Victimology is the study of crime and its victims. The perpetrator or offender is at a single finish of the spectrum and the victim at the other. The criminal and the victim represent opposing sides in the war against ideal or incorrect. The victim is generally perceived as the innocent individual who became prey to the guilty individual who was on the opposing side of morality. The criminal was the undesirable guy and the victim was the excellent guy.

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In 1948, even so, Hans von Hentig, a German criminologist, started to alter the societal attitudes towards crime following his study of many homicide victims. Hentig is credited as becoming a founder of the theory of victimology and was the initially to recommend that the victim himself is “a single of the quite a few causes of crime,” reports Stephen Schafer, The Criminal and his Victim. Hentig's theory altered societal attitudes and influenced alter by altering the concentrate of a homicide investigation from the criminal to the victim.

Hentig's method was deemed brilliant in the late 1940s. It was a new idea that speedily evolved and expanded into a theory. The victims had been categorized and labeled whilst the investigators searched for what we now contact an “unknown suspect.”

Investigating the victim's way of life by means of interviews of close friends and family members helped law enforcement agents concentrate their sources and efforts on the victim as an try to find the unknown criminal. They attempted to realize why and how a single individual became a victim when yet another individual did not. It is equivalent to reverse psychology and the purpose victimology is from time to time referred to as “reverse criminology.” These tactics and techniques are nonetheless made use of these days. The homicide investigator investigates the victim in an work to realize the psychological elements of the criminal which could lead to additional clues about the whys and wherefores that led to a single person's death.

Reciprocal Arrangement

As a outcome of Hentig's evaluation of victims, he additional theorized that there is “reciprocality” in between the criminal and victim. This implies that the victim and the criminal somehow share in the crime by giving somewhat of a reciprocal agreement and, for that reason, some shared satisfaction as a outcome of the crime. Hentig's theory stated that the victim shapes and molds the criminal and his crime. The partnership in between perpetrator and victim, Hentig believed, produced an intricate partnership and reciprocal arrangement in between the criminal and the victim.

Victim Precipitation

Then, in 1963, yet another criminologist, Benjamin Mendelsohn, refined Hentig's theory by expanding on it. Mendelsolm created a equivalent concept which he known as “victim precipitation.” Victim precipitation is a term which suggests that the victim of a crime had “an aptitude, despite the fact that unconsciously, of becoming victimized,” reports Karola Dillenburger, The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy. Mendelshom concluded that victims “appear, consider, and act differently” than non-victims which enhance their likelihood of becoming victims. There are as quite a few sorts of victims as there are sorts of criminals.

Varieties of Victims

In 1948, when Hentig created his theory about victimization and the victim's part in the crime, it was deemed a brilliant method to the investigation of a homicide. The victim was dead and, for that reason, law enforcement could not interview a lifeless physique. The murderer was unknown and, for that reason, not accessible for an interview. Crime scene evaluation was just starting to evolve as nicely. Forensic proof was a new science. The logical option was to interview these men and women who knew the victim. Hentig interviewed the relatives, close friends, acquaintances and studied the way of life of victim in an work to find out how or why the victim was murdered.

As a outcome of Hentig's research, he started to categorize victims according to the sorts of men and women most probably to come to be victims. Hentig categorized these victims on the basis of their character sorts and assigned labels to them. According to Hentig, there are 4 sorts of victims, which he labeled as:

  1. depressive
  2. greedy
  3. wonton
  4. tormentor

The “depressive” sorts, according to Hentig, had been the easiest target simply because they had been careless and unsuspecting. The “greedy” sorts had been very easily deceived simply because of their “insatiability.” The “wonton” sort was vulnerable simply because of their “neediness.” The “tormentor” sort was attacked by the victim of his abuse, explains Karola Dillenburger, “A Behavior Analytic Point of view on Victimology.” The tormentor, it appears, was attacked following the tormenting of yet another. The tormentor became the victim right after the victim retaliated on the perpetrator. This could be analogous to the battered-wife who subsequently kills her abuser.

Contents of a Victim Profile

The field of victimology has additional created considering that the 1940s when Hentig initially created his theory. It was additional studied and refined by Mendelsohn in the 1960s and, now in the year 2013, victims are classified according to several traits and, most regularly, according to way of life. The victims are graded on a scale from low to higher-danger way of life. Each and every aspect of the victim's way of life is examined, analyzed, theorized, categorized and judged.

The victim's profile now consists of particulars about their physical description, family members background, education, marital status, occupation, employment history, health-related history, dental records, family members background, list of close friends and enemies, and essentially any other detail that can be found about the victim's individual way of life. Victims are profiled just like criminals.

Varieties of Crimes

The classification of victims has expanded to consist of victims of quite a few sorts of crimes. There are victims of all-natural disasters, accidents, bodily injury, individual injury and mass homicide. When classified by sort of crime, the victim is additional analyzed and, subsequently, classified into a sub-classification with but yet another label affixed to compartmentalize the victim into a subcategory primarily based on extra recognized traits.

The victim's individual way of life becomes the basis of the investigation primarily based on the premise that by means of understanding of the victim, law enforcement can commence to realize the criminal. This assumption could hold valid for instances of person homicide even so, it have to shed credibility when investigating instances involving mass murder.

Via the approach of victimology, albeit nicely-intended, the victim continues to endure a kind of double-jeopardy, after as a victim, and then once again, by means of the “hardships of the civil approach,” states Stephen Schafer, the Criminal and his Victim. Civil rights compete with civil justice.

Prevailing Attitudes

As much more men and women come to be victims of crime, much more laws are passed primarily based on the existing societal attitudes as we evaluate criminals to victims. The prevailing attitudes rise and fall in relation to the prevailing attitude of the occasions. “Duty for one's conduct is a altering idea and its interpretation is a correct mirror of the social, cultural, and political circumstances of the provided era,” explains Schafer.

This year, as President Obama attended his fourth funeral at a internet site of a mass murder, he spoke to the victims and, much more importantly, he spoke to Americans. He spoke about the needless violence that surrounds us. “We can not tolerate this any longer,” mentioned Obama. “These tragedies have to finish. And to finish them, we have to alter. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complicated, and that is correct. No single law – no set of laws can get rid of evil from the globe, or avoid just about every senseless act of violence in our society.”

The nature of societal interrelationships and the ideology of these with powers of authority give the premise of the difficulty and propose options to resolve the bigger difficulty. New laws are written to define morality and enhance the consequences for illegal behavior. Every single administration, as the existing ruling energy, wields its political, social and financial tactics to implement new techniques to obtain a vote to pass but yet another law that is developed to educate the masses about the distinction in between ideal and incorrect.

This year, let the political pendulum swing each strategies as we seek to stabilize the balance in between justice for a single and justice for all. Let the pendulum swing in the search for the truth and the search for an unknown suspect. Let the pendulum swing each strategies and hope that the balance of justice weighs equally for a single and all. Let us safeguard the civil rights of the criminal with no prejudice or subjection of the victim.