[1] more unreported crimes and more victims being let

1 1.          The
young

2.             The old

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3.             The female

4.             The mentally defective and deranged

5.             The immigrants

6.             The minorities

7.             The dull normal

8.             The depressed

9.             The acquisitive

10.          The wanton

11.          The lonesome and the heartbroken

12.          The tormentor

13.           The blocked, exempted or fighting

 

Walklate,
S. (2011). Handbook of victims and victimology. Routledge.

Victim
support. Available at: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/

Office
for National Statistics (2015) Violent Crime and Sexual Offences – Intimate
Personal Violence and Serious Sexual Assault. Available at:
https://visual.ons.gov.uk/backup/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/03/149dcp171776_394500cr5.pdf

Newburn,
T. (2017) Criminology. 3rd edn. Oxon. Routledge.

Liebmann,
M and Wootton, L. (2008). Restorative justice and domestic abuse/violence
report. Available at:
https://restorativejustice.org.uk/sites/default/files/resources/files/Restorative%20Justice%20and%20Domestic%20Violence%20and%20Abuse.pdf

Judge
accused of victim-blaming over rape comments Article (2017) available at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39241470

Harding,
J., P, Davies and G, Mair. (2017). An introduction criminal justice. Sage
Publications.

Dussich,
J. the challneges of victimology: past, present and future. Available at:
http://www.unafei.or.jp/english/pdf/RS_No81/No81_09VE_Dussich.pdf

Criminal
justice joint inspection. (2015). Meeting the needs of the victims in the
criminal justice system. Available at:
https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/cjji/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/12/meeting-the-needs-of-victims-in-the-criminal-justice-system.pdf

Cps.gov.uk.
(2018). Care and Treatment of Victims and Witnesses | The Crown Prosecution
Service. online Available at: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/v_to_z/care_and_treatment_of_victims_and_witnesses/#principle

References:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word
count: 1487 excluding footnotes

To conclude,
the criminal justice system has progressively become better at meeting the
victims’ needs, like passing better legislations about a victim’s rights. However,
in cases of sexual violence and domestic abuse, victims are not getting the justice
or support. More work needs to be done to draw away from victim stereotypes and
more towards their needs.

The charity
campaigns for the victims’ rights to pass new legislation. Therefore, proving
that not enough is being done to meet the needs of victims as the charity is working
with victims first hand. Burton et al
(2006) thinks that it is challenging for
victims to go to court because it feels like a secondary offence. As so much
evidence is statement based in cases of sexual violence and domestic abuse, you
must take the victim’s word for it. However, once the stress of bringing up the
case again hits, witnesses may get their stories confused and will not be the
same as the original. To the court, this could be ‘lying’ and could be the
reason that many sexual assault cases fail. This sends a message that the system
is inadequate in dealing with such cases and puts other victims off reporting
them. Leading to more unreported crimes and more victims being let down by the
criminal justice system.

make
a personal statement; be consulted about prosecution, sentencing & parole; be
notified of offender’s post-release movement; apply for compensation; receive
service provision; be referred to organisations supporting victims.

Victim
support was set up by Chris Holton in 1974. As much as it works with the
criminal justice process to support victims of crime, it is independent. In the
criminal justice process, victims have the right to:

However,
there is evidence that not all needs of domestic abuse and sexual violence
victims are met, due to a lack of evidence. Research done in 2006, by the
Violence Against Women Research Group (VAWRG) at Bristol University, found
that: Out of a total of 2,402 domestic violence incidents reported,
perpetrators were convicted in only 120 incidents. This means that around 95%
of victims, are not given justice. This suggests that these victims, are no
longer owed anything by the system, so will have to find support elsewhere. They
are no longer a priority.

There
is an argument that the criminal justice system does meet the needs of the
victims, more so now than ever. Progressively, more attention has been paid by
the Government to the victims of crime. There now exists a ‘substantial raft’
of services available to meet the victims’ needs. Duff (1998) argues there are
trends that illustrate the impact of the ‘victim’s movement’ on the criminal
justice process: introduction of state-funded compensation schemes and adoption
of compensation by offender to victim. When the state-funded compensation
scheme was introduced, it was based on the idea that the payment to victims of
violent crime was a privilege rather than a right. Miers (1978:55, 1980) has linked
it to the beginning of a process involving the ‘politicisation of crime
victims’. In response to this, the Government were made aware of their need to
do something that went beyond what the victims have the simple right to, under
the Welfare State. Generally, state-funded compensation is an embodiment of the
Government’s aim to meet the needs of the victims. The publication of second
Victim’s Charter 1996 (Home Office 1996) made a significant impact on the
status of the victim. The Charter covered police responsibilities for providing
details to victims, familiarisation visits to court, with details of complaint
procedures if standards were not met – therefore, if needs were not met for any
reason, victims could make a complaint and thus, the issue could be improved
upon in future.

