Victimology is the study of crime and its victims. The perpetrator or offender is at one particular finish of the spectrum and the victim at the other. The criminal and the victim represent opposing sides in the war against appropriate or incorrect. The victim is normally perceived as the innocent individual who became prey to the guilty individual who was on the opposing side of morality. The criminal was the terrible guy and the victim was the fantastic guy.
In 1948, nonetheless, Hans von Hentig, a German criminologist, started to transform the societal attitudes towards crime following his study of quite a few homicide victims. Hentig is credited as getting a founder of the theory of victimology and was the very first to recommend that the victim himself is “one particular of the quite a few causes of crime,” reports Stephen Schafer, The Criminal and his Victim. Hentig's theory altered societal attitudes and influenced transform by altering the concentrate of a homicide investigation from the criminal to the victim.
Hentig's strategy was deemed brilliant in the late 1940s. It was a new notion that swiftly evolved and expanded into a theory. The victims had been categorized and labeled whilst the investigators searched for what we now get in touch with an “unknown suspect.”
Investigating the victim's way of life by way of interviews of mates and household helped law enforcement agents concentrate their sources and efforts on the victim as an try to find the unknown criminal. They attempted to have an understanding of why and how one particular individual became a victim when one more individual did not. It is equivalent to reverse psychology and the explanation victimology is often referred to as “reverse criminology.” These tactics and techniques are nevertheless utilised currently. The homicide investigator investigates the victim in an work to have an understanding of the psychological elements of the criminal which could lead to additional clues about the whys and wherefores that led to one particular person's death.
As a outcome of Hentig's evaluation of victims, he additional theorized that there is “reciprocality” amongst the criminal and victim. This signifies that the victim and the criminal somehow share in the crime by supplying somewhat of a reciprocal agreement and, thus, some shared satisfaction as a outcome of the crime. Hentig's theory stated that the victim shapes and molds the criminal and his crime. The connection amongst perpetrator and victim, Hentig believed, produced an intricate connection and reciprocal arrangement amongst the criminal and the victim.
Then, in 1963, one more criminologist, Benjamin Mendelsohn, refined Hentig's theory by expanding on it. Mendelsolm created a equivalent notion which he referred to as “victim precipitation.” Victim precipitation is a term which suggests that the victim of a crime had “an aptitude, even though unconsciously, of getting victimized,” reports Karola Dillenburger, The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy. Mendelshom concluded that victims “appear, feel, and act differently” than non-victims which raise their likelihood of becoming victims. There are as quite a few sorts of victims as there are sorts of criminals.
Forms of Victims
In 1948, when Hentig created his theory about victimization and the victim's function in the crime, it was deemed a brilliant strategy to the investigation of a homicide. The victim was dead and, thus, law enforcement could not interview a lifeless physique. The murderer was unknown and, thus, not offered for an interview. Crime scene evaluation was just starting to evolve as properly. Forensic proof was a new science. The logical option was to interview these men and women who knew the victim. Hentig interviewed the relatives, mates, acquaintances and studied the way of life of victim in an work to understand how or why the victim was murdered.
As a outcome of Hentig's research, he started to categorize victims according to the sorts of men and women most most likely to come to be victims. Hentig categorized these victims on the basis of their character sorts and assigned labels to them. According to Hentig, there are 4 sorts of victims, which he labeled as:
The “depressive” sorts, according to Hentig, had been the easiest target mainly because they had been careless and unsuspecting. The “greedy” sorts had been very easily deceived mainly because of their “insatiability.” The “wonton” kind was vulnerable mainly because of their “neediness.” The “tormentor” kind was attacked by the victim of his abuse, explains Karola Dillenburger, “A Behavior Analytic Point of view on Victimology.” The tormentor, it appears, was attacked following the tormenting of one more. The tormentor became the victim right after the victim retaliated on the perpetrator. This may well be analogous to the battered-wife who subsequently kills her abuser.
Contents of a Victim Profile
The field of victimology has additional created due to the fact the 1940s when Hentig very first created his theory. It was additional studied and refined by Mendelsohn in the 1960s and, now in the year 2013, victims are classified according to a number of traits and, most regularly, according to way of life. The victims are graded on a scale from low to higher-threat way of life. Every single aspect of the victim's way of life is examined, analyzed, theorized, categorized and judged.
The victim's profile now incorporates information about their physical description, household background, education, marital status, occupation, employment history, healthcare history, dental records, household background, list of mates and enemies, and fundamentally any other detail that can be found about the victim's individual way of life. Victims are profiled just like criminals.
Forms of Crimes
The classification of victims has expanded to involve victims of quite a few sorts of crimes. There are victims of organic disasters, accidents, bodily injury, individual injury and mass homicide. As soon as classified by kind of crime, the victim is additional analyzed and, subsequently, classified into a sub-classification with but one more label affixed to compartmentalize the victim into a subcategory primarily based on extra recognized traits.
The victim's individual way of life becomes the basis of the investigation primarily based on the premise that by way of understanding of the victim, law enforcement can commence to have an understanding of the criminal. This assumption could hold valid for circumstances of person homicide nonetheless, it will have to shed credibility when investigating circumstances involving mass murder.
Via the approach of victimology, albeit properly-intended, the victim continues to endure a type of double-jeopardy, as soon as as a victim, and then once more, by way of the “hardships of the civil approach,” states Stephen Schafer, the Criminal and his Victim. Civil rights compete with civil justice.
As additional men and women come to be victims of crime, additional laws are passed primarily based on the existing societal attitudes as we evaluate criminals to victims. The prevailing attitudes rise and fall in relation to the prevailing attitude of the occasions. “Duty for one's conduct is a altering notion and its interpretation is a correct mirror of the social, cultural, and political circumstances of the offered era,” explains Schafer.
This year, as President Obama attended his fourth funeral at a web page of a mass murder, he spoke to the victims and, additional importantly, he spoke to Americans. He spoke about the needless violence that surrounds us. “We can not tolerate this any longer,” mentioned Obama. “These tragedies will have to finish. And to finish them, we will have to transform. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complicated, and that is correct. No single law – no set of laws can do away with evil from the planet, or avoid each and every senseless act of violence in our society.”
The nature of societal interrelationships and the ideology of these with powers of authority present the premise of the difficulty and propose options to resolve the bigger difficulty. New laws are written to define morality and raise the consequences for illegal behavior. Each and every administration, as the existing ruling energy, wields its political, social and financial tactics to implement new techniques to obtain a vote to pass but one more law that is made to educate the masses about the distinction amongst appropriate and incorrect.
This year, let the political pendulum swing each techniques as we seek to stabilize the balance amongst justice for one particular and justice for all. Let the pendulum swing in the search for the truth and the search for an unknown suspect. Let the pendulum swing each techniques and hope that the balance of justice weighs equally for one particular and all. Let us shield the civil rights of the criminal devoid of prejudice or subjection of the victim.