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Major Concerns in Victimology, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Victimology is a scientific study of victimisation. It deals with the relationship between the victims and the offenders. It also carries out an examination of the victims, their lifestyles, background, health, and physical characteristics. The sole purpose of carrying out an examination is to be able to know the perpetrator better. According to Wayne Patherick (2011), investigations made on victims not only tell us more about the social and physical characteristics of the victim but also provides an individual with ideas as to why the person is chosen as a victim. For Andrew Karmen (2003), Victimology entails the relationship between the victim and the criminal justice system.

The origin of Victimology dates back to 1940s. The depth of Victimology lies among the feminist movement, civil rights movements and the victim’s right movement. Victimology today is very different form what it was in the 1950s and the 1960s. In the last two decades, the 1980s and 1990s there has been constant evolutions taking place from one discipline to another but the pace varies. According to Ezzat (2000), this has been the period of consolidation, data gathering and theorization, victim compensation and assistance support to make the victims recover from negative effects of victimisation.

The concerns in Victimology are related to those in criminology, sociology, and psychology. Despite the similarities, there are differences. The major difference between criminology, sociology, and Victimology lies in their focus point. Criminology emphasizes on analysing the offender, the crimes and the motives behind the crimes (Karmen, 2003). Sociology elaborates how individuals and groups function and interact within the society. On the other hand, Victimology deals with victims and how they interact to the offenders and the criminal justice system. It also places much concern on studying victims of crimes and why some individuals are prone to being victims. In relation to sociology, Victimology concentrates on one group of individuals while sociology views a broad spectrum of individuals. Therefore, a sociologist may not be a victimologist but a victimologist may be a sociologist.

Another major concern in Victimology is the concern of battered women and their children. The women’s safe house is to provide safe shelter and support services to battered women and their dependent children. It also aims at empowering women to enable them make logical choices regarding their future. The first battered woman shelter was set in 1970, in Chiswick England by Erin Pizzey. In the United States, women advocates concerned with the domestic violence and are victims of domestic violence came together seeking a solution to their problems. They discovered that the major issue facing such women is the absence of an alternative housing Women advocates (1980). Some safe shelter houses provide women wit h therapy and counselling. They not only deal with the physical and emotional needs, but are also concerned with the societal structures that give room for the continuity in wife abuse (Emerson & Russell, 1992).

Rape is also a major concern. Rape crisis centres offers free counselling to victims of sexual assault. They also provide support, education and intervene on behalf of the victims of sexual assault.  The first rape crisis centre was opened in 1971 in the United States by the Bay Area Women Against Rape. It strives to provide education to the community and increase awareness and sensitivity to sexual assault issues. Feminist see rape as the outcome of uncontrolled sexual drive in men.

The civil rights movement contributes to anti-discrimination. It has made major changes in the federal laws against employment. The civil rights act authorises compensation to victims and punishment in cases of intentional discrimination. It prohibits employment discrimination based on race colour religion national origin and sex. It also protects men and women who perform similar tasks in their workplaces from sex-based wage discrimination. Further to that, the qualified disabled persons also get protection to forbid employment discrimination mainly within the private sector, the state and the government.

The rights of children ought to be looked at too. Children undergo discrimination within the society as they are dependent on adults and also failure to obtain decision-making power as they grow ad be able to exercise their rights. Children also face discrimination in terms of their gender, disability, and sexual orientation. According to the unites nation (1989), children’s rights are protected comprehensively by international bodies in terms of their best interests, non-discrimination, participation of the children, their survival rights, their development rights and protection rights. According to united nation (1989), children ought to be safeguarded from all forms of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. They have the right to take active roles in the community that enable them reach their fullest potential.

There are several organisations that deal with human rights issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and homicide. For issues on domestic violence, one can approach Safe House: Henderson, Nevada, the organisation of Women against domestic violence, The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), which is one of the largest anti-sexual assault organization, or National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. On issues related to child abuse the organisation to approach are the African Union, which was formerly Organisation of African Unity (OAU), United Nations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Convention on the right of the child (UNCRC), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The crime victims’ compensation program ensures that victims of violence get financial assistance for all the crime related expenditures which insurance reimbursement is not possible (Eddy 1994). Within the program, not all the expenses are covered. Some are not covered crime victim compensation Act. These include the loss of property, pain and suffering of the victim, injuries resulting from traffic accidents, injuries sustained during folly activities like alcoholism, victims confined in prison, a correctional facility or public institution, and payments that would benefit an offender.  (National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards, 1997).

References

Karmen, A. (2003). “Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology,” Wadsworth Publishing, ISBN 9780534616328

Petherick, W. (2011). “Victimology: The Study of Victims in Criminal Investigations.” Web 26 August 2011. <http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/profiling/victimology/1.html>

Fattah, E. A. (2000). “Victimology: Past, Present and Future.”  Criminology, Volume 33, number 1, p. 17-46 <http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/004720ar>

Women’s Advocates (1980). “The Story of a Shelter.”  National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Guidelines for Starting a Shelter.

Emerson, R. D & Russel, P. D. (1992). “Women, Violence and Social Change” 76-77 (1992).

United Nations (1989). “Convention on the Rights of the Child”. Web 26 August 2011 <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm>

Eddy D. (1994). “Crime Victim Compensation: A Guide for Prosecutors’ Offices.” In National Center for Victims of Crime, Focus on the Future: A Systems Approach to Prosecution and Victim Assistance — A Training and Resource Manual. Arlington, VA.

National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards. (1997). “Crime Victim Compensation Program Directory.” Alexandria, VA.

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