His
schema was based on psychological, social and biological factors that would show
the relationship between the victim and the offender. Many of these factors
could be related to the victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse. For example,
the young, old and female relate to characteristics of a vulnerable victim,
which victims of such crimes are likely to be. Also, if stuck in a bad
relationship, the victim may be heartbroken and, therefore, fit von Hentig’s
idea of a victim’s relationship to the offender. By making stereotypes to
victims, it suggests the criminal justice system could easily sieve through
victims depending on how much the victim was to blame for the offence that took
place. Thus. focusing on the more “innocent” victims’ needs.

Von Hentig
(1948) created a taxonomy that described how victims were responsible for their harms. He
essentially created three categories of victim which were later expanded to thirteen:1

These
taxonomies consider the relative guilt to the victim as Mendelsohn needed to
understand how to defend his defendants in court. The categories cannot explain
the cause of victimisation, just how responsible victims can be for the crime. There
is controversy with sexual violence and domestic abuse victims, whether they “asked
for it or not”. For example, in a recent rape case heard in the Manchester
Crown Court, a judge told the victim that women should “protect themselves against
the risk of being raped while drunk”. This essentially removes the responsibility
from the perpetrator and onto the victim. This is unjust on the criminal
justice system’s behalf as they should not be condemning victims of rape to be
the ones to blame, just because it happens so often. There must be fault in the
process if sexual assault is seen that often that the victims, now, can no longer
be the innocent party. Therefore, needs are not necessarily met as if the
victim is assumed to be partly guilty into causing the offence, the system may
disregard them.

Victim ‘imagines’ their own victimisation

Victim is exclusively responsible

Victim is slightly guiltier than offender

Victim is as guilty as offender

Victim has minor guilt

Victim is innocent

Mendelsohn
(1956) created six taxonomies of his idea of a victim:

Generally,
with sexual assault and domestic abuse victims, they are very different to the
offender. Offenders of these types of crimes tend to pray on people that are
vulnerable and weaker than themselves, like women. For example, the 2013/14
CSEW found that, 19.9% of women and 3.6% of men having experienced sexual
assault since the age sixteen. This suggests that women are perceived as the
weaker sex and the better victim. However, soon enough, some offenders of such
offences will become victims themselves. Dobrin (2011) found that people that had
been arrested were more likely than people who had not been to be become
victims of homicide. Sex offenders especially took a knock after the News of
the World campaign began to name and shame previous offenders in different
areas, leading to the swap of characteristics of the big bad offender to the ideal
victim. In this sense, the victim’s needs are not necessarily met if the
criminal justices’ idea of a victim is stereotyped to Christie’s idea of the
ideal victim. This is because, victims have very specific needs depending on what
they have experienced and how they cope with situations. Thus, the harm will persist
for the victims if there is no support for them.

the victim is weaker than the offender; the victim is going
about their own business; the victim is blameless; the victim does not know the
offender; the offender is big and bad; the victim has the right combination of
power, influence or sympathy to elicit victim status without threatening strong
countervailing vested interests.

The
meaning of ‘victim’ is a person that has suffered harm, whether that be
mentally, physically or economic loss. An indirect victim would be someone that
is an immediate family member of the victim or if someone has also been caused
harm trying to help the victim. Nil Christie’s (1986) idea of the “ideal
victim” has six major attributes:

The
criminal justice process’ role is to protect the victims of crime, wrong.
Criminal justice is ‘the system of practices and institutions of governments directed
at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning
those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts.’ The
word victim does not come into the definition of the Criminal Justice System.
This is perhaps why there is debate over whether the needs of victims of
domestic abuse and sexual violence are met by the criminal justice process in
England and Wales. The Human Rights Act 1998 ensures protection of a victim’s
human rights by the police, CPS and courts throughout the Criminal Justice
System. However, victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault do not seem to
always get justice due to a lack of evidence and unreported crimes. The public
have a lack of confidence in the system due to these statistics and therefore,
if they do not believe that anything shall be done to help them, they will try
to get through it on their own.

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