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History of Victimology

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This paper tells that victimologists began using various methods, such as case studies, to accurately understand victims’ plight. However, there is still a need for further research and a stronger connection between theory and practice. Today, victimology is on its way of becoming an international discipline. Victimology is the systematic study of the emotional, physical, and economic damages victims endure because of unlawful acts. Primarily, victimologists look into the victim’s predicament: the degree of harm and the effect of the damages meted out by criminals on the individuals they victimize. Furthermore, victimologists conduct investigations of the economic, social, and political responses of the public to the victim’s predicament. They also look at how victims are dealt with and treated by departments and authorities within the criminal justice system. But how did victimology come into being? The origins of victimology can be traced back to a number of studies and written works pioneered by criminologists six decades ago. Until that time, the focus of criminology was totally on offenders. In due course, a number of criminologists looking for answers to crime issues were guided toward the essential role played by victims. The destruction of two world wars contributed much to the recognition of the concept of ‘victim’. The impact of World War II was particularly evident during the 1950s when the increasing attention to social rights was a vital component in the formation of the welfare state. Fortunately, the concept of citizens’ social rights also involves victims’ rights. Crime victims, war victims, and victims of racial discrimination all contributed to the eventual recognition of the notion of a victim in policymaking and the academic community.