Victimology: a Study of Crime

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Victimology: A Study of Crime Victims 1 Victimology is an important element in the process of learning about crime victims, the needs of the victims, and even about the perpetrator of the crime. It identifies the victims, reveals their physical and mental state before and after the crime, their social interactions, and ideas as to why they were a victim. Victimology does not give the reasons why a particular person is chosen by an offender, however it will give general overview of victim selection (Petherick, “Victimology” 2010) The definitions of victimology vary in the use of words within the definition, such as victim, crime victim or behavior of crime victim. Victimology as an academic term containing two elements; the Latin word “victima” which translate into victim and the Greek word “logos” which means a system of knowledge (Dussich “Victimology ‘Past, Present and Future’”2000). In it’s simplest definition, victimology is the study of the victim or victims of a particular offender (Wallace & Roberson 2011: 3). However, two other definitions expound deeper into victimology: (1) victimology is the study of crime victims and the psychological effects of being a victim (Def, Random House Dictionary, 2011), and (2) victimology is the study of the ways in which the behavior of crime victims may have or have not contributed to their victimization (Def, Merriam-Webster, 2011). The early works about victims were first written by criminologist, as early as the mid 1700’s. The term victimology was coined by Beniamin Mendelsohn in 1974 (Dussich, 2000). Several criminologist (Hentig, Mendelsohn and Ellenberger) examined victim-offender interactions and stressed reciprocal influences and role reversals. (Wallace and Roberson, 2011). 2 Compensation for victims of crime became and international
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