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Victimization Amira Shade Professor Robert Roth CRJ 105 Crime and Criminal Behavior November 1 , 2014


The purpose of this paper is to discuss when a criminal attacks a victim whether it may be physical or not it can cause harm to the victim in different ways. Many situations can lead to a person becoming a victim of a crime and this paper will discuss some theories of victimization.
Also, there researched can be used to obtain data on crimes that were not reported to law enforcement from victims.

1. Introduction Over the past several decades the tendency was to blame the victim when it came to the psychology and the dynamics of victimhood. Although, in past years blaming the victim was common, more recently this has changed. It is politically incorrect to exploit the role of victims in instances of crime cases. No matter what the circumstances or the case the victim does not deserve to be blamed for their own victimization. Many may feel that due to their particular lifestyle or where the victim may live precipitates causes for someone to become victimized. In many instances it has been thought that the victim’s behavior precipitates why they may be victimized. They are said to put these criminal acts in motion by exhibiting provocative or risky behavior. This may include picking arguments or even possibly using other gestures. (Miethe, 1993) Even though victims should not be blames for their own victimization, criminologist have come up with many theories as to why victims may play a role in their own victimization. There are also victimologists who is concerned with who is becoming a crime victim but also the after effect that the victims may have to suffer from.
II. Types of Victimization
A. Personal Victimization
Personal victimization occurs when one party experiences some harm that is a result of interacting with an offending party. Personal victimizations can be lethal (e.g., homicide), nonlethal (e.g., assault) or sexual (e.g., forced rape). These victimizations can be violent (e.g., robbery) or nonviolent (e.g., psychological/emotional abuse). Examples of personal victimization also include domestic violence, stalking, kidnapping, child or elder maltreatment/abuse/neglect, torture, human trafficking, and human rights violations.
B. Property Victimization Property victimization involves loss or destruction of private or public possessions. Property victimization can be committed against a person or against a specific place, object, or institution. Encompassing offenses include burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft, shoplifting, and vandalism. Embezzlement, money laundering, and a variety of computer/internet offenses are also property victimizations.
III. Estimating the Extent of Victimization: National Sources of Victimization Data in the United States
A. National Crime Victimization Survey The National Crime Victimization Survey has been collecting data on personal and household victimization since 1973. The National Crime Victimization Survey is the primary source of information on the characteristics of criminal victimization and on the number and types of crimes not reported to law enforcement. (Statistics, 2012) The National Crime Victimization Survey was designed with four primary objectives which are to develop detailed information about victims and consequences of crime, to estimate the number and types of crimes not reported to the police, to provide uniform measures of selected types of crimes and to permit comparison over time and types of areas. The NCVS collects information about incidents reported and not reported to law enforcement.

B. Uniform Crime Reports One of the primary sources of annual victimization data is the Uniform Crime Reports. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has complied the UCR since 1930; it is the longest running systematic data collection effort on crime in the United States. The usefulness of the UCR as a measure of the true amount of victimization is limited, because it overlooks the dark figure of crime; that is, it includes only those crimes reported to and known by law enforcement and reflected in official crime statistics. Agency reporting practices, such as masking problems through manipulating or reporting incomplete crime counts, have also plagued the UCR. Another shortcoming is a lack of information about the victim or the context of the offense.
IV. Recurring Victimization
A. Distinguishing Between Repeat and Multiple Victims People who experience two or more victimizations have been referred to as recurring victims. A repeat victim is one who experiences the same type of victimization two or more times in a given time frame. For example, if a house is burglarized, and burgled a second time later in the same month, the owner would be considered a repeat victim. A multiple crime victim, is one who is victimized by more than one type of offense over a period of time.
B. Characteristics of Recurring Victims Studies on the topic of repeat victimization have confirmed that victimization tends to cluster. A growing body of research shows that repeat targets also experience a disproportionate amount of all crime victimization. Studies that have used samples from the general population, college populations, and youth have reported that a small proportion of property or personal victims, individuals or households experience a large proportion of all victimization incidents.
VI. Conclusion
Whether a victim has been harmed either personal or by their property many outcomes occur that they have to overcome. Victims are affected in many ways such as pain, suffering, and lost quality of life. Some individuals have to acquire mental health care to help cope with the pain that a criminal caused in their life. Not only is the mental health care time consuming it can cost victims money. For example, the health care cost per rape and sexual assault can cost $2200 and for child abuse is $5800. (Hagan 2013) No one deserves to become a victim of a crime but unfortunately anyone can become a victim. Understanding what it means to be victimized and researching statistics in your area can just help a person to become more alert and careful.


Hagan, F (2013). Introduction to Criminology. Sage Publications

Miethe, R.M. (1993). Understanding theories of victimization. Crime and Justice, 17, 459-499

Statistics, B.O. (2012, February 14). Data Collection: National Crime Victimization Survey. Retrieved October 15, 2014 from

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