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Describe psychological research into "who are the victims/fear of crime".

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Introduction

a.) Describe psychological research into "who are the victims/fear of crime". Research has found that young men are most likely to become victims of muggings (64%) and stranger assaults (80%). This is in contrast to the popular perception that women are most likely to be at risk from crime. Being a previous victim of crime also heightens the chances of becoming a victim again, especially in the case of burglary, because if a burglar found that a certain house was easy to break into, they will feel more confident about doing it again. This repeat victimization is also present in crimes such as domestic violence and child abuse. ...read more.

Middle

blame them for their victimization to maintain our "just-world" hypothesis and reduce our fear of becoming a victim of crime (Lerner, 1970). This can cause distress to the victim and therefore it can hamper the process of coming to terms with their situation, and for the individual concerned, the fear of crime that they may have had previously could be amplified and it could be difficult to overcome without help. This could have a negative impact on the victim's life as they may restrict their social activities and therefore the quality of life they have is lowered. The fact that the victim may be staying at home more also poses another problem in that a person is more likely to become a victim of crime in the home or from someone they already know, such as a close friend or relative. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is also difficult for the police to tackle individual persistent offenders if the majority of crimes are not reported (75% - Hollin, 1992). This may mean that people are becoming victims unnecessarily as the crimes are not being reported, therefore the offender is not being pursued. c.) Apply the research to practical situations. * Preventing repeat victimisation * Improving treatment and perceptions of victims * Preventing people becoming victims in the first place * Reducing the 'dark figure' by increasing the amount of crime reported * Informing the public about what kinds of people really become victims and dispelling incorrect perceptions * Reducing fear of people who think they are more likely to be at risk because of an incorrect perception of crime Yvonne Ashworth ...read more.

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