Criminal Victimization


‘Victims’ means individuals who have suffered harm, publicly or privately, such as physical or mentally injury, emotional suffering, financial loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental human rights, by acts or omissions in breach of criminal laws operating within Member States, including those laws prohibiting criminal abuse of authority.

The term “victim” also includes, where appropriate, the direct victim’s immediate family or dependents and persons who have suffered harm by intervening to help victims in distress or to prevent victimization.

The victim’s dictionary meaning is to:

  1. A person suffering from an act or agency that is destructive or injurious: a victim of an automobile accident.
  2. A person who is misled or manipulated, as though through his own feelings or stupidity, by other people’s dishonesty or by some impersonal agency: a victim of misplaced confidence; Victim of a fraudster.
  3. A person or an animal decided to sacrifice or considered to have been sacrificed: war victims.
  4. A being sacrificed to religious rituals.

In brief, the victim is a person who because of any of the reasons has suffered. There is legislation relating to the victim’s insurance, but the main question is whether it’s just on paper or whether it works. Any victim of crime needs a great deal of time to remember that particular incident that takes place in his life.

There’s a wide body of research showing a near association between offending and victimization. One reason for this is that certain kinds of crime originate from people-to – people encounters, to the degree that victims and perpetrators are almost interchangeable: the best example would be Saturday night battles in and around bars. Even if crimes do not occur immediately from personal and social interactions, people often tend to commit offenses against others within their social circle because they are most accessible to them or pay off an old score. In this manner we can say victimization is the relationship between the victim and the accusation, there is no precise definition on it. Various victimization theories exist such as Primary victimization, Secondary victimization, Re-victimization, and Self-victimization.

All three words victim, victimization and victimology, are based on the person’s psychology, and his or her brain stability or control. The biggest thing is that we are all thinking about this concept but none of us is actually going into the community and trying to help them out. There are numerous government schemes that speak about it, or we may say operate on it. But then again a question is what is the result. We should only do one thing in this condition that is trying to follow all the law in social structure and the result will only be optimistic. The objective of this is to know who the real victim in the society is and to know the problem faced by them.


Formerly, the term ‘victim’ was associated with general misfortune just as likely as it was with crime. This argument is supported by the Recent Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, whose meaning begins by referring to ‘a person killed or abused by another,’ but then goes on: ‘a person subjected to brutality, injustice, or other harsh or unjust treatment, or suffering death, injury, failure, etc. as a result of an impersonal occurrence, situation, or oppressive or adverse organization’.

Impact of crime

Changes in crime have been calculated by the number of individuals convicted in criminal courts over the last century. Then patterns were calculated using police reported counts of crimes. Today, crime patterns are often assessed using general population surveys to estimate the degree of victimization.

The information these surveys provide suggests that victimization is a common event involving impairment, injury, and trauma. It shows that the scale of the crime was underestimated by police, and particularly court data.

Crime is affecting the victims themselves and their families. Many crimes often cause the victims significant financial harm. Crime’s impact on the victims and their families ranges from serious physical and psychological injuries to minor disturbances. The Report of the Canadian Center for Justice shows that about one third of violent crimes resulted in victims having their everyday lives interrupted for a duration of one day (31%), while in 27% of cases the disturbance lasted two to three days (Aucoin & Beauchamp, 2007). Victims were unable to attend to their routine for more than two weeks in 18 per cent of cases. Most incidents resulted in emotional impact (78 per cent). Regardless of the type of victimization, one-fifth of the victims felt annoyed by their victimization and expressed confusion and/or frustration. Overall, the victims felt less safe than those who were not victims. For example, only a smaller proportion of victims of violent crime (37%) reported feeling very safe after dark walking alone than the non-victims (46%). Just under one-fifth (18 per cent) of women who were victims of violence reported feeling very safe after dark walking alone relative to their male counterparts.

Perhaps the impact of crime is better viewed as a result of the perceived severity or strength of those consequences plus their length from the victim’s own point of view. Mentioned in previous sections, the term refers to the victim’s unavoidably subjective evaluation and assessment of the actions caused by the offence. This encompasses its context and importance for the victim, and whether or not it has resulted in a shift in the view of the victim as a victim.

Thus, the ‘impact’ of a crime has a significant influence on how the victim interprets and reacts to it during the second phase of the victimization process, as distinguished from any tangible or intangible ‘effects’ the primary phase may be concerned with. Unfortunately, most studies have started to associate these two terms and treat them as exchangeable, which added to the above-mentioned methodological issues, although it may help to address the seemingly confusing nature of many of the research results.

