Society’s Response to Criminal Victimization Although crime and victimization rates have steadily declined since the early 1990s, society’s perception and fear of crime is still very high. Greater participation between community members and local law enforcement is needed to help ensure that crime and victimization rates continue to decline. Crime prevention is a concept that can help reduce crime and public fear perception. Combating victimization requires a concerted effort between the public and private sectors. The United States is responding to violent crime in various proactive and reactive ways.
Proactive measures are designed to prevent violence; they include community-family action programs, personal protection measures, lifestyle changes, and other crime prevention and security measures designed to divert opportunistic offenders at one’s home, business, or other institutional setting. Victimization cannot be totally prevented; even the best crime prevention efforts are not guarantees against crime. Reactive responses to victimization include community programs and laws implemented in response to a crime problem.
The reactive responses are restorative approaches such as victim compensation and support programs, legislation, and civil justice responses. The restorative programs deal directly with victim assistance, although civil justice is designed to punish those responsible or associated with the victimization. The increase in the purchase in weapons reminds us of the fear many have. Community crime planning and increased security measures are a vital part of any crime prevention effort. The 1994 Federal Crime Bill was a significant step in addressing victimization and crime.
The best way to curtail victimization is to address the sources of crime. Reducing victimization also includes awareness of personal risks or avoidance of life styles conductive to crime and victimization. Current victimology studies are performed by the World Society of Victimology. This organization does not focus on assigning responsibility to victims. The organization mentions the additional concept of secondary victimization by the criminal justice system; for example, a victim of a rape may be forced to recollect the act on the witness stand in front of the judge and jury so that the rape suspect can be convicted.
The World Society of Victimology also mentions the role of the victim in the reform and restitution of a convicted criminal. Criminal victimization is a frightening and unsettling experience for many Americans. It is unpredictable, largely unpreventable, and often unexpected. Unlike normal life experiences, victimization is not sought out and is never welcomed; it is debilitating and demoralizing, and its efforts can often be long-term and difficult to overcome. Victims may be confused, fearful, frustrated, and angry. Becoming a victim of crime is an unpleasant and unwanted life experience at best.
The impact of criminal victimization is serious, throwing victims into a state of shock, fear, anxiety, and anger. The emotional, physical, psychological, and financial ramifications of crime can be devastating to victims. Coping with and recovering from victimization are complex processes. Sadly, some victims are never able to do so. Crime victimization can impact an individual’s ability to perform across a variety of roles, including those related to parenting, intimate relationships, occupational, and social functioning.
Much of the available research focuses on changes in functioning among victims of intimate partner violence, with less research devoted to examining the consequences of other crime types on role functioning. I believe that society has responded very well to criminal victimization. They have created programs to help people who have gone through things in life other people don’t go through. Society is also improving their programs to help patients forget what happened to them. They are finding ways to help prevent victimization.
If I were a victim, the programs available would seem a very encouraging opportunity to begin my road to recovery. If the society doesn’t do anything to help to respond to criminal victimization, there would be a lot more victims in need of help that can’t get it because the society doesn’t seem to care what happens to their people. I believe that the United States has done everything they can to help either prevent victimization or come up with different programs to help those in need.
Not all societies have responded the same to victimization though; for example, Russia responds to victimization quite differently than the U. S. Some people may or may not choose to accept these programs that the society has come up with to help people in need. In my opinion, the society has responded very well to criminal victimization. The sources I used were: www. icpsr. umich. edu/icpsrweb/NACJD/NCV, www. ncjrs. gov/criminal_justice2000/vol_4/04c. pdf, and www. ojp. usdoj. gov/ovc/publications/… /FirstResponseGuidebook.
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