Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Unique High-Risk Crime Targets

Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Unique High-Risk Crime Targets

Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Unique High-Risk Crime Targets

Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Unique High-Risk Crime Targets

Synopsis

Examines particular demographics that are susceptible as targets of crime.

Excerpt

Crime victims are not an equal opportunity lot. King Hammurabi of Mesopotamia realized that when he provided special protection of merchants being robbed while traveling through his realm (circa 1750 B.C.) the focus of victim identification and protection changed vastly over the next almost four millennia. Foreign merchants were no longer all that vulnerable. Other victims took their place, and their variety increased over time: children, women, the elderly, ethnic minorities, those of nonmainstream sexual orientation, and the poorest, the homeless, those in the sex trade, and the unemployed or unemployable, and others yet to emerge.

It took researchers almost four thousand years to identify all the population groups that, over time, have become likely crime victims. and it took criminologists decades to determine why and how such population groups are being victimized, how such victimizations can be decreased or avoided altogether, and how best to provide remedial services to those victims. Hans von Hentig, in his seminal work, The Criminal and His Victim (1948), has provided us with the theoretical basis for victimization, indeed, for victimology. Unhappily, in the almost six decades since then, no scholar has put the research-derived information about special victims into book form. Dr. Coston has seen the need. She devoted herself to the task, as evidenced by her own several chapters in this book. Moreover, she scoured the research literature on special victims, selected the major contributions, and brought them all together in this unique volume. Well done, Charisse! the profession owes you a great debt of gratitude.

freda adler Professor ii, Rutgers University Past President, American Society of Criminology

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