Victimization and Victimology

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Victimizationand Victimology

Victimizationand Victimology

Victimizationrefers to a process in which an individual or a group of peoplebecomes victimized. In other words, the process of victimizationinvolves singling out of a group or an individual for subjection to atort, exploitation, crime, or any type of unfair treatment (Doerner,2012). The term victimology refers to a broad study that focuses onthe process of victimization, the relationship between offenders andthe victim, and the interaction between victims and the criminaljudicial system (Doerner, 2012). Victimologists define victims aspeople who have allegedly been harmed by offenders, while offendersare those who have been accused of victimizing the victim.

Thetwo terms (victimization and victimology) are interrelated, but it isonly victimology that makes a significant contribution towards ofcriminology. The study of criminology involves the assessment of thenature, degree, management, possible causes, control, outcome, andmeasures used to prevent specific criminal behaviors (Blanco, 2015).Victimization is one of the areas that criminologists focus. Forexample, criminology may involve the determination of the extent towhich an individual has been singled out, possible causes ofvictimization, and the suitable ways of deterring victimization. Thisimplies that it is the study of criminology that makes a contributiontowards the process of victimization.

Onthe other hand, victimology contributes towards the study ofcriminology by helping criminologist assess the nature ofvictimization, with the objective of determining why the offendersingle out the victim, the effect of victimization on the victim, andhow the victimization can be prevented. Therefore, victimology can beconsidered as a sub-section of the criminology.

Thetheory of exposure

Thetheory of exposure holds that the chances of being victimized dependon one’s lifestyle. The theory is based on four key premises.First, the theory holds that crime victimization is usuallydistributed unevenly, which leads to high-risk times and high-riskplaces (Harper, 2014). Secondly, offenders do not represent thegeneral population, which implies that there exists a high-riskpopulation. Third, the lifestyle of an individual determines thechances of being victimized through the variables of one’s exposureas well as the association. This implies that the high-risk personstarget individuals who adopt particular types of lifestyle. Thisleads to the fourth premises, which holds that people are exposed tothe high-risk individuals and times unequally since the degree ofexposure depends on the lifestyle of each person.

Thetheory of exposure contributed to the field of criminology in severalways. First, it helps in the identification of people who are morelikely to fall victims of criminals compared to the generalpopulation. Secondly, the theory can be used to determine individualswho are most likely to engage in crime (Harper, 2014). By identifyingthe most likely victim and offender, criminologists are able toidentify the association between the two characters and identifymeasures that may be used to deter victimization in the future.

Inconclusion, the concepts of victimization and victimology areinterrelated, but it is only the concept of victimology that makes asignificant contribution towards the field of criminology. Sincevictimology is the study of the process of victimization as well asthe association between an offender and the victim, it may beconsidered as a sub-unit of criminology. On the contrary, it is thefield of criminology that contributes towards victimization.


Blanco,J. (2015). Victimology: Definition, theory and history. Study.Retrieved January 1, 2016, from

Doerner,W. (2012). Victimology.Burlington, MA: Elseiver, Inc.

Harper,L. (2014, August 22). The four theories of victimization. HubPageInc.retrieved January 1, 2016, from

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