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Forensic Victimology 2nd Edition

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1 Forensic Victimology 2nd Edition
Chapter One: Victimology - A Brief History with an Introduction to Forensic Victimology

2 History of Victimology
In modern criminal justice system, the word victim has come to describe any person who has experienced injury, loss, or hardship due to the illegal action of another individual, group, or organization. The term victimology first appeared in 1949 and was used to describe the study of individuals harmed by criminals. In modern usage, the term victimology generally refers to the scientific study of victims and victimization, including the relationships between victim and offender, investigators, courts, corrections, media, and social movements.

3 History of Victimology
Jan Van Dijk (1999) proposed that there are two types of victimology: General victimology Studies victimity in the broadest sense, including those that have been harmed by accidents, natural disasters, war, etc. Focuses on the treatment, prevention, and alleviation of the consequences of being victimized, regardless of the cause

4 History of Victimology
Interactionist (or penal) victimology Combines issues concerning the causation of crimes with those relating to the victim’s role in the criminal proceedings, where victims are only those who become such as a result of crime Focuses on advocacy for victims

5 History of Victimology
Jerin and Moriarty (1998) contend that there are three distinct historical eras defining the victims’ role within systems of justice: The Golden Age Existed prior to written laws and established governments, tribal law prevailed Victims played a direct role in determining punishments for the unlawful actions that others committed against them or their property Retribution was the resolution for criminal matters

6 History of Victimology
The Dark Age Resulted from the emergence of structured local governments and the development of legal statutes Offenses were viewed as perpetrated against the laws of the king or state, not just against the victim or the victim’s family Focus shifted towards offender punishments and rights, as opposed to victim rights and restoration

7 History of Victimology
The Reemergence of the victim Realization that victims were being overlooked as a source of information about crime and criminal Studying victims led to the birth of traditional victimology as a discrete scientific endeavor

8 Key Figures The origins of scientific victimology can be attributed to the following key figures in criminology: Hans Von Hentig ( ) Sought to develop crime prevention strategies Determined that certain victim characteristics played a role in shaping the crimes suffered Believed that some victims contributed to their own victimization by virtue or many converging factors, not all of which were in their control Classified victims into one of 13 categories

9 Key Figures The Young Females The Old
The Mentally Defective and Deranged Immigrants Minorities Dull Normals The Depressed The Acquisitive The Wanton The Lonesome of Heartbroken The Tormentor The Blocked, Exempted, or Fighting

10 Key Figures Benjamin Mendelsohn
Became interested in the correlations between rapists and their victims Developed the term victim precipitation Developed a typology that categorizes the extent to which a victim is capable of his or her own demise (focusing on situational factors) Completely innocent victims Victim due to ignorance Voluntary victim Victim more guilty than the offender Most guilty victim Simulating or imaginary victim

11 Key Figures Stephen Schafer
Published the first textbook on the subject of victimology Interviewed criminals and aimed to build upon the previous typologies, focusing on victim culpability Proposed seven types of victim responsibility Unrelated victims Provocative victims Precipitative victims Biologically weak victims Socially week victims Self-victimizing Political victims

12 Key Figures Marvin E. Wolfgang
First presented empirical research findings as support for his theories of victimology Presented his study of police homicide records, which concluded that over a quarter of the homicides in the city of Philadelphia between involved an element of victim contribution and participation

13 Forensic Victimology: An Introduction
Forensic victimology is the objective study of victims, with a focus on impartially and completely describing all aspects of their life and lifestyle in order to gain a better understanding of how they came to be victimized, how the crime took place, and their relationship with the offender.

14 Forensic Victimology: An Introduction
Purpose The purpose of forensic victimology is aimed at accurately, critically, and objectively describing the victim in order to better understand victims, crime, criminals, and forensic issues. Forensic victimologists serve investigations and court proceedings by endeavoring to: Assist in understanding elements of crime Assist in developing a timeline Define the suspect pool Provide investigative suggestions Assist with crime reconstruction

15 Forensic Victimology: An Introduction
Continued: Assist with contextualizing allegations of victimizations Assist with the development of offender modus operandi Assist with the development of offender motive Assist with case linkage Assist with public safety response Educate the court

16 Forensic Victimology: An Introduction
Philosophy The philosophy behind studying victims in investigative and forensic contexts is that a complete understanding of victims and their circumstances will allow for a comprehensive and correct interpretation of the nature of their harm and loss. It also provides insight into the plans and motives of those who committed the offense against them.

17 Forensic Victimology: An Introduction
Aim The aim of forensic victimology is to assist in providing informed investigations, to require scientific examinations of victim evidence that is intended for court, and to result in more informed legal outcomes.

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