How Victims May Protect Themselves from Victimization


How Victims May Protect Themselves from Victimization

If victims choose to remain silent, the silence leads to shame and guilt, which results in additional victimization and usually further defending the abusers from accountability for their actions. In such cases, the victims are left with more pain and heartache. Studies have established that recovering from victimization is boosted by reporting the action immediately following its occurrence, which makes the victim appear innocent and the perpetrator guilty. In this regard, it is recommended that victims go public after the incident as a way of protecting themselves from being victimized. Moreover, such a move does not just assist in the facilitation of speedy recuperation from trauma by building inner bravery and strength when the victims find that they have triumphed over victimization but as well makes sure that the abusers have no protection from taking responsibility for their crime.

Going public acts as an approach that can assist in protecting other people from the impact of abuse and crime because they will learn the best means of protecting themselves if similar calamities befall them in the future (Siegel, 2015). Siegel (2015) asserts that recurrent victimization is notable in circumstances where a susceptible individual does not embark on protective endeavors to lessen the possibility of suffering victimization later. One of the most beneficial defensive practices involves the avoidance of interrelations with dangerous people. It is vital to identify that taking part in outreach programs within the society, for instance, speak-out gatherings and petition drives, may be paramount in terms of decreasing the chances of victimization through the ignition of successful activism, which is organized and properly structured.

When and Where the Level of Victimization is the Highest

It has been established that the highest rates of victimizations occur against children, women, and the aged (Corso, Finkelstein, Miller, Fiebelkorn, & Zaloshnja, 2015). A person that is victimized just once might only have been in a dangerous place or with the wrong people while the victims who suffer numerous instances of victimization might have some attributes that make them ideal targets for criminals. Research has found that approximately 15 million criminal victimizations across the globe happen to children of 17 years and below. Nevertheless, the levels of victimization differ significantly, mostly reliant on the attributes of the victims. Gender impacts the possibility of victimization in the fact that males and females have different chances for particular offenses; that is, women have a higher probability of being victimized when judged against men. Therefore, the level of victimization is at all times high when one is a female as, contrary to males, they are vulnerable to crimes such as sexual assault and rape to mention a few. Moreover, the aged people mainly become victims of criminal offenses that do not affect the younger individuals. Aging, for instance, sways a person’s way of life with respect to the interrelations with others.

For children, they have to depend on the care of parents or other people who might in the process take advantage of them in the form of child abuse and other crimes. As people grow into adulthood, they start depending on themselves and become employed or start businesses. Here, work acts as a kind of institutional control and the chances of victimization have a tendency of being low. With people aging past the retirement period, their mobility reduces, the interpersonal interactions lessen, and they may eventually start depending on the care of others (Turanovic & Pratt, 2014). Similar to the case of children, the people taking care of the elderly may end up abusing them. It is worth noting that the level of victimization is high in regions having many poor people. Poverty in densely populated regions leads to increased victimization as the criminals easily disappear, hide, and have a good chance of getting away.


Theory of Victimization

Victim precipitation theory is one of the theories discussed by Siegel (2015). The theory discusses victimization from the perspective that victims of crime might actually instigate, directly or indirectly, a criminal action that finally results in the demise or injury of the victim. In the course of indirect precipitation, victims involuntarily show attributes and conduct that promote the crime. Instances of the involuntary acts and conducts encompass job position, love affairs, employment promotions, and accomplishment (Muftić & Hunt, 2013). In addition, most of the activists in politics, minority groups, and individuals with varying sexual orientations, over and above people practicing alternative ways of life, act as likely targets of violence because of the unintended risk they pose to some people in positions of authority. On this note, the victim precipitation theory focuses on the idea that indirect violence perpetration happens because of power battles (Wang, Harms, & Mackey, 2015). Politicians may fear that the endeavors of an activist group leader may influence his attempts negatively since the activist’s actions shed light on the distasteful concerns of the politician’s deeds, which may result in the loss of reputation amongst his supporters. Such forms of indirect precipitation might also occur when the victims are not even aware of the existence of the assailants.


Corso, P., Finkelstein, E., Miller, T., Fiebelkorn, I., & Zaloshnja, E. (2015). Incidence and lifetime costs of injuries in the United States. Injury Prevention, 21(6), 434-440.

Muftić, L. R., & Hunt, D. E. (2013). Victim precipitation: Further understanding the linkage between victimization and offending in homicide. Homicide Studies, 17(3), 239-254.

Siegel, L. (2015). Criminology: The core (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Turanovic, J. J., & Pratt, T. C. (2014). “Can’t stop, won’t stop”: Self-control, risky lifestyles, and repeat victimization. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 30(1), 29-56.

Wang, G., Harms, P. D., & Mackey, J. D. (2015). Does it take two to tangle? Subordinates’ perceptions of and reactions to abusive supervision. Journal of Business Ethics, 131(2), 487-503.