This is a survey course covering contemporary developments in the field of victimology, its conceptual boundaries, its basic concepts and literature, its subfields and role as a field of study within criminology and criminal justice. The historical and emerging roles of victimology as a field of study are examined and discussed in depth. Special attention is paid to applied learning objectives with respect to each student's personal experiences with the human dimensions of victimization. This course also deals with analysis of contemporary programs and trends in the criminal justice system's response to victims. Instruction is primarily augmented lecture with discussion, video, and presentation supplements.
Krista Carter, M.Ed.
By Griffin Campbell
Child abuse causes many future problems for a victim. They have psychiatric problems, or a disorganized attachment style. Disorganized attachment style is associated with a number of developmental problems, including dissociate symptoms, anxiety, depression, and acting-out symptoms. About 80% of abused and maltreated infants exhibited symptoms of disorganized attachment. Victims of childhood abuse also claim to suffer from different types of health problems later in life. Suffer from things such as some type of chronic head, abdominal, pelvic, or muscular pain with no identifiable reason. Though the majority of childhood abuse victims believe that their abuse is the cause of different health problems in their adult life it is most likely from other possible health problems instead of their childhood abuse.
The effects of child abuse vary, depending on its type. A 2006 study found that childhood emotional and sexual abuse were strongly related to adult depressive symptoms, while exposure to verbal abuse and witnessing of domestic violence had a moderately strong association and physical abuse a moderate one. For depression, experiencing more than two kinds of abuse has stronger symptoms. Sexual abuse caused symptoms of depression, anxiety, dissociation, and limbic irritability. Childhood verbal abuse had a stronger association with anger-hostility than any other type of abuse studied, and was second only to emotional abuse in its relationship with dissociate symptoms. In the case of 23 of the 27 illnesses listed in the questionnaire of a French INSEE survey, some statistically significant correlations were found between repeated illness and family traumas encountered by the child before the age of 18 years. These relationships show that inequality in terms of illness and suffering is not only social. It has also its origins in the family, where it is associated with the degrees of having lasting problems. Such as lack of affection, parental discord, the prolonged absence of a parent, or a serious illness affecting either the mother or father that individuals report having experienced in childhood.
By Scott Hornstra
Does your spouse get angry over seemingly minor things? Is it always your fault? Does it seem like you are being hurt? Whether it’s physically or emotionally. Spousal abuse occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another. We may not notice it all that often but this kind of abuse happens far too often over the course of a day in this world. I have not dealt with spousal abuse in my life, or any kind of abuse for that matter, however I do believe that it would destroy any kind of relationship.
There can be many reasons why spousal abuse occurs. It may be a learned behaviour that a child observes occurring between parents and later repeats in his or her adult relationships. Different studies that have been conducted have shown that one of the main reason’s people choose to abuse their spouse is because of insecurities and not being ok with one’s self. Both men and women can use abuse as a way to show dominance in a relationship. They could be scared of things like the other leaving them, so they strike that fear in them so they don’t leave. This is done by abuse. When that fear is struck into the victim they will be so scared of this abuse continuing that they would never think of crossing their significant other and making them unhappy.
Society is now becoming more aware of spouse abuse than it has been in the past. In the past the authorities were very reluctant to take action with the fear of being unable to prove anything, which would cause even more problems within the authorities. It also used to be assumed that the man was the ruler inside the house and the police had no business there, and at worst it was considered a minor misdemeanour. However now that view has drastically changed and the consequences for this kind of abuse are far more serious. Spouse abuse is a very serious form of exploitation that will escalate when left untreated. Usually spousal abuse starts out harmless, maybe a little verbal abuse, however then it escalates and the verbal abuse worsens and then it changes to physical abuse. This is where things get really scary and the authorities need to be informed. For some people it may be very hard to admit to someone else they are being abused because usually the abuser makes the victim feel this it is his or her fault they are doing that. Statistically men are the abusers far more than women.
