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
Andrew A. Karmen
Victimization is an outcome of asymmetrical relationships that are destructive, predatory, oppressive, and exploitative. Criminal victimization arises from illegal activities and results in physical, emotional, and economic harm. Victimization occurs whenever individuals are murdered, assaulted, kidnapped, or raped, or when they experience a loss of money or property due to thefts, burglaries, vandalism, or financial swindles. Businesses, government agencies, organizations, and other collectivities can also be victimized through theft, fraud, or vandalism, including acts that target electronic assets such as Web sites and databases. The scientific study of the problem of victimization is called victimology, which is best classified as a branch of criminology. Although their suffering is quite familiar, the plight of victims was not seriously addressed until the second half of the twentieth century, when social scientists, criminal justice professionals, victim rights groups, journalists, businesses with anticrime products, and politicians began working to understand and address the needs ...