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Victims and Victimology: Critical Analysis of Social, Legal, and Political Responses

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Introduction: Analyzing Societal Responses to Victimization

The report revolves around the topic “Victims and Victimology," which would initiate with a demonstration related to political, legal, and social responses to social harm. The ideal victims are especially those who fear from crime. The experiences of victimisation would lead to the marginalisation of social groups. Victimology could be understood as the evolution of science that has been integrated with criminology. The marginalised social groups have been victimised due to some of the grave experiences they have undergone. Finally, it would focus on the construct of the image of a victim that has been put at malleable levels.

1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of political, social, legal and popular responses to victims of crime and social harm

Victims have been recognised as people who have generally gone through the harm done by others in society. They are different types of pain pertaining to the same. Some of them are mental trauma, physical hurt, loss of financial liabilities and many more (Braun, 2019). Crimes could be perpetuated in different ways be they political, social or legal. The victims who have been weak, dependent and vulnerable need constant reassurance from all the varied spheres. Crimes are done against the government or the state along with grave violations of human rights. There are varied methods too which would provide aid to the victims of social harm and crime done to them. As stated by Braun (2019), there are some crimes that are done due to unfair attempts by the government or a state, such as treason and espionage. It would also create an environment for the culprits to not take their political actions that is they could be infringed from filing their votes or standing in an election. On the other hand, for those who have been the victims, the political frameworks of the country could try their best to help them to combat the changes.

There are instances of social impacts on the victims as they might go through extensive trauma, depression and anxiety that would not allow them to overcome their situations at all. Moreover, they could have challenges in maintaining and regulating their social roles that are as socialising, parenting, or even sharing bonding with anyone. For example, those who have survived critical cases of rape, domestic violence, and molestation, might take a long in indulging and even accept a healthy environment. As stated by Walklate et al. (2019), the victims could also have to wait long for justice which might lead them to lose faith in the law very quickly. On the other hand, it is also observed that there are times when affluent and powerful culprits tend to get support from legal forums, leaving victims in the same or even worse circumstances. However, it is not always true as there are times when the rights of the victims have also been protected. The UN Declaration has some of the major elements that are associated with the rights of the victims (Walklate et al. 2019). Some of them are compensation, rehabilitation, restitution and justified treatment by others. In fact, they should have the protection of privacy and safety of the victims by enabling them to have effective legal processes.

2. Analyse the victimisation experiences of marginalised social groups

Social groups have been margins majorly due to some of the important factors like political, economic, social, psychological and others. As stated by Varona (2020), they have been victimised due to a number of reasons as per their experiences of crimes. Marginalised social grounds undergo victimisation mainly because of discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sex, creed, place of birth, physical appearance and many more. These norms are accelerating day by day because society has changed and has attempted to set some particular types of conditions for the people around them for being able to compete in the market properly (Varona, 2020). In the world of capitalisation and massively expanding globalisation, many scholars believe that the diversity of languages and cultures has either started to become homogenised or they are being kept aside.

As stated by Long (2021), ideal victims are exclusively demonstrated through social frameworks because of their common identities. There are different theories associated with the criminology aspects of victims’ economic theories, political theories, sociological theories, social learning theory, control theory, and many more. On the other hand, there is a sharp increase in varied skills including vocational training that have led them to become victims of corporate affairs. It shows that those individuals would perpetuate the matters in a way that it would include people and agencies such as the media, the police, and some criminal justice agencies.

The victims, especially those who have been given derogatory remarks on the basis of their skin colour, for instance, have seen excessive levels of segregation and humiliation from society. Moreover, there are two approaches that could be understood pertaining to these changes. One of them is that socially marginalised groups face economic deprivation due to generalised stated stereotypes and prejudices (Chopin, and Beauregard, 2023). However, it is so authentically known that the ones who lack the good financial stability that pushes them into the more unstable scenario.

