1. Explain why only some violent crimes are reported to police. What factors determine whether a crime is reported?
There are various reasons that victims of violent crimes may give for not reporting the offender to the police; for instance, they believe that the police may not take the matter seriously or they have dealt with the matter in a different way (Meadows, 2014). Some victims of violent crimes believe that they might get the offenders in trouble if they report the matter to the police. Apart from the fact that they might be afraid of reprisal, some victims of violent crimes do not report their offenders to the police because they do not believe that the police can help them. Although the percentage level of victimization has significantly reduced from 1994 to 2010 by almost 12%, there are many cases of victimization that go unreported (Meadows, 2014). Reporting crime may require more than just saying that one has been assaulted by another person. There are several factors to consider before reporting a crime; for instance, the anecdotal evidence that one has been assaulted. Lack of evidence to present is one of the reasons that bar many victims from reporting the victimization. The perception of the extent of the violent crime also determines whether it should or not be reported to the police. Research shows that about 15% of violent crime cases are not reported in America every year because the victims believe that the crimes are not important enough to report (Meadows, 2014).
2. Why are some people more fearful of crime than others? Do you believe that the media promotes fear? Explain.
Fear of crime is associated with two main factors; for instance, sex and socioeconomic status (Langton et al., 2012). People who live in low-income households tend to be more fearful of crime than their counterparts who live in high-income households. Women are also more fearful of crime than their male counterparts in the same socioeconomic level or class. There are various factors that are believed to contribute to fear of crime among people; for instance, personal victimization, anecdotal evidence, and reporting of incidents in the media (Meadows, 2014). The study shows that the media contributes greatly in instilling fear of crime among the viewers. The media plays a critical role in disseminating information to the public. However, it also generates fear of crime because the media reports more of violent crimes. Scholars argue that the perception of crime in the community is predominantly determined by the media, which has a significant effect, especially in terms of violent crime is generally perceived by the public (Langton et al., 2012). According to Meadows (2014), the news reports on violent crimes fuels the notion that crime is pervasive; thus, it instills fear in the public.
3. Are certain mental conditions attributed to violence more prevalent in men or women?
Most people may believe that the mental illness and violence go hand in hand; however, this public perception is not a reflection of the reality. Research has shown that people with mental illnesses such as psychiatric disorders are not violent (Meadows, 2014). However, this does not mean that every case of psychiatric disorder is non-violent; there are some cases that violent crimes and assaults may be reported. However, despite the inconsistency of about how much the mental illness attributes to violent crimes it is clear that every person irrespective of the age, sex or mental condition is exposed to violent crimes. However, there are some mental conditions that are associated with great fear of crime (Meadows, 2014). In the cases where mental illness is associated with the fear of crime, it is facilitated by other factors such as reduced functioning and lower quality of life. Despite the fact that majority of women report higher levels of fear of crime it does not reflect the reality that they are most likely to be victimized. Therefore, the fear of crime may deter people from participating in health-promoting social and physical activities.
4. Do you believe technology is a medium of victimization? Why or Why not?
So much have been discussed and said about the attributions of media and technology as mediums of victimization. I believe that technology can be a medium of victimization because of the overrepresentation of crime level in media. Today, everyone can have access to information through the media, which can be accessed through the phones, computers, iPods, and the social media sites (OKeeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011). Many people spend most of their time on the social media platforms such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram and other sites, where they get access information that may be or may be not true. However, what is clear is that violent crime has been overrepresented by technology; thus, many people fall victims or perpetrators because of the same technology. Unlike before the social networks were established where most of the victimization perpetrators were confined to online chat rooms, the establishment of the social networks today have provided the predators with a place where they can acquire an instant access to information and victimize the person (OKeeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011). Many teens suffer various victimizations including cyber bullying, cyber stalking, and cyber abuse; thus, technology is indeed a medium of victimization.
