Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jeffrey P. Rush
The primary thrust of criminal justice has always been thought of as dealing with perpetrators: those who commit crime. Focus on the victim of crime, however, has ebbed and flowed throughout the history of criminal justice. It is often thought that the victim is the “forgotten entity” in the criminal justice system. Beginning in the 1970s, that attitude began to change as the discipline of victimology came into its own. Champion defines victimology as “a criminological subdiscipline that examines the role played by the victim in a criminal incident and in the criminal process” (1997: 128). Karmen similarly defines it as “the scientific study of the physical, emotional, and financial harm people suffer because of criminal activities” (2001: 9). It is also often thought that the victim is twice victimized—once by the criminal and again by the system. One of the major discussions within victimology is what, exactly, it According ...