U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Neutralizing the Impact of Crime

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 12 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1985) Pages: 221-239
R S Agnew
Date Published
19 pages
Contrary to mass media accounts and popular beliefs, quantitative data indicate that the relationship between victimization and fear of crime is weak. Efforts to explain this weak relationship have, so far, been unsatisfactory. This article attempts to explain the weak relationship by arguing that the impact of victimization is mediated by the beliefs of the individual.
In particular, victims often employ certain beliefs or 'techniques of neutralization' to convince themselves that their particular victimization was not harmful. By defining their victimization in this way, they avoid the fear and other negative reactions that sometimes accompany victimization. This article lists the five major techniques of neutralization employed by victims, presents evidence for their existence, and discusses their relevance to victimology. (Publisher abstract)


No download available