Edition

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Presentation on theme: "Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology Sixth Edition"— Presentation transcript:

1 Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology Sixth Edition
By Andrew Karmen Chapter Five: The Victims’ Contribution To The Crime Problem

2 Victim’s Contribution To The Crime Problem
Theories Duet Frame of Reference—Von Hentig, 1941 Penal Couple—Mendelsohn, 1956 Doer-Sufferer Relationship—Ellenberger, 1955 Shared Responsibility—Victims as well as criminals did something wrong Evidence of Shared Responsibility Inquiries: See Box 5.1, Page 98

3 Shared Responsibility Issues
Murder: ”…victim is often major contributor…” (Wolfgang, 1958) Rape: “…’virtuous’ rape victim is not always the innocent and passive party.” (Amir, 1971) Theft: “Victims cause crime in the sense that they set up the opportunity for the crime to be committed.” (Jeffrey, 1971) Burglary: “…understand the extent to which a victim vicariously contributes to or precipitates a break-in.” (Waller and Okihiro, 1978)

4 Shared Responsibility
Facilitation—victims unknowingly, carelessly, negligently and inadvertently make it easier for offender to commit a theft Precipitation—victim significantly contributes to the event Provocation—worse than precipitation—more responsible than perpetrator for the fight that ensued. Goaded, challenged or incited a generally law-abiding citizen into taking defensive action

5 Frequency of Shared Responsibility Study by National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence Homicide—person who died was the first to resort to force—22% Aggravated Assault—seriously injured first to use force or offensive action—14% Armed Robberies—victim did not reasonably handle money, jewelry or valuables—11% Forcible Rapes—woman first agreed to sexual relations or invited through gestures—4%

6 Frequency of Shared Responsibility for Violent Crimes
Completely innocent victims cannot be blamed for the crime. They reasonably reduced risks, no negligence or passive indifference. They often harden their targets with security devices and alarms Victim is totally responsible when there is no offender—victim may pose as offender—fraud

7 Victim Blaming vs. Victim Defending
Victim Blaming Characterization Victims might share responsibility with offender if facilitation, precipitation, or provocation of the event occurred Victim Defending Characterization Challenge it is not accurate or fair to hold the wounded party accountable to some degree for losses or injuries that happened

8 Victim Blaming vs. Victim Defending
Personal Accountability—Basic doctrine of U.S. legal system Just World Outlook—People get what they deserve Victim blaming is the view of majority of offenders

9 Victim Blaming vs. Victim Defending
Victim Defending—Rejects the premise that victims are partly at fault or must change their ways 1. Victim blaming criticized for overstating victim’s involvement 2. Overstates events of facilitation, precipitation or provocation 3. Exhorting people to be more cautious and vigilant is not an adequate solution

10 Victim Blaming vs. Victim Defending
See Box 5.2, page 108: “Criticisms of the Notion of Shared Responsibility” Two tendencies with victim defending regarding who or what is to be faulted: 1. Offender blaming—do not shift any blame away from offender onto the victim 2. Link victim defending with system blaming attitudes and behaviors of both parties influenced by socialization

11 Victim Facilitation and Auto Theft
“Is it the careless who end up carless?” Trends—Figure 5.2, page 110; Tables 5.1, page 112, and 5.2, page 113 Most likely victim—under 25, apt. dweller, urban inner city, African Americans and Hispanic Americans, low income Most likely stolen vehicle—2000 Honda Civic Auto theft is only crime which has a “victim blaming lobby” Auto makers, law enforcement, insurance companies

12 Victim Facilitation and Auto Theft
Victim blaming focuses on motorists with bad habits Victim defending focuses on majority of motorists who did nothing wrong Teenagers are no longer #1 in stealing cars—organized car rings

13 Typology of Shared Responsibility
Auto Theft: Conscientiously Resisting Victims } 55% Conventionally Cautious Victims Carelessly Facilitating Victims} 20% Precipitative Initiators Provocative Conspirators } 25% Fabricating Simulators

14 Victim Facilitation and ID Theft
ID Theft—Unauthorized (illegal) appropriation of personal information Names, addresses, dob, doc#, mother’s maiden name Federal Trade Commission (FTC)—Identity theft clearing house Table 5.3, page 117 identifies Identity Theft Type distribution nationwide in 2004

15 Laws and Law Enforcement
Nearly all states criminalized the unlawful possession of personal I.D. in the 90s 1998 Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act Provided for financial recovery for victim not just financial institution Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 Provided for one free credit report per year

16 Laws and Law Enforcement
Problems undermining law enforcement effectiveness in enforcing ID Theft Many officers lack training and agencies lack resources to provide adequate response Multi-jurisdictional complications undercut an agency’s commitment to follow through Law enforcement agencies stymied as many instances not reported to police

17 Victim Facilitation and ID Theft
Risk Reduction Strategies Lock up computer, desktop, laptop Shred pre-approved credit card invitations Discreetly discard receipts and ATM info Devise clever passwords When asked for Soc #, be sure to ask why and how to be used

18 Legal Importance of Determining Responsibility
Responsibility rests on judgments that are subject to challenges and criticisms Whether the victim facilitated, precipitated or provoked an offender is considered by police, prosecutors, juries, judges, compensation boards, insurance examiners, and politicians It is an issue at many stages of the CJ process, restitution consideration and insurance settlements

19 Key Terms Shared responsibility Duet frame of reference Penal couple
Doer-sufferer relationship Boost explanation Flag explanation Facilitation, Precipitation provocation Subculture of violence Sub intentional death Justifiable homicide Typology Victim blaming, victim defending Just world outlook Offender blaming, System blaming Retagging, Chop shops Conscientiously resisting victims Conventionally cautious victims Carelessly facilitating victims Precipitative initiators, Provocative Conspiracy Fabricating simulators Identity Theft Microscopic, macroscopic System


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