The study of victims of crime as well as the psychological impacts that their experience have on them is referred to as victimology. Victimology also involves the study of how victims interact with their offenders as well as how the criminal justice system handles victims. According to (Scheneider, 1981), victimology is the study the connection between victims and different social groups in the community. Studies which focus on interaction between the victim and his or her offender outline that there are ways through which victims are selected by their offenders. For example, the victim can say something that the offender will view as a threat. The actions of victims, whether deliberate or not, may increase their chances of being chosen by offenders. Some of the factors that offenders look at when choosing their victims include; relaxed posture, physical shape of the body, and whether the victim pays or does not pay attention (Scheneider, 1981). Victimization surveys normally face various methodological problems which interfere with the validity and reliability of the information obtained. These methodological problems include; wrong choice of sampling methods, measurement problems, and problems of inference (Scheneider, 1981). The purpose of this paper is to provide a literature review on the needs of victims in the Justice System as well as the requirements to meet them.
Bradshaw, W. & Umbreit, M. (2002). Assessing satisfaction with victim services: The development and use of the victim satisfaction with offender dialogue scale (VSODS). International Review of Victimology, 10 (1): 71-83.
In this article, Bradshaw and Umbreit ( 2002) measure and compare victim satisfaction using an instrument called the Victim Satisfaction with Offender Dialogue Scale. The researchers found that this tool is highly reliable when evaluating victims and it can help in identifying more helpful mediaion programs for victims.
Kemshall, H. & Pritchard, J. (2000). Good practice in working with victims of violence. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Kemshall and Pritchard (2000) describe the best practices when working with male and children victims, with more emphasis on sexually abused males. In chapter 9 of this book, the authors give important information on the role played by victims in the mediation process as well as how such mediation process can benefit victims.
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