The thing that blows my mind and gets me thinking the most is, why do the victims stay? In more situations than most the victim stays and that is so confusing to me. The victim may stay cause that is all they know, they may think that they would not be able to survive without their significant other. They may have no resources of their own, or maybe that person does not want their kids to grow up without two parents if kids are in the equation. The victim may not want to leave because of the humility. The way they will be viewed if they break up. Most victims just want to stay behind closed doors and try and deal with the situation by themselves. Some people also believe that the abuser can change; they will stick it out until things are better. Sometimes things get better, but if the abuser does not seek help it will be much harder for things to get better.
There are many ways to identify a victim of spousal abuse, but it is not always easy by any means. Look for fear in the victim when he or she is around the suspected abuser. If alcohol or drugs are present around the suspected abuser or victim this may be a good sign that abuse is going on. You may want to look into the fact that if the man or women have had abuse in their life before. The biggest way to identify if someone has been abused is looking for visible bruising or cuts; these are all big signs of whether or not some is being abused.
The fact is that spousal abuse is one of many different types of abuse and it happens far too often in the world today. A lot of the time people really don’t know why the abuse is happening and people keep it to them selves. Victims have their own reasons for staying in during the times of abuse; I can’t see how anyone could want to stay in that kind of situation. No one wants to be put in that kind of situation and it really is unfortunate that it happens so often.
By Jason Huerta
Any of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person is considered rape. Rape is a very serious crime that unfortunately happens to innocent victims each year. In the year 1999 The U.S Bureau of Justice Statistics clarified that 91% of rape victims were of the female sex. Only to percent of these respondents reported that they were sexually assaulted by a stranger. Most rape victims are also targets for the person ho is committing the crime. Rape is committed with violence or actual force. Statistics show that a rape crime toward women is committed every two minutes. The F.B.I has estimated that 72 women out of 100,000 females were raped in the year 1996.
Many victims that have been raped don’t report to the authorities that they have been raped at all, the reason for this is because they are scared and or are embarrassed from this awful crime. The F.B.I has estimated that only 37% of rape victims actually report to the authorities about them being raped or sexually assaulted. The U.S Justice Department statistics are even lower then the F.B.I’s statistics. They have estimated that only 26% of all rapes and attempted rapes are reported to any kind of authorities.
Another form of rape that is used is used in drug form which is called “Date Rape,” which happens when someone, mainly males, slip a drug into someone’s drink when they are not looking. Thee drugs have no color, taste, or smell so the victim will not be able to tell if they have had a drug slipped into their drink. These drugs simply make the victim weak and confused or ill even make you pass out, which makes you vulnerable and unable to defend yourself and refuse any type of sexual intercourse. What makes these drugs even worse is the drugs make the victim not remember anything what so ever, so most of the time the victim does not know if he or she has been raped.
A way for people to avoid getting “Date Raped” is to simply be smart about what you do. Do not share or take drinks from anyone that you simply don’t trust or don’t even know. Also keep your drink with you at all times so the risk of getting “Date Raped” is basically a zero percent chance. If you do end up leaving your drink laying around just pour it out so you don’t take that chance of getting raped or sexually assaulted. Date rape is big in the college years. In a survey for universities they had come to a conclusion that one in twelve college men had committed illegal acts that were considered to fall under the category of rape.
Most rapes that that are committed are committed by someone that the victim knows. In fact, 38% of rapists are friends or acquaintances of the victim and seven percent of the rapists are relatives of the victim. Also 50% of all rapes that have had happen have reported by the victim have occurred one mile within the victims house and 43% of rapes occur during the times of 6 p.m and midnight. The average rapists are reported to be the age of 31 years old. 52% percent of the rapists reported are white males and 22% of imprisoned rapists are reported to be married to another individual. Most rapes involve some type of drugs or actual force such as violence, 30% of rapes were used with alcohol, four percent with drugs, three percent with guns, six percent of rapists used knives, two percent used another type of weapon, and 84% of rapists reported used physical force to commit the crime against innocent victims.
So in conclusion we all know rape is a very illegal ad bad thing to do but there is still those people out there that commit this crime. So ways to avoid these types of crimes is to be safe about it. If you’re around someone that seems like they would do this type of crime don’t be around them alone. If you’re at a party where you think you could be a victim of “Date Rape” don’t leave your drink by itself either have it with you at all times or leave it with a very close friend that you can trust. Rape is a very serious crime and if you’re a victim you should report this crime so the criminals out there that commit this crime are met with justice because this crime happens more often then reported.