The UN Declaration on simple principles of law for Victims of Crime and Misuse of Power highlights the fact that crime is not only an infringement of a penal law but also tends to cause harm to people such as financial losses, mental anguish and physical or mental injury.

The UN Handbook breaks crime’s effect on victims into:

• The physical and financial effects of victimization.

• The psychological and social costs.

• Secondary victimization of the criminal justice system and society.

Victim and Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system in India comes from the criminal justice system in Britain. The Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary clearly separate the Doctrine from power. There is an independent judiciary, and a free press. In India, the penal theory has adopted the principles of crime prevention and the care and rehabilitation of prisoners, as we can see from several Supreme Court and High Court judgments in India. Victims have no rights under the criminal justice system, and the State is fully responsible for prosecuting and punishing offenders by treating the victims as mere witnesses.


Maybe Wolfgang developed the first hypothesis to describe victimization in his study of Philadelphia murders. The theory of victim precipitation claims that there are victims who directly initiated the altercation that resulted in their wounds and deaths. While this was the product of only one form of crime being investigated, the possibility was first raised that victims could also play a role in the criminal activity. Victimization is a complex and dynamic process that embraces a number of potential elements. The first element includes whatever interaction between offender and ‘victim’ may have occurred during the commission of the offence, plus any after-effects resulting from this interaction or the offense itself. The second element includes the reaction of ‘ the victim ‘to the offense, along with any change in self-perception which may lead from all of this, plus any formal response that he / she may also choose to continue making to the crime.

Primary Victimization

The primary phase of ‘primary victimization,’ it might be helpful to begin by distinguishing between the ‘effects’ or outcomes that are known to arise from various kinds of crimes and their ‘impact’ on the victims themselves. Some offences include physical effects that are likely to cause some degree of pain and discomfort, as well as loss of mobility, some degree of incapacity, and/or potential temporary or permanent disfigurement. Often, many crimes have financial implications, which can either be immediate. Quite often, crime can lead to increased costs that could be incurred, such as seeking medical treatment or legal advice, or loss of income from attending to the crime and its aftereffects, or probable loss of potential future earnings. Some crimes can also have emotional and psychological impact on victims including mental illness, fear and anxiety, which can adversely affect the quality of their lives.

Secondary Victimization

Secondary victimization relates to victimhood that does not occur as a direct result of the criminal act but also through individuals and organizations responding to the victim. Institutionalized secondary victimization within the criminal justice system is the most obvious. Sometimes this can amount to a total denial of humanitarian law to victims from specific cultural groups, classes or gender, by failing to recognize their expertise as a criminal victimization. It may result from police or other criminal justice staff behaving intrusively or improperly. More subtly, the entire criminal investigation and trial process may cause secondary victimization, from investigation, through decisions about whether to prosecute, the trial itself, and the offender’s sentencing, to his or her eventual release. Secondary victimization through the criminal justice process can occur because of difficulties in balancing the victim’s rights against the accuser’s or offender’s rights. However, it occurs more normally, because those responsible for ordering criminal justice processes and procedures do so without taking the victim’s perspective into account.


Crime is not uniformly distributed. According to a new report, 44 per cent of all crime is focused on 4 per cent of victims based on data from the British Crime Survey. Some of the repeated victimization is due to the victim who lives or is related to the offender. Wife battering appears to happen to the same person who chooses to stay with the same guy more than once. This applies to sexual incidents, too. Some of the recurring victimization in property offences is due to the victim’s location or residence. Those who live near a concentration of potential offenders in unprotected residences are especially at risk of repeated victimization.

Self Victimization

In this segment, the person himself commits such acts which lead to his own victimization; we can say to some extent that it can only be included in repeated victimization as it results from company of wrong persons, wrong habit, etc.


Victimization is a victim-offender relationship, and victimology is a victimization study science. According to me, in reality in general I don’t see the definition of victimology; it’s only on paper in our world. When the suspect confronts the victim quickly, it’s very hard to work even though the police don’t take good care of these things. If we take a serious note of this then our criminal justice system will greatly improve and bring about some positive change in the country’s governance. There are various countries where the victim protection system is going on and the outcome is very positive, because there is no room for the victim or witness being temporized. When victims feel secure so they should only testify in court. When the suspect confronts the victim quickly, it’s very hard to work even though the police don’t take good care of these things.


  1. Who is a victim?
  2. What is victimization?
  3. What are the kinds of victimization?
  4. What is Re-victimization?
  5. What is self victimization?

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