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Victimology refers to a branch of criminology that studies aspects such as background and lifestyles of victims or survivors of a particular criminal act in order to acquire important information about both the person responsible for the crime and the injured party (Wallace & Roberson, 2011).

History and Development of Victimology: Historically, victimology is credited to criminologists Hans von Hentig, Benjamin Mendelsohn and Henri Ellenberger (Wallace and Roberson, 2011). Being a branch of criminology, victimology begun to surface in 1940s and 1950s when the above three criminologists conducted studies to determine the relations between crime victims and the person behind the crimes. According to Wallace and Roberson (2011), such studies discovered that certain actions such as personality, conduct and behaviours of crime victims were related to the offences under investigation. Various information which were obtained from victimology studies were utilized to identify crime cases and develop legal regulations and practices aimed at reducing crime. However, by 1970s, the focus of victimology was shifted from the study of crime victims and perpetrators to a mechanism that could not only be used to avert potential rise in crime, but also to support casualties for effective progress in life (Wallace & Roberson, 2011). In other words, from 1970s, victimology proudly focused on offering tools for handling, recovery and resolution of crime issues to legal officers and crime counsellors.

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Differences between Victimology and Criminology, sociology, or psychology: whereas victimology is a branch of criminology that studies the relationship between crime victims, the perpetrators, and the relations between the crime victims and law enforcement and possible association between the victims and other groups and/or bodies in the society, criminology refers to both the social and scientific studies of various criminal activities such as forms, causes and effects of crime (Wallace & Roberson, 2011). In addition, criminology further conducts an in-depth study of crime by not only engaging in the effects and crime responses, but also evaluating the lawful offenders; this is different from victimology that is mainly concerned with crime victims and why some persons are likely to be victimized.

Whereas victimology is a branch of criminology that studies relations in crime, sociology studies the human society in an attempt to understand how its members function and relate with one another (Wallace & Roberson, 2011). In other words, sociology majors on societal relations across a larger field within the human society, while victimology’s centre of attention is the relations between crime victims, crime perpetrators and the law enforcement.


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Victimology vs. Psychology: In victimology, crime victims are studied in relations to crime and the person responsible for the crime to offer crime investigators crucial information they require to comprehend the culprits, on the other hand, psychological crime principles studies crime incidences by focusing on the nonverbal emotional expressions displayed during crime investigation in a bid to reach some plausible judgement about the crime, offenders and victims (Wilson, 2009).

Who established the first safe houses for battered women, as well as where and when these safe-houses were established?

The first safe house for battered women was established in 1964 in Los Angeles, California by unknown local alcoholic group; its mission was to offer shelter and support to battered women and their reliant children, especially in situations where their original homes were no longer habitable (Delaplane & Anne, 1996). After a period of 7 years (1971), Chiswick Women’s Aid (CWA) based in London opened its door to battered women; CWA was established by Erin Pizzey (Wallace & Roberson, 2011).

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Who established the first rape crisis centres, as well as where and when these centers were established? How has the civil rights movement contributed to anti-discrimination efforts and the establishment of hate crime legislation and policy?

The first rape crisis center was the Washington D. C. Rape Crisis Center; it was founded in 1972 by a group of women associated with the radical feminist movement.

The role children’s rights groups have played in highlighting the problems child victims face in the criminal justice system.

Children’s rights groups have constantly fought and eventually managed to change the laws regarding violence against children thereby ensuring that the laws hold accountable the people behind violence against children. The children’s rights groups have also engaged in several public campaigns in a bid to create civic awareness on the possible effects of early childhood violence thereby offering the best prevention and intervention measures which in the long run does not culminate into criminal activities when a child is finally grown (Wallace & Roberson, 2011). The other role that has been played by Children’s right groups on child problems in the criminal system is placing emphasis on multidisciplinary measures as a mechanism of preventing child crime and violence against children as an alternative to legal action and punishment (Delaplane & Anne, 1996). In addition, children’s right groups have propagated the use of various training and technical programs within the justice system as resources to establish violence against women and possible denied justice. Lastly, children’s right groups have fostered a collective meeting involving experts from varied fields thereby ensuring that the justice system adheres to best legal practices on legal matters involving children.

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Organizations Providing Specific Advocacy for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, and Homicide

Child Sexual Abuse Organizations; this includes:

American Academy of Child & Adolescence Psychiatry (AACAP): conducts research, training, and advocacy related services aimed at promoting mentally healthy children, adolescence and families (Wallace & Roberson, 2011).

American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP): Offers professional training and education materials on various paediatric related issues so as to foster both physical and mental wellbeing across the developmental milestone (Delaplane & Anne, 1996).

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) is concerned with issues involving child maltreatment and strives to prevent assess, intervene and treat maltreated children (Wilson, 2009).

American Psychological Association (APA): Its function is related to psychology and includes services such as consumer help, information, research and disability (Wilson, 2009). Association for the Treatment of sexual Abuser (ATSA) conducts research on sexual offence and treatment. The Center to Restore Trafficked and Exploited Children (CRTEC) is mandated with the mission to offer a safe healing and restoration center for trafficked children (Delaplane & Anne, 1996). Chadwick Center for Children and Families is an advocacy media formed with a mission to protect maltreated children and families exposed to violence. National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards addresses victim compensation issues.

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National Center for Victims of Crime is a national advocacy program designed to offer safety services to crime affected individuals, families and communities; National Organization for Victim Assistance is a private victim and witness assistance program that identifies the rights for crime victims at national and local levels (Delaplane & Anne, 1996). Parents Against Corruption and Cover-up is a program meant for dishonest police investigation victims.

What Services Are Not Provided By Government Crime Compensation Programs?

The government crime compensation programs do not provide services operated by individuals; it does not offer compensation for crimes committed before July 1st 1986; it does not cover property loss related expenses. Wilson (2009) further cites that government crime compensation programs do not cover pain and suffering expenses; it does not cover injuries caused by traffic; it does not make payments to benefit crime perpetrators; it does not offer compensation to incarcerated criminals being held either in custody or those being rehabilitated and does not compensate victims who are injured during crime activities (Delaplane & Anne, 1996).

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