Criminal victimization and desistance from
crime: in what ways are they related?
Desistance and victimization
Making sense of victimization, offending and desistance
What does this mean for victimology?
There's no big sign up on my car saying 'oh yeah, I'm an ex-con don't
come near me'. I get it just the same.
(Ian, a desister, fourth interview)
In this chapter, we focus on the relationship between criminal victimization and desistance from crime. In an earlier publication stemming from this research (Farrall and Maltby, 2003), the relationship between victimization and offending was explored. Here we seek to extend these analyses to include desistance. In so doing, we are able to explore whether one 'desists' from victimization at or around the same time that one desists from offending.
In recent years, a number of studies have started to undermine the belief that 'offenders' and 'victims' form distinct groups in society (see, for example, Singer, 1981; Fagan et al., 1987; Lauritsen et al., 1991). Such studies, usually based on survey research, have suggested that engagement in offending behaviour is one of the strongest correlates of victimization, and vice versa (Van Dijk and Steinmetz, 1983; Gottfredson, 1984; Hartless et al., 1995; Ballintyne, 1999).1 Such research has produced a number of salient findings – for example, that violent offenders are the