1. What are some different ways of defining victims?
The question requires you to consider that the term ‘victim’ can mean more than one thing and that it is a contested term. You should consider that there is a dictionary definition that consists of someone who has been harmed, injured or killed. But think also about somebody who has indirectly experienced victimisation (for example, when a friend or loved one has been harmed) and also wider ideas of victims such as non-human nature, including animals and even the environment itself.
2. List three different impacts that crime can have on a victim.
This question requires you to think about more than just the immediate impact of a crime and to think more widely about victimisation. You should consider:
- The immediate reaction or impact of a crime, such as feelings of rage about the invasion of privacy in a burglary and/or the loss of goods from such a crime. The inconvenience caused in replacing goods and making an insurance claim might also be part of the immediate impact and reaction.
- Trauma – beyond the immediate impacts of an event consider the longer-term impacts on victims.
- Secondary victimisation - consider the extent to which Interactions with the criminal justice system might make things worse for the victim. What might be the reasons for this?
- Reliving events – consider, for example, giving evidence at trial or an unsatisfactory outcome at trial.
3. What is repeat victimisation and why is it an important idea in criminology?
To answer this question you should show an understanding of repeat victimisation as being when someone experiences crime multiple times. In discussing its importance, you might consider how most people and places do not experience much/any crime, but some victims can experience a large number of repeat incidents (for example, a house being burgled multiple times).
4. Think about the concept of the ‘ideal’ victim. Why are some victims of crime thought to be more deserving than others?
This question raises the idea that victimhood is a social, political, and media construction. What Do You Think? 7.1. invited you to consider a possible hierarchy of victims and to consider how the ‘ideal’ victim concept suggests that there may be social ideas of who is ‘deserving’ of support and whether we ‘value’ some victims more than others. Your answer might explore how some victims may be seen as outside of dominant societal norms, and so somehow less deserving. Examples could include sex workers, the homeless, and drug users. You may explore other examples in your answer.
5. In what ways does the criminal justice system sometimes appear to ‘fail’ victims of crime?
In answering this question, you might explore how victims may be marginalised in criminal justice. Your answer might explore the nature of victim services and support and consider issues such as inadequate support, insufficient rights, and limited procedural involvement for victims as areas where criminal justice might be said to fail victims. Your answer may also explore whether victims are a secondary consideration of justice systems rather than being the priority, and explore issues such as the failure to keep victims informed and how these issues are now being addressed.