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the study of the victims of crime. This area has traditionally been marginal to the concerns of the vast majority of criminologists. The topic had been raised occasionally in arguments about the reliability of CRIMINAL STATISTICS, but was not treated systematically until the 1960s. The US President's Commission on Law Enforcement in 1965 sponsored the first major survey of crime victims, and found that the figure for unreported crime – the ‘dark figure’ – was much larger than had been assumed. It was also found that victimization and fear of crime were unequally distributed between different classes, different ethnic groups and between men and women. In addition, inner-city residents reported very high incidence of crime and great fear of crime which heavy police presence was not mitigating. The first official British victim survey (M. Hough and P. Mayhew, The British Crime Survey, 1983) replicated the US findings on the ‘dark figure’ of crime and the distribution of crime.

Theoretical approaches to victimology include a focus on the nature of the relation between victim and offender, e.g. the concept of‘victim precipitation’. At one extreme, e.g. the crime of rape, this psychologistic approach effectively ‘blames’ the victim for inviting the crime. Other accounts, working from statistics, have focused on geographical, demographic or ‘lifestyle’ explanations.

In the UK, the major recent work in this field has taken a more sociological and structural line. It represents both a move away from the previous critical CRIMINOLOGY and an attempt to contribute to an understanding of the victim, especially in working-class areas, and to contribute to policy formation, particularly in relation to policing policy and victim support (e.g. Lea and Young, 1983; Jones, Maclean and Young, 1986).

References in periodicals archive ?
Victimology is the study of the victim(s) of a violent crime or crime series.
Such a project embeds criminological theory with criminological practice and policy (see for example on criminology, Garland 1985; Smart 1990; and on victimology, Mawby and Walklate 1994).
Is it also selling a world view, a new victimology, beginning with its title, "Declining Fortunes"?
They describe the process of death, the cause and manner of death determinations, physiological changes, and the medico-legal death investigation system; the physical, informational, and behavioral components of an investigation; the four phases of homicide; the scientific method for investigators; the responsibilities of first responders; how to conduct the preliminary crime scene investigation and develop leads; the victimology report; the autopsy; the interview process; the reconstruction phase; investigating suicides; common mistakes; and report writing and coordinating the investigation with the prosecution.
This information quickly can identify motives and other articulative facts essential to determining an individual's victimology or suspectology.
Edited by Ezzat Fattah, Towards a Critical Victimology contains 12 articles published over the past 12 years and written almost exclusively from a US standpoint.
Current Issues in Victimology Research, 3rd Edition
The text reviews the history and key concepts of victimology and presents related journal articles, edited to be accessible to undergraduate students.
It is a book by the experts in the fields of multidisciplinary approaches involving members of the uniform and investigative branches of law enforcement; prosecution, behavioral science, and forensic science personnel; and special populations of victims, including their victimology and attackers, all with the primary mission of effective case investigation, management, and prosecution.
This sixth edition of a text on the history and current state of the field of victimology offers a new chapter on property victimization and an expanded chapter on personal victimization.
19] The overwhelming prevalence of female victims represents a distinct change from the victimology of emotion-based offenses involving younger children (younger male and female victims were generally at equal risk).
The book which emerged two years later builds on and tightens the evidence and conclusions presented in the original report and draws more widely on the relevant literature in criminology, victimology, police research, social policy, and the study of racism.