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This essay aims to build up an argument that demonstrates how victimization and vulnerability developed to serve political and economic interests.
Relating towards victims and vulnerability in the criminal justice system in previous research and today's society, this essay will give a summary and a descriptive overview about victims and vulnerability a close examination on how social conditions can be explained by which we have come to consider these two concepts. This essay aims to build up an argument that demonstrates how victimization and vulnerability developed to serve political and economic interests.
The first chapter argues that due to lack of evidence on previous research, there was a little amount of attention spent addressing victimization among groups that are more prone to such as young, elderly, economically disadvantaged and so on. It will be contended that this is a direct result of debates and policies around victims and vulnerability are neither unbiased nor independent from more extensive ideological and economic interests. Analysis of this interest is utilized to reconsider what is implied by the ‘ideal and perfect’ victim, a concept of vulnerability and the measure of crime (Christie, 1986, pg. 21). Spalek (2006) suggest that the perfect victim has been comprehended as the deserving victim by ideas of the kind of victim that evokes our sympathies and victim services are justified (pg. 200). Christie (1986) argues that this idealization gives a picture of the victim in question, and correspondingly the guilty party, which is out of kilter with messed up social realities. Victims are not in every case good and the offenders always wrong. The ideal victim speaks to a reflection of what it is to be a victim (pg. 23). Christie (1986) also suggests that a perfect victim is a person who is not physically fit enough to defend themselves, respected, and not to be blamed not connected to the offender in any way makes it for them to be the perfect victim (pg. 26).
Vulnerability seems to have a fairly fluctuated history when considered in connection to criminal victimization. The idea has rarely been investigated in its own right, its importance and application mostly considered in respect to the fear of crime as quoted by Hale (1996).
His involvement and reasoning of physical, social and situational factors demonstrate that vulnerability is internal and external to each. A feeling of weakness is formed by the states of existence, regardless of whether they are biographical, environment or culture. The vulnerability is used to express the amount of risk exposure to a particular group or individual people. Newburn and Stanko (1994) suggest that young men in their middle ages are found to be low harm but a high-risk corner while the elderly might find themselves in the low risk but a high harm space. This may be due to low-wage, single-adults, homes who can do so much to prevent victimization and are frequently more defenseless to harm but there is still minimum evidence to support such theory on an appropriate group. The surveys present by the Home Office do bring some light on victimization on some groups but do criticize their methodological and ideological assumptions (Lea and Young, 1984). However, Spalek (2006) completes the long-term impact research on victimization and provides a good overview of different types of harm (pg. 200). While Newburn and Stanko (1994) offer useful research on the relationship between gender and harm experience, victims response to the hurt caused to them is forced by role expectations firmly fixed into society. Christie (1986) reminds us that vulnerability is part of the conception of an ideal victim.
This means not to deliberately put you in harm's way to be seen as a perfect victim (pg. 19). Social conditions that reinforce Christie's (1986) notions of the ideal victim whereas extending it to include new parts of idealness in helping to grasp an understanding, however, perceptions of vulnerability are deployed in respect to completely different social groups (pg. 21). This study has brought about a focus that has given the basis of an essential antidote to male-dominated criminology along with the criminal justice system (Smart, 1977, pg. 91). That has frequently overlooked or minimized these sorts of female victimization. Newburn and Stanko (1994) proceed with this argument, proposing that the failure of victimology to engage with men's victimization is something that needs to be addressed promptly. Home Office (2004) goes on to suggest that one of the groups with a higher risk of becoming victimized of crime than the white people were the black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Main reasons for this suggestion are their age, their socio-economic characteristics and lastly the type of area they live.
Additionally, Smith (1997) reminds us the risk of victimization will, in general, be associated with attributes of the city where individuals live, and these characteristics are taken into account, between ethnic and minorities and white people the different risks are considered low. Additionally, the indirect harm caused by a more great situation that restricts the limit of black and minority ethnic groups avoid the economic and social conditions that are associated with abnormal amounts of criminal victimization. However, like age and gender, ethnicity is by no means, shape or form the most vital variable when understanding levels of vulnerability (pg. 115).
Despite gender, ethnicity or even age there seems to be little research that investigates the relationship between economic status and vulnerability. The British Crime Survey tends to use different categories for example household income, employment status, etc. Most of the findings from the recent surveys are to some degree mixed. Those who have a lower economic background are victimized more so than those of higher economic status. Property crime shows a much clearer picture. Poorer groups remain highest in burglary rates also car crimes, and vandalism has a higher incidence rate among the more productive people. The authors of the first Islington Crime Survey suggest that crime happens for different reasons mainly in poverty and unemployment. Burglary, vandalism, racial attacks are linked to the grave problems of economic deprivation within society. Newburn’s (1993) conclusion on economic status doesn't expand on vulnerability on income groups but he does discuss the financial effects of crime, he does not narrow his findings to any particular group.
Christie, N. (1986). Ideal Victim. From Crime Policy to Victim Policy, pp 17-30.
Hale, C. (1996) Fear of Crime: A Review of the Literature. International Review of Victimology. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/026975809600400201?journalCode=irva (Accessed on 23 Nov. 2018)
Home Office. (2004) Home Office Departmental Report 2004. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-office-departmental-report-2004 (Accessed on 23 Nov. 2018)
Lea, J. & Young, J (1984). What Is To Be Done About Law and Order, Penguin Books New York, NY 10014.
Newburn, T. & Stanko, A. (1994) Just Boys Doing Business? Men, Masculinities and Crime. London: Routledge.
Newburn, T. (1993) 'The long-term needs of victims: a review of the literature' Research & Planning Unit Paper 80. London: Home Office.
Smart, C. (1977). Criminological theory: its ideology and implication concerning women. The British Journal of Sociology, 1(28) pp. 89-100
Smith (1997) Principles and Practice of Automatic Process Control. (2nd Ed.), 1-750
Spalek, B. (2006), Crime Victims: Theory, Policy, and Practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. pp.200
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