Victimization Theories Essay

Victimization Theories Essay

There are five major theories of victimization. These theories discuss how victims and victimization are major focuses in the study of crime. They all share many of the same assumptions and strengths dealing with crime and its victims. The five major theories are Victim precipitation, Lifestyle, Equivalent group hypothesis, Proximity hypothesis, and Routine activities.

Victim Precipitation assumes that "victims provoke criminals" and that "victims trigger criminal acts by their provocative behavior" (106). According to our text, this theory states that the victim initiates the confrontation that might eventually lead to the crime. In victim precipitation, it can be either passive or active. Active precipitation occurs when the victim is the first to attack or encourages the criminal by their actions. Passive precipitation can either occur due to personal conflict or when the victim unknowingly threatens or provokes the attacker (95). The strengths that the text point out for this particular theory is that it "explains multiple victimizations. If people precipitate crime, it follows that they will become repeat victims if their behavior persists over time" (106).

The theories that are more common are the "Lifestyle theories that suggest that victims put themselves in danger by engaging in high-risk activities" (106). "Victimization risk is increased when people have a high-risk lifestyle. Placing oneself at risk by going out to dangerous places results in increased victimization" (106). This theory "explains victimization patterns in the social structure. Males, young people, and the poor have high victimization rates because they have a higher-risk lifestyle than females, the elderly, and the affluent" (106). The lifestyle theories assume that the victim participates in high-risk activities which make them suitable targets for crime. The Deviant place theory discusses the fact that crime flourishes in certain places and the odds of victimization increase when people live in the high-crime areas. A person's lifestyle increases the exposure to criminal victimization as well as their behavior. These theories state that "crime is not a random occurrence but rather a function of the victim's lifestyle. High-risk lifestyle crimes occur because the potential victim's life style places them in jeopardy" (97). "Engaging in delinquent behavior face a greater risk of victimization" (98).

Equivalent group hypothesis theory discusses how "Criminals and victims are one and the same. Both crime and victimization are part of a high-risk lifestyle" (106). "The equivalent group hypothesis holds that the characteristics of criminals and victims are remarkably similar because in reality the two groups are the same" (97). This hypothesis "shows that the conditions that create criminality also produce high victimization risk. Victims may commit crime out of a need for revenge or...

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Theories Of Victimization Essay

Theories of Victimization

(3)

Melissa Marciano

CRJ330-01

Dr. Dian Williams

The greatest predictor of becoming a victim in the future is if a person was a victim in the past. For example, if a person was sexually molested as a child, it's likely that person will become a victim of rape as an adult. David Finkelhor and Nancy Asigian suggest three types of characteristics increase a person's potential for victimization: Target Vulnerability, Target Gratifiability, and Target Antagonism. Target Vulnerability says someone with a physical disability or psychological distress would make that person incapable of resisting or deterring crime, which makes the victim an easy target. Target Gratifiability explains having attractive possessions, such as a certain quality, skill, or attribute that an offender wants, makes them vulnerable to predatory crime. Target Antagonism describes some characteristics, such as being gay, argumentative, or an alcoholic, may increase the risk of victimization because they "...arouse anger, jealousy, or destructive impulses in some offenders." (Siegel, pg.89)

Furthermore, some important characteristics that distinguish victims are gender, age, social status, and race. For example, males are more likely than females to suffer from violent crimes, except for rape and sexual assault. In addition, men were two times more likely than women to experience aggravated assault and robbery, while women were six times more likely than men to experience rape and sexual assault. (Siegel, pg.86) Moreover, younger people face a greater risk of victimization than the elderly. Victimization declines rapidly after the age of twenty-five. In addition, the least affluent (poor) are more likely to be victims of violent crimes and the most affluent (wealthy) are more likely to be targets of personal theft. Moreover, "...although crime - especially violent crime - is a serious problem in the poorest inner-city neighborhoods, most of these crimes are committed by a few hard-core offenders; the majority of the people who live in poor communities have no criminal records at all." (Macionis, pg.209) Also, blacks are five times more likely than whites to be victims of violent crimes. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that blacks represent 12.3 percent of the United States population but 31.0 percent of arrests for property crimes and 37.8 percent of arrests for violent crimes.

There are four major theories of victimization. These theories discuss how victims and victimization are key focuses in the study of crime. They all share many of the same assumptions and strengths dealing with crime and its victims. The four theories are victim precipitation, lifestyle, deviant place, and routine activities.

