Consider this scenario: A woman walks home from a bus stop each night. Normally, she secures her purse in her backpack, but this night she forgets to do so. The purse hanging from her arm is snatched by a thief who has been active in the neighborhood. To say the robbery was the victim’s fault would be considered victim blaming—after all, it is not unreasonable to expect to safely carry a purse in public, and it is the thief who chose to commit the crime. Still, how can one consider the role of the victim without wrongly assigning blame to that victim?
Another victim role is participation in the judicial process to influence an outcome, perhaps through a victim impact statement. Or the victim may be called upon to participate in ways that align with the prosecution or defense.
This week you address two important issues, victim responsibility and victim participation. You explore how victims can change their behaviors to avoid becoming victimized. Also, you examine the effect that victim participation can carry within the criminal justice system.
Analyze opportunity for crime and criminals
Distinguish between criminal opportunity, victim responsibility, and victim blaming
Apply strategies for avoiding victimization
Analyze the effect of victim participation in the judicial process
Analyze the effect of victim impact statements on sentencing