Intimate Violence: Stalking
By Weston Lewis
Intimate violence is an act made by a close persons; relatives, family members, friends, and significant others or admires. Stalking is my subject; there are three categories of stalking: intimate partner stalkers, delusional stalkers, and vengeful stalkers.
First, intimate stalking is by the guy who can’t let go; they have trouble believing the relationship is over. These stalkers mostly have a 50% of having a criminal background. The stalker is then led on by the victim to talk to them leading the stalker to follow them more closely. These stalkers are into having dominance and control over the victim.
Second, delusional stalkers; Delusional stalkers are the kind that if little to never make contact with the victim, they also come from a battered family and have a tough time finding their own identity. This stalker believes false information between the victims; the victim loves them, has a crush on them, and wants to talk to them. This stalker is led to believe he or she is in a relationship with the victim and the victim not knowing a thing about it. Stalkers are most know with celebrities, they believe their celebrity is sending them secret messages in their movies and work they do and only they understand it. They go for people with helping professions.
Lastly, the vengeful stalker; the vengeful stalker stalks for revenge. These stalkers will stalk his or her boss after being laid off, they can also be seen stalking their entire company. Vengeful stalkers are known as psychopaths. These stalkers sometimes believe they are the victim at times and they are the ones being stalked and soon become very paranoid. A vengeful stalker stalks to get even.
In few states, there are laws that will provide protection for victims. Most states law is just a misdemeanor. Charging your stalker is very difficult because most of the times you do not know you are being watched. Ten states require documented facts of a stalker for the police to act. Therefore every victim should document every time you are being stalked, do now antagonize the stalker, never meet with the stalker, and limit contact with stalker.
By Cory “CJ” Grantz
Carjacking is the intention taking of a motor vehicle from its driver, or other lawful persons in ownership by the use of force or intimidation. It differs from other motor vehicle thefts because it is done with the use of force and/or threats to accomplish the crime. The motivations of carjacking fall in areas of similar violent crimes including, financial motives, empowerment, facilitation, opportunity, thrill seeking, and antisocial personality.
Victims of carjacking generally exhibit characteristics similar to other individuals most vulnerable to other violent crimes. According to the NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey) males were more frequently victimized then females; African Americans more often then Caucasians; Hispanics more often then non-Hispanics; people under the age of 50 more often then persons age 50 or older; and single people more then married. People living in urban areas were more vulnerable to carjacking then people living in suburban or rural areas. Also most carjacking occur with five miles of the victims home
A variety of methods are used by carjackers in seeking out opportunistic victims depending on the location. Some locations include supermarkets, hotels and motels, gas stations, ATMs, etc.. Victims are also approached by armed robbers at a stoplight or stop sign and told to leave their vehicles under the threat of force. Other variations include walking up from a sidewalk or another car getting in through an unlocked door and then forcing the driver out, as well as using another car to force the driver off the road and usually an accomplice will then vacate the original car to take the other one. In some instances, carjackers may kidnap the driver of the vehicle and commit additional crimes such as rape, and they have also approached victims at ATMs and forced them to withdraw money before releasing them and/or harming them.
The crime of carjacking can be traumatic to our everyday lives because it creates fear in the common act of driving a car. Victims of carjacking have reported being unable to drive a car again while others required months of therapy. Others have become so hypersensitive, that embarrassing and dangerous situations have arisen in response to their fear when someone unwittingly approached their car on foot. With the invention and application of more advanced car alarms, tracking devices, and car locks criminals have “dumbed” down the operation of obtaining cars to this violent and sometimes even lethal operation of armed robbery. Taking the car while its already being driven eliminates the need for high tech tools to bust into it while its stationary and locked, and maybe the driver will have more money to them it seems like a win-win situation. To the victim however, it means a higher probability of physical harm and for those that are the least lucky the possibility of rape and even death.
