A victim refers to any individual who has endured direct physical, psychological or pecuniary loss as a consequence of the commission of illegal activities (Petherick, 2006). There are a number of characteristics which may influence one to become a victim. The intent of this paper is to explore on such characteristics that predispose an individual to turn into a victim.
Characteristics that predispose one to becoming a victim
There are a number of characteristics that may predispose a person to become a victim. It is however important to note that some of these characteristics work unaided while others can be merged to reinforce the crime chances of an individual. First, the sex of an individual contributes immensely to the chances of one being a victim of a certain crime (Brown& Davenport, 2012). Females for example have a higher probability of being sexually abused. Males on the other hand are prone to being victims of more cruel crimes. Males in this case are considered stronger than their female counterparts hence can wrestle for their freedom.
Another characteristic that may act as a predisposition is a person’s marital status. Unmarried Individuals happen to be at a higher danger of victimization. A major reason for this is that most of the single people hang about at late hours which are also peak crime hours (Petherick, 2006). This is because they have lesser familial responsibilities on their parts. Additionally, widows have fewer likelihoods of being victimized owing to their vigilant mind status (Petherick, 2006). Knowing that there is nobody to protect them, most widows happen to be on the lookout for any risks.
An individual’s age is another characteristic that accounts for his or her predisposition. Young people have greater chances of turning into victims of violent felony as compared to older people (Brown& Davenport, 2012). Notably, this may be due to the fact that most young people are exposed to public places at greater parts of the day and hours of darkness. Consequently, this exposes them more to being crime objects. Most elderly individuals on the other hand, happen to be in their dwellings early at dawn hence having not as much of exposure to threats.
Additionally, a person’s economic status may predispose him or her to becoming a victim. Individuals who earn less income have greater chances of becoming victims particularly of violent and possession crimes (Petherick, 2006). Most of such individuals happen to dwell in low class localities. Such localities constitute of other people who earn their livelihoods through criminal activities, hence putting these individuals at higher chances of being victims. Rich individuals on the other hand happen to be victims of personal theft crimes (Petherick, 2006). This is because they posses expensive assets which are attractive to criminals.
Lastly, race is another characteristic that could make an individual a victim (Brown& Davenport, 2012). Individuals of the minor race in a country are exposed to greater crime rates. Most of them tend to be treated unequally compared to the dominant race. Their history for instance slavery, and societal myths concerning them also play a large part in exposing these individuals (Brown& Davenport, 2012).
In conclusion, there are several characteristics that function to predispose an individual to becoming a victim of crime. The aforementioned characteristics of gender, status of marriage, age, economic status, and race are the key players in conditioning a person’s encounter with crime. Recognizing an individual’s characteristics and altering his lifestyle is a way one can use to become safe.
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OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Petherick, W. (2006). Serial crime: Theoretical and practical issues in behavioral profiling.
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