Victim Typologies

There are five types of victim typologies that Selin & Wolfgang offer. The list consists of Primary Victimization, Secondary Victimization, Tertiary Victimization, Mutual Victimization, and No Victimization. Below I will describe each in a detailed manner. I would like to start with Primary Victimization. That is described as a one person target. What that refers to is that it is personalized or an individual target. An individual will chose or “pick out” a specific person to victimize.

In most situations that would include crimes associated with hate crimes, domestic violence, assault and battery in some cases, rape crimes in some cases as well. Second on the list is Secondary Victimization. That’s described as an Impersonal target of the offender. That refers to a situation such as a business or corporation sells faulty products to the public or church. Victims of cooperate scandals, such as former employees who lost their life savings.

This can be a tricky situation another example I would use, is say you fill out some “payday” loans online and you get victimized from outside parties that have bought off your information from these unsecure sites to make you pay for something you never had to begin with. They call you and tell you that you’re being sued for a loan you didn’t pay back, when in fact you probably didn’t receive that loan to begin with. They try to fool you into thinking that your being sued to hand over money that you never had to start with. That’s scary and that has happened to me.

Third is Tertiary Victimization. Described as the public as the victim. Best summary for this is crimes committed by the government, as opposed to businesses, are included here. Such as when public officials embezzle funds or defraud the public. An example of this type of victimization is when an elected official who takes “trips or vacations” and writes them off as a business trip or expense is cheating the public. The public doesn’t know what goes on behind closed doors unless the government intervenes. Fourth in line is Mutual Victimization.

This is when the criminal becomes the victim. This can also be a tricky one. This is best described as, when two people engage in a criminal activity, and then one becomes the victim of the other. Examples: drug dealer shoots the buyer, prostitute robs her customer. The issue here is that both parties are engaging in the same crime but on different sides of the table. When something goes wrong with in the “deal” or “agreement” between the two parties, one becomes the victim of a new crime based from the original crime that was being committed.

Last on the list is No Victimization. That is described that it’s difficult to identify the victim. In reference, it’s difficult to define victimization in situations such as those when consenting adults engage in prostitution, an illegal activity, in a private home. Another example is pseudo masochism where by two consenting adults agree to participate in sexual activities that cause bodily injury. An agreement between two or more people, that would be considered to be fun or adventurous, turns into becoming deadly or causes injury without a plan to do so.

Victimology is the study of crime victims and their relationship to offenders and the criminal justice system. Victimology is unlike criminology, which focuses on the dynamics of victimization; Criminology concerns the etiology of crime and criminal behavior. Victimology attempts to address questions of how crime victims have been exploited, abused, neglected, harmed, and oppressed in public and private (workplace) settings. Below is an article I’ve come across and that I feel is under the category of Victimology.