3. Analyse the extent to which victim status is a malleable construct

Victims have been socially constructed in manners that are usually concerned as malleable. The perpetuation of victims has been done in a manner that has too much extended to neglected people on the basis of religion, creed, sex, and others. Most of the instances have been such that these victims have been demonstrated in a way that has been observed as the process of victimization. As opined by Chopin, and Beauregard (2023), the social construct of victimization has been shaped in two major forms that are hyper-vigilance and hyperactivity which would lead to massive internalising of behavioural symptoms.

As mentioned by Settles et al. (2020), there are some prominent data that would show that the crime and victims have strong connectivity with each other. For instance, there have been notions that at some points when a victim is minor, that is below 18 years of age, then their pain has been given due value otherwise their problems have not been emphasised much. It could be understood if a female is engaged in prostitution activities as an adult, then she might be considered a criminal rather than a victim. However, it depends on the ways society perceives the notion of a victim and how they are planning to proceed.

Societal norms have been attempting to categorise some of the main distinctions of the perceptions of the victims. As viewed by Jussila et al. (2019), some of them are those with minor guilt, while some the excessive guilt even ones in the offender. It has been seen that most of the time, society has constructed such malicious images of the victims that they tend to feel alone and think that they are the sole reason behind the scenarios. Moreover, it has been found that the situations in which the victims are questioned and doubted at extreme levels, they withdraw their cases. In fact, it is also known that some of them do not take steps do not even take steps to even file a complaint against the culprit. These are mostly aligned with the precipitation theory of victims that signifies that the crime has been precipitated by the victims. Most of the time, the intensity of crimes has been increasing because of extensive disorganisation at social forums.

As mentioned by Settles et al. (2020), the theory of deviant place has postulated the density of the population as one of the significant factors for victimisation and social disorganisation. The rate of such ranges of crime accelerates exponentially due to major crime areas that are incorporated because of parental control degradation, and it is included in the high stages of criminal approaches because of huge populations, and massive poverty (Jussila et al. 2019). These areas have compelled people to commit a crime but some psychologists also resonate with the fact that some criminals are sometimes victims of the environment in which they grow up (Settles et al. 2020). It could be understood with an example that a thief doesn't like to steal but their hunger compels them to do so. Therefore, society would indeed play a vital role in constructing the image of a victim.

Conclusion

It could be concluded that the victims are the ones who have feasted on all laws in mental, emotional, financial, or any aspect of their lives. It is seen that victory should be aware of its political, social, and legal dimensions. On the other hand, at times it is also observed that this perspective has enough that they damage or become perpetrators of crime themselves. Social groups have been marginalised based on their religion, creed, sex, place of birth, race, and many more. It has been shown that either there would be a degradation of the statuses in accordance with the perpetuation of the crimes exhibited towards them. Finally, it is observed that society has a malicious construction of the victims that would make them feel more guilt, even at times, than the criminals.

References

Braun, K., (2019). Victim participation rights: Variation across criminal justice systems. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chopin, J. and Beauregard, E., (2023). Understanding the Sexual Victimization of Child and Elder Victims under the Lens of Interactional Victimology: A Routine Activities Theory Approach.Justice Quarterly, pp.1-23.

Jussila, H., Leimgruber, W. and Majoral, R. eds., (2019).Perceptions of marginality: Theoretical issues and regional perceptions of marginality in geographical space. Routledge.

Long, L.J., (2021). The ideal victim: A critical race theory (CRT) approach.International Review of Victimology,27(3), pp.344-362.

Settles, I.H., Warner, L.R., Buchanan, N.T. and Jones, M.K., (2020). Understanding psychology's resistance to intersectionality theory using a framework of epistemic exclusion and invisibility.Journal of Social Issues,76(4), pp.796-813.

Varona, G., (2020). The relevance of error margins in the trend towards algorithmic victimology: some remarks on the futures of theory and risk assessment from the Spanish periphery.An international perspective on contemporary developments in Victimology: A Festschrift in Honor of Marc Groenhuijsen, pp.31-44.

Walklate, S., Maher, J., McCulloch, J., Fitz-Gibbon, K. and Beavis, K., (2019). Victim stories and victim policy: Is there a case for a narrative victimology?. Crime, media, culture, 15(2), pp.199-215.

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