Victim precipitation theory assumes victims trigger criminal acts by their provocative behavior. This theory states...

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Read more

The Act of Violent Crime Essay

1567 words - 6 pages In the act of violent crime, the criminal uses the threat or physical violence against the victim. The violent crime act considered as manslaughters, murder, physical assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, and robbery or burglary. In this essay, I will analysis the violent crime, its movements, causes and method to moderate or reduce the violent crime through the different criminologist theories or views. This article assesses the teenager’s...

Social Control and Symbolic Interactionism in Literature

1351 words - 5 pages Social Control and Symbolic Interactionism in Literature The way in which social order is achieved has been the subject of many theories presented by respectable sociologists such as Emile Durkheim, Thomas Hobbes, George Herbert Mead, and Karl Marx. Among the most prominent of these theories are Hobbes’ “Social Control” theory and Meads’ “Symbolic Interactionism” theory. Through these two theories, it is possible to gain a better...

Hazardous Drinking and Sexual Assault

4703 words - 19 pages Heavy drinking among college students has been a problem and studies have indicated this for several years (Turrisi, Mallett, Mastroleo, & Larimer, 2006). This topic continues to be a crucial subject of study. Hingson, Heeren, Zakocs, Kopstein, and Wechsler (2002) suggest that approximately 1,400 college students between 18 and 24 passed away in 1998 from alcohol related injuries. Hingson et al. found 112,000 arrests among college students aged...

Perils of Peer Victimization

1788 words - 7 pages Peer victimization as a social behavior between children and their peers has become of paramount importance within education institutes. Two Canadian literature pieces, Cat’s Eye and The Shape of a Girl, were able to highlight the psychological pain inflicted onto others through bullying. In Cat’s Eye by author Margaret Atwood, Elaine Risley, remembers her childhood memories of a relationship with a bully, and how it affected her life and changed...

The Relationship Between Social Class and Delinquency

1451 words - 6 pages Most people have preconceived notions regarding the relationship between social class and delinquency. A common assumption is that lower-class juveniles are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior than their higher-class counterparts. Criminologists have performed a large number of studies examining the socio-demographic characteristics of delinquents, which often yielded contradictory results. When analyzing the extent and trend of juvenile...

Violence in a Child's Mind

1959 words - 8 pages Young boys these days get excited when they hear the news that the new Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty video game are coming out spreads out . They even start to pre-order those video games before they come out to be one of the first ones to get them, but does playing those games be influential for violent behavior that can lead to negative out comes?. In the past years we have seen many violent behaviors from adolescent boys such as schools...

The Routine Activities Theory

1112 words - 4 pages There are many definitions to theory. According to Akers, “theories are tentative answers to the commonly asked questions about events and behavior.” Theory is a set of interconnected statements that explain how two or more things are related, based upon a confirmed hypotheses and established multiple times by disconnected groups of researchers. There are six elements that make a theory sound. These elements are scientific criteria provide...

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1736 words - 7 pages The main argument is that recent criminal justice research is seen by the policing community as both irrelevant to their actual work and derogatory toward police work in general. In making this argument, Chief Bratton claims that for the last half of the 20th century, crime researchers and practitioners disagreed about the causes of crime and how to control it. While most researchers claim that crime is caused by a combination of different...

Routine Activity Theory and Rational Choice Theory

1396 words - 6 pages The study of criminology is why individuals commit crimes and why they behave in certain situations. When you understand why someone might commit a crime, you can come up with ways to prevent or control the crime. There are several different theories in criminology, in this paper I will be discussing Routine Activity Theory and Rational Choice theory. I will be comparing and contrasting as well between the two of these theories. Routine...

Criminological Theories

1978 words - 8 pages Many of the traditional criminological theories focused more on biological, psychological and sociological explanations of crime rather than on the cost and benefits of crime. More conservative approaches, including routine actives, lifestyle exposure and opportunity theories have clearly incorporated crime rate patterns as a fundamental part of analyzing the economics of crime. Crime statistics are important for the simple reason that they help...

The Good and Bad of R.A.T. Theory.

2102 words - 8 pages The Good and Bad of R.A.T. Theory. Why do people commit crime? It depends on who you ask and how you look at it, also what you define crime as. There are many theories out there about why people commit crime. One of these theories is Routine Activities Theory. Routine activities theory was first articulated in a series of papers by Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson. Crime and victimization involve the intersection of three...

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