Sunday, April 14, 2013

Theories of Victimization

These theories are an excerpt of L. Siegel's book Criminology, a must have if you are interested in learning about the processes and motivations leading to criminal behavior as well as the trends and characteristics of the different types of crimes.

Victim Precipitation Theory.

This theory states that some people may actually initiate the confrontation that eventually leads to their injury or death. Victim precipitation may be active or passive.
- active precipitation occurs when a victim acts provocatively, uses threats or fighting words, or even attacks first.
- passive precipitation occurs when the victim exhibits some personal characteristics that unknowingly either threatens or encourages the attacker. It may also occur when the victim belongs to a group whose mere presence threatens the attacker's reputation, status or economic well-being. Some research indicate that passive precipitation is related to power.

Lifestyle Theory.

People may become victims because their lifestyle increases their exposure to criminal offenders. The basis of this theory is that crime is not a random occurrence but rather a function of the victim's lifestyle.
People who have high risk lifestyles (drinking, taking drugs, getting involved in crimes) maintain a much greater risk of victimization. Ex: young runaways living on the street. One element of lifestyle that may place people at risk for victimization is ongoing involvement in a criminal career.

Deviant Place Theory.

The more people are exposed to dangerous places, the more likely they will become victim of crime and violence.

Routine Activity Theory.

The volume and distribution of predatory crime are closely related to the interaction of 3 variables that reflect the routine activities
- the availability of suitable targets (1)
- the absence of capable guardians (2)
- the presence of motivated offenders (3)

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