Profile of Victims Profile of Victims It is important that law enforcement agencies understand the role of the victim in acrime. The process enables them to come up with appropriate prevention measures. Studies by Victimologists have shown that gender, social, demographic characteristics and a victim’s household play a significant role in victimization. Furthermore, prior victimization increases risk. The battle against crime requires a comprehensive effort to understand the offenses, the criminals who commit them and victims. Victimologists are criminologists who study victims. Their attempts to profile victims have shown a pattern in the targets criminals choose.
According to Tischler (1990) the gender of an individual determines the likelihood of being assaulted by criminals and the nature of the crime (Tischler, 1990). For example, the available data on crime statistics indicates that more males are victims of serious crimes than females. In addition, females are more likely to be involved in sexual crimes and experience attacked by people they know.
An individual’s household can increase the likelihood of being a victim. For example, African American families are at a higher risk of having a crime victim than rural households (Siegel, 2011). In addition, families that own homes are less likely to have a crime victim as compared to those that rent (Siegel, 2011). The larger the household, the more likely a member of that house will be targeted (Siegel, 2011).
The social and economic status of an individual is a determining factor. The poorest Americans face the highest risk of being victims of crime (Siegel, 2011). This is because they live in poverty stricken environments where desperation can drive people to commit crimes. In addition, they live in areas with poor security installations.
Age is a significant determinant factor. For example, young people are at a greater risk of being attacked than older people (Tischler, 1990). Students are also more likely to be attacked than other people (Tischler, 1990). In addition, younger people are involved in more serious crimes than elders. For example, researchers have shown that 1 in 8 people that are murdered are below the age of 18 (Tischler, 1990).One reason for this statistic could be that young people and students often go to areas that can be considered unsafe such as entertainment places. Furthermore, there is a difference in the lifestyle and incomes between young people and the elderly people.
The marital status of an individual can make them more attractive targets for criminal activities. Members of both genders who have never been married are targeted more often than their married counterparts (Siegel, 2011). Widows and widowers face the least risk (Siegel, 2011). Age, gender and lifestyle explain the role of marital status in profiling the victim.
Finally, prior victimization places the individual at a significant risk of being targeted again (Siegel, 2011). This is because the prior attack demonstrates that they have fulfilled the profile that criminals search. In addition, households who have been targeted before usually suffer repeat attacks (Siegel, 2011). Three qualities can explain this repeat victimization. the target could be vulnerable, they could have a tendency to antagonize the criminals or attacking them could have a gratifying effect on the criminals (Siegel, 2011).
In conclusion, a study of the victims will reveal a pattern. Women are usually attacked by a familiar individual. However, males are the most common victims of serious crimes. Furthermore, the social, economic and demographic characteristics influence the selection of targets. Lastly, prior victimization significantly increases the likelihood of being attacked again.
Siegel, L. J. (2011). Criminology: The core. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Tischler, H. L. (1990). Introduction to sociology. Fort Worth, Tex: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.