Sellin And Wolfgang’s Typology Of Victimization

949 words - 4 pages

Crimes can be very complex and have several components, including the crime itself, the offender and the victim. Everyday we read or hear about one crime or another from various forms of news. Often times, we get a very vague idea of what happened; in some cases we find out more as time passes and in other cases the crimes go left unspoken about. These news articles also take different approaches on what is emphasized; whether the focus is about the crime, offender or victim. Researchers have also developed methods for categorizing victims, using typology. These classifications either had categories for victims or categories for the situations that led to victimization. In this case the focus will be on the application of Sellin and Wolfgang’s Typology of victimization.
The focus of Sellin and Wolfgang’s typology is a five category system that addressed situations instead of relations. Those categories are referred to as primary, secondary, tertiary, mutual and no victimization (Meadows, 2010). Each of the categories addressed a specific situation that would lead to victimization. Since each of the categories differ it is important to discuss each in a bit of detail. The following is a list of each category described in more detail:
(1) Primary Victimization “refers to personalized or individual victimization such as when an individual or group selects a specific person to target for victimization.”
(2) Secondary Victimization “are impersonal targets of the offender.”
(3) Tertiary Victimization “involves the public or society as a victim.”
(4) Mutual Victimization “refers to when offenders become the victims, as when two people engage in a criminal activity and then one becomes the victim of the other.”
(5) No Victimization “this includes situations in which victimization is difficult to define. So-called victimless crime.”
(Meadows, 2010, PP. 43-44)
These categories are meant to cover any form of victimization that may occur. There are other typologies that could be used but this is the system that will be used to evaluate the selected news article. However, it is important to discuss the crime and portrayal of the victim before assigning the situation to a specific category.
The crime that will be discussed was a rape and murder case recently happened in Waterbury, Connecticut. Chloe Ottman went out with a friend, Francisco Cruz, on a Thursday night. When she did not return home by Friday her parent’s reported to the police that she was missing. A day later her body was found. The last person to see the 16 year old girl was Francisco Cruz, who instantly became a suspect of the incident. He denied any connection to the disappearance of Chloe Ottman, but was charged with capital felony murder. It was not until a day later that he decided to tell the police the truth. Furthermore, he...

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