Name: kaanushan shanthakumar
Programme of study: Criminal Justice & Criminology
Assignment title: Essay
Date assignment due: 03/09/2018
Word count: 2700
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Some people deliberately or recklessly put themselves at risk. Critically evaluate the claim that victims of crime precipitate their victimisation.
Most criminal act comprises of an offender and a victim, the victim not necessarily having to be visible or an individual. Up until fairly recently most theories and studies were developed around the notion that the offenders were solely to blame and responsible for a crime, but of recent, theories and studies have been developed wherein they examine what role the victim plays in their own victimisation. This premise has attracted so much attention that this has lead to a new field of research, victimology. Victimology aims to study the relationship between the victim and the offender, or the victimizer, and goes onto look at how a victim may precipitate, i.e., contribute to their own victimasation. There are two key schools of thought when it comes to victimology, positivist victimology and critical victimology. Critical victimology branches out from the ideologies of Marxism and Feminism, which focus on issues such as patriarchy and structural factors that influence whether a victim is labelled a victim, focusing on the states power in making a victim. Another major school of thought is called positivist victimology. According to Miers (1989), positivist victimology is made up of three parts;
“the identification of factors in individuals or their environment that conduce to a non-random risk of victimisation, a concentration on inter-personal crimes of violence, and the identification of victims who may be held to have contributed to their victimisation.” – David Miers (1989, p1)
That being said, positivist victimology, is an approach most relevant to victims percipitating their victimisation, as this approach focuses on the individual rather than external factors.
There are a few key theories which examine the positivist approach of victimology which examine the relationship between the victim and their role in a crime, and one of the most earliest theories that look at this is called victim precipitation theory. Victim precipitation theory, in its simplest definition, argues that the victim actually initiates the crime due to their actions or choices, ultimately meaning that they play a major role in their own victimisation . A ‘father...