By Zach Hays
I hate where I work. I know a lot of people say that all the time, but I really do hate where I work. I don’t understand how a company can consist of people who just constantly put each other down. The moment I open my eyes the thought of going into work just haunts me. The psychological abuse is really getting to me. Everyday just consists of either: profanity, hostile remarks, sexual comments, or some type of gossip and rumors. As soon as I come into work I get dirty looks from at least 3 or 4 different people. It’s just a lot of different stuff that goes on. It’s like I hear something new everyday, whether it’s about me or even my family. I have so many problems at home, especially with my daughter who is a runaway drug addict. I’m sitting in my cubicle minding my own business and I can hear people whispering things about how I’m a bad parent and how it’s my fault my daughter turned out that way. They make it seem like my daughter acts that way because that is how I act and that was what she was raised around.
It’s just really hard to focus on my work when all this gossip and rumors are going on around me. The lack of focus also causes problems with the boss because I am barely reaching my monthly goals. I understand why he is mad but I have tried to explain to him what is going on around the office but he just never listens. He either thinks I’m making it up or just doesn’t care. If I don’t get the most files closed in the month he will single me out in front of everybody. His yelling really doesn’t help. He just makes little comments like, “My children could work faster than you!” or “I don’t even know why I hired you!” I really have no other choice but to put up with it because I don’t know what else to do. I can’t leave and go somewhere else because if I can’t even do my job right here. I’m sure my problems will follow me even if I do find somewhere else to go.
By Cory Little
The phrase “going postal” is often thrown around as slang for an uncontrollable fit of rage, sometimes to the point of violence. The term came about in the mid to late 1990’s after a long series of incidents in which United States Postal Service workers shot and killed fellow employees as well as innocent citizens. From 1986 to 1997 there were 40 people killed in around 20 incidents of workplace rage. Nowadays the idiom has grown to incorporate all types of workplace rage, not just that of postal workers.
The most notable series of postal shootings occurred in Michigan in 1991 and 1993. On November 14th, 1991 an USPS worker killed 5 people including himself after being fired for insubordination. Nearly two years later on May 6th, 1993, two separate incidents of postal rage occurred. In one incident three were wounded two were killed, and in another three people were killed.
Since 1997 the amount of workplace shootings has declined. This is peculiar because of the rise in school and university shootings. In a study, researchers found that postal workers did not even have the highest homicide rate per 100,000 workers. The most dangerous occupation was found to be taxi driving, with an astonishing 31.54 per 100,000 workers. In comparison, retail ranked in with 2.1 homicides per 100,000 workers with postal workers a quite a bit behind at .26 murders.
On a personal note, my own dad was a postal worker for a couple years when I was around 10 years old. I had heard of that phrase by then so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from him after he took the job. He always seemed a bit more stressed out those years, and always complained about how early in the morning the job started, which was at 5 in the morning.
By Jess Cooper
Office related violence and abuse have been around for many, many years but over the last few years it has reached an epidemic level with more and more work related cases popping up each year with an average number of 3 to 4 workers being killed each year. But not just murder is seen when worker harassment is brought up most times it is something as simple as words said but coworkers or sexually derogative comments. Either way there is something wrong with what’s going on in are work places. But something has to be done once these small little gestures lead to an attack at the work place.
Workers always say that the attacks do not always happen out of the blue there are usually signs that are building up to the actual confrontation. More than 30 percent of all work related attacks end with the perpetrator taking a few lives and eventually there own, research shown that how many victims the person takes has a lot to do with the likelihood of that attackers turning the weapon of themselves.
Because of all the incidents that have been accruing at work people are starting to do more to protect themselves by taking classes on recognizing a problem before it can escalate into a full blow conflict. Some precautions are as easy as avoid entering rooms by yourself when you know there could be a possible threat on the other side or by letting someone else know where you intend on going so if something were to happen they would know where you were at last . Avoid using elevators that are crowded with people that you do not know or may have never associated with before.
If you see warning sings that may indicate that you are being harassed at work you should first let your supervisor know that these acts are taking place. They will continue to watch the perpetrator for continuation of these acts, and if continued there will be something done at the job to stop in whether that be moving you or the person to a different location of them getting fired or arrested to the acts. This could turn out to be very big deal for a business owner if they do not act as quickly as possible because they are accounted responsible for the safety and happiness while at the place of business. That could look very bad for a boss if they were to allow the acts to carry on while under there supervision.
While you may never be able to fully stop work place harassment you may do many different things to make sure that you will not fall victim so someone’s sick little game.