Block, Richard
June 1981
Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology;Summer1981, Vol. 72 Issue 2, p743
Academic Journal
This article describes a method to unify research and description of the victim of crime. A long held axiom of criminology is that in most societies crime prevention is primarily the responsibility of the citizenry and not the police. The study of victim-offender dynamics in violent crime is research of events which result either from a failure to prevent crime or a willingness to precipitate or participate in a criminal event. If the study of victims of crime is to have a major effect on rates of crime, it may come through the enhancement of the ability of citizens to prevent crime and react to criminal events in a way which minimizes the resultant damage and injury to the victim. The dynamic of victim-offender interaction is important to the understanding of the nature of violent crime, both for the outcome of the crime itself and for the victim. It is also important for understanding police and court decisions to apprehend and punish offenders. Violent crime can be thought of as social behavior involving at least two actors and their interaction. Like all social behavior, the crime event is surrounded by a history and an environment which themselves alter victim, offender and future events.


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