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Victimization or victimisation is the process of being victimised. According to Wiktionary, to victimise is to (1) make someone a victim or sacrifice (2) punish someone unjustly, or (3) swindle or defraud someone.
Secondary victimisation (also known as post crime victimisation) relates to further victimisation following on from the original victimisation for example victim blaming, inappropriate post-assault behavior or language by medical personnel or other organisations with which the victim has contact..
For example, rape is especially stigmatising in cultures with strong customs and taboos regarding sex and sexuality. For example, a rape victim (especially one who was previously a virgin) may be viewed by society as being "damaged." Victims in these cultures may suffer isolation, be disowned by friends and family, be prohibited from marrying, be divorced if already married, or even killed.
The re-traumatisation of the sexual assault, abuse, or rape victim through the responses of individuals and institutions is an example of secondary victimisation. Secondary victimisation is especially common in cases of drug-facilitated, acquaintance, and statutory rape.
The term revictimization refers to a pattern wherein the victim of abuse and/or crime has a statistically higher tendency to be victimized again, either shortly thereafter or much later in adulthood in the case of abuse as a child. This latter pattern is particularly notable in cases of sexual abuse. While an exact percentage is almost impossible to obtain, samples from many studies suggest the rate of revictimization for people with histories of sexual abuse is very high. The vulnerability to victimization experienced as an adult is also not limited to sexual assault, and may include physical abuse as well.
Reasons as to why revictimization occurs vary by event type, and some mechanisms are unknown. Revictimization in the short term is often the result of risk factors that were already present, which were not changed or mitigated after the first victimization; sometimes the victim cannot control these factors. Examples of these risk factors include living or working in dangerous areas, chaotic familial relations, having an aggressive temperament, drug or alcohol usage and unemployment.
Revictimization of adults who were previously sexually abused as children is more complex. Multiple theories exist as to how this functions. Some scientists propose a maladaptive form of learning; the initial abuse teaches inappropriate beliefs and behaviors that persist into adulthood. The victim believes that abusive behavior is "normal" and comes to expect it from others in the context of relationships, and thus may unconsciously seek out abusive partners or cling to abusive relationships. Another theory draws on the principle of learned helplessness. As children, they are put in situations that they have little to no hope of escaping, especially when the abuse comes from a caregiver. One theory goes that this state of being unable to fight back or flee the danger leaves the last primitive option: freeze, an off-shoot of death-feigning. In adulthood, this response remains, and some professionals have noted that victimizers sometimes seem to pick up subtle cues of this when choosing a victim. This behavior makes the victim an easy target, as they sometimes make little effort to fight back or even vocalize. And after the fact, they often make excuses and minimize what happened to them, sometimes never even reporting the assault to the authorities.
Self-victimisation is the fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such to justify abuse of others, to manipulate others, a coping strategy or attention seeking.
Self-image of victimisation (victim mentality)Edit
Victims of abuse and manipulation often get trapped into a self-image of victimisation. The psychological profile of victimisation includes a pervasive sense of helplessness, passivity, loss of control, pessimism, negative thinking, strong feelings of guilt, shame, self-blame and depression. This way of thinking can lead to hopelessness and despair.
Victimization rate in United StatesEdit
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is a tool to measure the existence of actual, rather than reported crimes—the victimization rate. The National Crime Victimization Survey is the United States': "primary source of information on crime victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally represented sample of 77,200 households comprising nearly 134,000 persons on the frequency, characteristics and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. This survey enables the (government) to estimate the likelihood of victimization by rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial groups, city dwellers, or other groups." According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the NCVS reveals that, from 1994 to 2005, violent crime rates have declined, reaching the lowest levels ever recorded. Property crimes continue to decline.
Victimisation in employment lawEdit
Victimisation is a concept in employment law. It refers to situations where people are targeted with abuse, suffer detriment to their employment conditions or are dismissed as a result of bringing a claim for another form of discrimination. If an employee is "victimised" for complaining about another part of work, then a separate and independent claim for such treatment would arise. If an employee has brought a discrimination claim, acted as a witness in someone else's claim or raised issues relating to potential discrimination, any action taken against them because of this will be unlawful.
- ↑ wikt:victimize
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "post-crime victimization or secondary victimization". Comprehensive Criminal Justice Terminology. Prentice Hall. http://www.prenhall.com/cjcentral/crimtoday4e/glossary/p.html.
- ↑ Campbell R, Raja S (1999). "Secondary victimization of rape victims: insights from mental health professionals who treat survivors of violence". Violence Vict 14 (3): 261–75. PMID 10606433.
- ↑ http://www.nycagainstrape.org/survivors_factsheet_49.html#6
- ↑ Finkelhor, D.; Ormrod, RK.; Turner, HA. (May 2007). "Re-victimization patterns in a national longitudinal sample of children and youth.". Child Abuse Negl 31 (5): 479–502. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.03.012. PMID 17537508.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Janet Anderson (May 2004). "Sexual Assault Revictimization". Research & Advocacy Digest (The Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs) 6 (2): 1.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Messman Terri L., Long Patricia J. (1996). "Child Sexual Abuse and its Relationship to Revictimization in Adult Women". Clinical Psychology Review 16 (5): 397–420. doi:10.1016/0272-7358(96)00019-0.
- ↑ Wheeler, S., Book, A.S., & Costello, K. (2009). Psychopathic traits and perceptions of victim vulnerability. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 36(6), 635-648.
- ↑ Braiker, Harriet B., Who's Pulling Your Strings ? How to Break The Cycle of Manipulation (2006)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 National Crime Victimization Survey Official web site
- ↑ "This section provides general information on employment law in the UK". UK Film Council. 2009. http://www.diversitytoolkit.org.uk/workinginfilm/employmentlaw/discriminationlaw/harassment/. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
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