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essay is going to talk about Victimology. First, we will define the meaning of
victimology. Next, the essay will discuss the different types and the
development of theoretical
strands which can be identified within victimology. Then, talk about the
definition of victim blaming and how people think victim blaming in society, and
also, some special group like feminist in victimology and victim blaming. After
that, the essay will talk about how criminal justice system correlates with the
victim and how the criminal justice system emphasises on victim, like what kind
of services. The definition of
victimology is the scientific study of victimization, which involving the
relationships between victims and offenders, victims and the criminal justice
system, and also victims and other social groups and companies, for example the
media, businesses, and social movements. Moreover, Victimology studies victims
of crimes and other type of human rights violations that are not necessarily
crime. And also, it means a mental status which tends to satiate and carry on
the emotion of being a victim. In addition, the definition of victim set by the
united nation as those who have suffered harm which including mental, physical
or emotional suffering, economic loss and limiting of their basic rights, through
acts or omissions that violate the laws of the state. Victims are ‘socially constructed’ which suggested
and believes by Nils Christie.
The stereotype of the ‘ideal victim’
labelled by the media, public and criminal justice system is a powerless,
innocent and blameless individual for example young children or early lady, who
is the biggest target of a stranger’s attack. It is important to study victims
not least because they play an essential role in the criminal justice system.


is one type of the ology which includes a lot of theories. All the theories are
developed all over the time. There are three main theoretical strands which can be identified within
victimology, first one is positivist victimology since 1940’s. Three different
factors of positivist victimology were suggested by Miers 1989 who was a
positivist sociologist. First one is aiming to classify the factor which
creates patterns in victimization specially those people who create personal or
group which easily to be the victims of crime. Second one is focusing on interpersonal
crimes of violence. The third one is aiming and classify the people who have
contributed to their own victimization. One the earliest positivist victimology
research was focusing on the concept of victim proneness which is suggested by
a positivist sociologist Hans Von Hentig in
1948. Sociologist used to classify and study why victims are different than
other people and why they are much more vulnerable than others by social and intellectual characteristics. Thirteen types of victims were suggested by
the sociologist Hans Von Hentig, female and old and low IQ people were the main
people who will be the main victims. Another theory of positivist victimology, victim culpability was suggested by Benjamin Mendelsohn in 1949. It defines that there are six different
types of criminal victims, first one is completely innocent victims who doesn’t
have any responsible in crime where victim blaming is not going to be used,
second one is victims with minor guilt who is partly responsible as their own
action put themselves to be victimized, third is voluntary victims whose
reasonability as same as the offender, forth is victims guiltier than the
offender whose responsibility of victimizing themselves is more than the
offender, fifth is victims who alone are guilty which is more guilty than type
forth victim and the last one is the imaginary victims which is as same as the
victim asking for offender to harm and offend them. He found out that only two
of them are less guilty than the defendant and the more culpable of the victim
will lie in victimology study. Another positivist sociologist Marvin Wolfgang
and Amir suggested the victim precipitation in 1958 and 1971 respectively. It
means the victims’ action lead to homicide, for example using violence first,
and also he found out that victim and offender usually have a special
relationship. He also found out that victim involved in homicide are mostly
male offender and male victim who has greatest chance to have violent history
record. Amir suggested one over five rape case is victim precipitate and it is
same for asking to get raped. So, it can be said it is a victim blaming.
However, the positivist victimology only focuses on some part of interpersonal
victimization and forget to mention other problems like poverty and sexist. And
also, it didn’t mention that the victim didn’t realize their situation and
problem where law is not broken but crime is done. In addition, it focuses on
the street crime instead of domestic abuse and empirical work that was done was
based on official statistics which have pitfall.