5. Identify and explain the five victim categories offered by Sellin and Wolfgang.
Sellin and Wolfgang identified the five victim typologies that are used to explore the difference between criminology and victimology. The five victim typologies include primary victimization, secondary victimization, tertiary victimization, mutual victimization, and no victimization (Meadows, 2014). The primary victimization is a type of personal victimization where an individual or a group of people become first-hand victims of a certain crime. The secondary victimization is a victim typology where an individual is victimized inadvertently as a result of the crime; for instance, murder where the family members of the victim also become victims of the crime (Meadows, 2014). Tertiary victimization is a victim typology where the whole society becomes victims of a certain crime; for instance, the crime committed by the government may affect the whole society. Mutual victimization is a victim typology where the criminal offender is retaliated against and becomes a victim as well. For instance, when a criminal commits an armed robbery and causes a psychological damage to one of the victims. The parent of the victim may decide to take revenge and get even with the armed robbery by attempting to murder the offender but instead, he gets wounded in the process. The armed robber is then described as a victim of mutual victimization. No victimization, on the other hand, is a victim typology that is difficult or hard, to define (Meadows, 2014). For instance, it is a crime to grow or deal with marijuana; however, when people grow marijuana for their own domestic or personal use it becomes a no-victimization because crime is committed but no one is harmed.
6. Explain the culture of victimization discussed on page 23. Do you feel that victimization in some instances is misrepresented or overstated?
The culture of victimization discussed on page 23 of the course book explains how victimization differs. According to Meadows (2014), there is some capitalization on victimization, while some people are truly victims. The author has provided a case study scenario about the robber named Dickson from Pennsylvania who attempted to rob a couple who went for holiday vacation and was locked in the house for 8 days. The robber then sued the owner of the house, which he came to rob, and was compensated $500,000 for the pain and suffering, including PTSD (Meadows, 2014). The author further explains that the law seems to be protecting the perpetrators or offenders instead of the victims. According to Meadows (2014), Americans have become a nation of victims, where perpetrators of violent crime compete for the status of victim. I believe that sometimes like in the case study provided by Meadows on page 23, victimization is misrepresented or overstated. Just like Meadows (2014) explains, instead of the law and the justice system focusing on the people or victims who have been really victimized like the women who are raped, children who are molested, and immigrants who are assaulted, the law focuses on the offenders who seek sympathy of the jury; thus, reducing significantly the capacity to deal with the real or genuine victims of violent crimes.
Essay 2: Use Chapter 3 & 4 from the Book& other Sources to Answer
1. Explain how a person can be charged with stalking. What constitutes the offense?
The United States federal and state governments provide laws and policies to punish stalkers. The federal law is enshrined in the federal code on stalking of 1999, which explains how a person can be charged with stalking. A person can be charged with stalking through the five ways, which constitutes the offenses. First, a person can be charged with stalking through physical appearance (Meadows, 2014). This is a pattern where someone follows another person or showing up wherever he/she happens to be. For instance, following someone to their homes or workplace or school; thus, violating their protective court order. The second element that constitutes stalking that might lead to arrest and charge of the person as a stalker is the unwanted communication. The unwanted communication include sending the unwanted emails, texts, letters or sometimes even gifts repeatedly to another person (Burgess et al., 2007). It also includes making frequent harassing calls to the person. Generally, unwanted communication counts as stalking when the perpetrator or offender leaves messages or makes calls that makes the victim feel that his/her security is threatened. Today, the unwanted communication also includes the inappropriate use of social media platforms like spreading information that is not true, also sometimes referred to as cyber stalking. Surveillance and threats or assaults are also considered elements that constitute stalking charges. Surveillance is the constant monitoring of another persons movement including phone calls and computer use. It also includes using the hidden cameras and GPS trackers to track the persons movement. Assault and threats may both physical and sexual can also be charged with stalking. Threatening the lives of other people such as family member, friends or even a co-worker also counts as stalking offense and can be charged under the 18 United States code 875 (c) of 1999 in the federal law (Meadows, 2014).
2. Discuss the warning signs of an abusive relationship.
There are many warning signs of an abusive relationship as discussed by Meadows in the course book. For instance, if the person is jealous or possessive and may not let the partner have friends or accept the breaking off of the relationship, if the person tries to control his/her partner by giving orders or being bossy, insisting on making decisions and not considering the opinion of the other person. If the security of another person in the relationship is threatened (Meadows, 2014); for instance, if the victim is feeling fearful about how his/her partner may react to things said or done to them. If the person has had a history of violence (Meadows, 2014); for instance, he/she likes to fight with others or loose temper whenever he/she is provoked. If the person is a drug or alcohol addict or he/she has had a history of a bad relationship or poor relation in the workplace. All these signs can serve as early warning of the bad or abusive relationship that ma...
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