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Victimology - Recent Trends

NCJ Number
Criminologie Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Dated: (1980) Pages: 6-36
E Fattah
Date Published
31 pages
The development of victimology is traced, and recent trends in research and theory are analyzed in this Canadian study.
The study of crime victims, which in the 1950's and 1960's was still in an embryonic state, has developed into a promising branch of criminology. A growing body of knowdedge and publications on victims and victimization, a series of international symposia (in particular the International Symposium on Victimology held in Bellagio, Italy, in 1975), and an international scientific journal on victimology published in Washington, D.C., are the major catalysts of this development. Causes for the growing interest in crime victims include a conservative shift in public attitudes emphasizing the rights of the victim rather than those of the offender, the influence of the feminist movements focus on female crime victims, and emphasis on applied rather than theoretical criminology funded by government organizations such as LEAA in the United States. In theoretical studies, progress was made in defining the scope and impact of victimology and in assessing the field of unreported crimes. The typologies of crime victims, which constituted a primary interest in early victimological research, now focus on particular population groups who are the favorite targets of offenders. Psychologists have broadened understanding of the influence of the victim on judicial decisions against the offender. Progress has been made in increasing the offenders' and the public's understanding of victims. Although additional research is needed, the relations between victims and offenders have been analyzed in terms of closeness and distance, approach and retreat. The article includes an extensive international bibliography of over 100 entries.


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