In the contemporary society, people are becoming more prone to keeping their problems to themselves. It also concerns reporting violent crimes to police. In victimology, there various theories about reasons why the majority of people choose not to report on crimes committed against them. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, juveniles and adults who had become victims of crimes said that they had decided not to go the police. Having been asked the question why, victims said that they had chosen to report to some other officials, such as school, apartment manager, or guards. Yet, some of the victims do not tell about violent crimes to anyone, so that police remains unaware of those events.
There can be different factors which predetermine whether or not a victim will report a crime to the police department. Age and sex of victims influence their decision of reporting a crime. Violent crimes are usually reported more frequently than ordinary thefts and personal crimes. Another factor is whether a victim knew a perpetrator. In spite of a small difference between rates of crime reports when crimes are committed by strangers and non-stranger, people tend to deny being a victim if the one was carried out by their friend or relative. In addition, a lot of people do not report violent crimes because they are afraid of the criminal. They think that if they report a crime, the perpetrator will come after them. Another factor is peoples irresponsibility. Victims often do not want to report crimes because they do not want to make court appearances.
Some people tend to be more terrified of crimes than others. The reason for that is their psychological instability. The level of fear is determined by gender, age, ethnicity, and previous experiences. Women are more fearful of crimes than men. The reason for that is the fact that they are physically weaker than men, and thus, they are easier to assault. Talking about violent crimes, rape, and stranger assaults, younger people prove to be more vulnerable to them. One of the main sources of fear, for both young and elderly people, is media. It is well-known that nowadays media promotes the culture of violence. I absolutely agree with the opinion that violence on TV affects peoples perception of crimes and justice. People start thinking that there is much more violence in this world than they can comprehend. That is how media produces fear. The past personal experience with crime also influences the level of fear. Most of the people who have never been victims of violent crimes think that nothing of this kind can ever happen to them. Therefore, they are less fearful of crimes than those people who have already experienced assaults and harassments.
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For committing a crime, a person must have a certain disposition to violence. For women, previous experience of violence and childhood abuse can cause a stress and lead to inadequate behavior. Women are expected to play various roles in the society such as a mother, wife, caregiver, and employee. That is why they are psychologically unstable when facing some problems on their way. Consequently, such mental conditions as aggressiveness, hostility, and detachment are more common for women than men. Men tend to be more rational and logical in critical situations. Furthermore, men are estimated to have lower mental illnesses rates than women. Women often reveal anxiety, depression, and mood disorders, while men are more prone to substance abuse disorders and antisocial personality.
Nowadays, technology-based harassments happen more often. Due to the advancement of new technologies, new crimes started to occur. I believe that technologies, in some way, really promote victimization among the modern population. For example, through cyber crimes and online frauds a lot of people become victimized.
Sellin and Wolfgang offered the classification of victims comprising of five categories. The first type is primary victimization. In this case, a perpetrator is targeting one person. The good example for primary victimization is domestic violence, when a family member uses force and threats which cause a lot of emotional and physical damage. The next category is secondary victimization. It concerns the criminals who target anonymous victims. The popular example for this type of victimization is charity collections, when a person visits random houses in the neighborhood and claims to be a member of a charity organization. Through lies and fraud, this person uses collected money for his/her personal goals, instead of giving it to charity. In this way, people who give money to such pretenders become victimized. Then, there is tertiary victimization, which shows public as a victim. The bright example would be embezzlement of funds by the government or other public officials. Another interesting category of victimization is mutual victimization. It concerns a situation when a criminal becomes a victim him/herself. One example is when two people commit a crime together, and then one of them becomes a victim of another. The last type of victimization is called no victimization. Such type of victimization describes a crime where the victim is difficult to identify, or there is no victim at all.
According to the description of victimization, I can say that partly the statement about self-victimization is true. Nowadays, people are ready to do everything in order to look like victims. They want others to pity them, and more than that, they want to receive financial compensations for their exaggerated troubles. However, I think that the notion of victimization is overstated there because not all people are selfish. In my opinion, self-victimization is connected to the compensation culture in the USA, but it does not include all people. In most cases, being a victim is not very pleasant, and it often leaves certain psychological imprint on a person who has been victimized.