Colorado Technical University Online
May 27, 2012
Victims have not always been perceived as they are today. In fact, victims were first recognized years ago as a person or animal that was sacrificed in order to honor a God or leader. However, as time progressed the definition of a victim began to broaden and it took on other meanings. Victimology, or the study of victims, did not come about until around the 1940’s. Up until this point the focus was on the criminal alone However, at that time victims were viewed as those who brought harm upon themselves. In spite of how others viewed victims, feminists believed differently. In the 20th century they opposed the idea, giving new definition to the term, and removing all blame from the victim. Today, the analyses of victimization has broadened even more so. It is now viewed as the harm done to someone, not only by crimes alone but by natural disasters, diseases, and violation of human rights (Henton).
Although Victimology and Criminology are very similar, they are also quite different. Criminology focuses more on the criminal, the offense, and the motive behind the offense. It is also the study of how the public and the Criminal Justice System act in response to the offender. The goal of Criminology is to prevent crime and punish the offender. Victimology on the other hand is more focused on the victim. The intent of Victimology is to restore the victims’ state of mind back to that prior to being victimized, to mend how the offender and community react toward each other, and also reduce victimization rates, unnecessary expense, and suffering. They also analyze similar crimes that occur within the same area to try and decipher what similarities each victim may have had. For example, were they all within the same age group, were they all the same sex, in the same club or gang, or maybe they were all victimized while hiking (sidegigs, 2008).
In my own opinion, I...