Individual Project 1
Victims of crimes come in all ages, race, nationality, and sex. Studying the victims is important to determine why they were chosen, and how they were affected. Civil rights have come a long way in the past century, and continue to get better. Child rights groups continue to fight and win wrongful rulings in, so the kids can someday redeem themselves.
First of all let’s take a look at what victimology is shall we. Victimology is defined as “the study of crime victims and the psychological effects on being a victim.” (Dictionary, 2013) Let’s take a look at why victimology is so important know a days. Here are some startling numbers from 2010. “The city of Detroit, Michigan literally looks like a war zone and violent crime is thriving. So far this year in Detroit, car thefts are up 83%, robberies are up 50%, burglaries are up 20% and property destruction is up 42%. Lawmakers in Illinois say that violence has become so rampant in Chicago that the National Guard needs to be sent in. In just one night last week seven people were killed and 18 were wounded – mostly by gunfire. In fact, there have already been 113 murders in Chicago this year. There are approximately 12 million crimes committed in the United States every single year. That is by far the worst in the world. No other nation has more than about 6 million reported crimes per year.” (Michael, 2010) With these types of numbers, there is a very big need for the victims of these crimes. There have been victims of crimes since the beginning of man; however there was no thought to study the victims until the 1940s and 1950s when a group of people, Hans von Hentig, Benjamin Mendelsohn, and Henri Ellenberger started to study victims. “Victimology first emerged in the 1940s and ‘50s, when several criminologists examined victim-offender interactions and stressed reciprocal influences and role reversals. These pioneers raised the possibility that certain individuals who suffered wounds and losses might share some degree of responsibility with the lawbreakers.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013) I don’t know if I completely agree with that statement or not, I think that it is unfair to put blame on the victim regardless of the circumstances. Victimology has come a long way since the origins of criminology in the 1880s. “At first (going back to the origins of criminology in the 1880s), anything resembling victimology was simply the study of
crime from the perspective of the victim. With the exception of some psychological profilers who do this, nobody really advocates this approach to victimology anymore. The scientific study of victimology can be traced back to the 1940s and 1950s. Two criminologists, Mendelsohn and Von Hentig, began to explore the field of victimology by creating "typologies". They are considered the "fathers of the study of victimology." These new "victimologists" began to study the behaviors and vulnerabilities of victims, such as the resistance of rape victims and characteristics of the types of people who were victims of crime, especially murder victims. Mendelsohn (1937) interviewed victims to obtain information, and his analysis led him to believe that most victims had an "unconscious aptitude for being victimized." He created a typology of six (6) types of victims, with only the first type, the innocent, portrayed as just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other five types all contributed somehow to their own injury, and represented victim precipitation.” (Stevens, 2003) Criminology focuses on the study of the crime and criminals which makes it different than that of victimology. Socialology is the study of social problems. And psychology is the study of the human mind. All three are different than that of victimology. “In 1971 the first battered women’s shelter was established in London, England. For so many years in so many