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 Although, those victimology
theories that suggested by a lot of different sociologist sound logical and
correct, there are a lot of criticism in it and it is argued by some special
groups, such as feminist. Feminist argued that victim blaming is biased against
toward female, for example the rap crime. It is not suiting victim blaming nowadays
and it is not even suiting the past either. An experience research about rape
cases that reported to the police was done by the student of Wolfgang who is
Menachem Amir who is a sociologist too. Amir found out that raping case often
involve alcohol, victim behavior are usually in seductive, and they always wear
inappropriate clothes which shows most part of their body, furthermore they use
some risqué language culture and usually have a poor image. He suggested that
the offender may view the victims’ behavior, word and clothing to going be what
he think it is a normal female behavior. Feminist argued that blaming the
female victim in rape case is sexist, which disagree the theory of Amir. Amir’s
theory was blaming that the female victim involved in rape case is the one who
should be blamed and take the responsibility of causing themselves to get
victimized. Where the feminist argued that Amir’s theory totally ignores and
removes the sin and the responsibility of offender in rape cases. Feminist also
argued that the victim blaming is showing the inequality of male and female, as
female are most likely to be blamed for putting themselves into the victimized
stage. It also argued that those positivist victimology theories are taking the
freedom and right of female as they suggested that in most of the rape cases,
female is the one to be blamed as their clothes are not probably, the language
they used are risqué culture likely and they have a bad image to people already
but it is their own right and freedom to be what they really want to be, and it
should not be the reason why they are put into dangerous situation and get


The definition of victim blaming is an exposing act where the victim of a
crime, an accident, or any type of insult violation is held as totally or
partially responsible for the action of the offender against them. Victim
blaming can appear in the form of negative social reactions from legal,
medical, and mental health professionals, as well as from the media and
immediate family members and other people they know. Traditionally, victim
blaming has appeared in racist and sexist forms. The reason for victim blaming
can be due to the fallacy
about victims, offender, and the nature of violent acts.  William Ryan who is a psychologist mentioned
the phrase “blaming the victim” in his book Blaming the Victim in
1971. In the book, Ryan described victim blaming as an ideology used to justify
racism and social injustice against different skin of people.  


 Victim and Criminal Justice System.
It is said that the criminal justice system is not suitable for victim. Dignan 2005
suggested that the ways in which the Criminal Justice System had archaeologically
failed the victim of crime. As he says, it had failed to identify the harm done
by crime; it had treated the victim instrumentally and had failed to offer financial
redress. However, there are four areas in which victims’ right could be
improved which suggested by Mawby and Gill in 1987. First area is the right to
play an active part in the criminal justice system, second area is the right to
knowledge, third area is the right to financial help, the forth area is the
right to advice and support. So, there are few ways and methods to help victim
through the criminal justice system. First one is victim charter which sets out
how victims of crime should be treated and what guidance, support and practical
information they can expect to receive. A pass away family member, family
member or representative which in certain situations, and a parent on behalf of
or instead of a child. Second one is restorative practice which bringing those victim
or people who harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm
like offender into communication, allowing everyone affected by a specific event
to play a part in restoring the harm and discovery a positive way forward. This
is part of a wider field called restorative practice. Third one is Criminal Injuries Compensation which the Ministry of
Defence has worked a recompense scheme for service people and their complementary
dependants which makes payments to innocent victims of crimes of violence. The
scheme covers those serving all around the world and purposely mirrors the
scheme operated by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) which recompenses victims of
crime in the UK. This ensures that they and their families do not suffer a difficulty
as a result of the service compared to civilian victims of crime.


In conclusion, this essay has discussed the development of victimology or
victim blaming, where there are 4 sociologist’s ideas which is in positivist
victimology 4 sociologists including Von Hentig 1948 Mendelsohn
in 1949 and Wolfgang, Amir 1971 victim
precipitation. In addition, we have also talked about the special
group view on victim blaming, such as feminist argued that victim blaming is a
sexist problem. And also, this essay has mentioned how is the criminal justice
system to victim and which it fails to help victim through the legal system which
is suggested by Dignan in 2005 and what kind of services are given by the
criminal justice system that are able to help victim of crime, for example the
victim charter, restorative practice and Criminal Injuries Compensation.
Overall, we can now understand how the ideas and argument are classify in
victimology and how important they are for the being a part of criminology and
the development is also an important element for criminal justice system and
legal system to be improved on future days.


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