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Victim Essay

1750 words - 7 pages

From the origins of criminal victimization, we begin with blaming the offended. (Silverii). Still what is more baffling is to question whether or not it is one's duty to make sure victims won't be victimized again or if victims of a crime that are unreported should even be considered victims. There are three main issues that are provided through victimology and these are context, connections, and investigative direction (Turvey). Most victims are not just victims they're perceived by a criminal as an ideal victim. An ‘ideal victim’ is someone who has played no part in their victimization by an offender who was solely responsible for the incident. In the early 1970s, research by the National Opinion Research Center and the President's Commission on Law Enforcement, and the Administration of Justice indicated that many crimes were not reported to police. A lot of times victims are not prepared for the insensitive and unpleasant treatment they may incur from the police, hospitals, and judicial system. In response, the U.S. Census Bureau began conducting the annual National Crime Victimization Survey in 1973. The survey provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and characteristics of violent offenders. The data includes type of crime, month, time, and location of the crime; relationship between victim and offender; characteristics of the offender; self-protective actions taken by the victim during the incident and results of those actions; consequences of the victimization; type of property lost; whether the crime was reported to the police and reasons for reporting or not reporting; and offender use of weapons, drugs, and alcohol.

One crime in particular that often goes ignored is domestic violence. Presently every nine seconds in the United States a woman are assaulted or beaten. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life." (UN General Assembly 1993). Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women - more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. Women in these situations that won't leave their abuser suffer from learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is a condition of a human that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances. In the past woman held no legal standing, if reported there was a belief any harm against women were viewed as an offense against their father or husband.

Alabama was the first state to rescind the legal right of men to beat their wives.(1871) Yet, Maryland actually was the first state to pass a law that makes wife-beating a...

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