International Review of Victimology

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Victimization and school: Young people’s experiences of receiving support to keep up with their schoolwork

    Victimization early in life can have several serious consequences, one of which concerns young people’s schoolwork. The present study therefore aims to investigate what support young people need to keep up with their schoolwork, based on their needs following victimization. The material consists of narrative interviews with 19 young people who were the plaintiffs at trials when they were 15–19 years old. The results show that several of the young victims did not want to go to school due to the risk of meeting their perpetrator, and because of that their grades declined when they were not physically present in school, they lost their motivation to study. There is also variation between the young victims about whether they perceive that the schools supported them and/or made adaptations to make sure they could continue with their schoolwork. The schools have a responsibility to make some adaptations, but it is not clear how far this responsibility stretches or to what extent the young victims themselves have been a part of the process. For this reason, they might not have perceived the potential adaptations and support they received from their schools as supportive. Suggestions are given concerning what the schools and other authorities need to think about when working with young victims of crime to make sure they continue with their schoolwork as much as possible.

  • Restoring victims’ confidence: Victim-centred restorative practices

    Victimization, and in particular sexual violence, undermines victims’ confidence and self-esteem. Victims often feel guilty and blame themselves for what happened. Fearing negative reactions, victims of sexual violence are often reluctant to report the crime to police. When victims do report to the police, the criminal justice process is often difficult and most sexual violence cases do not end in a conviction. Restorative practices (hereafter RP) have been presented both as a possible alternative and a complement to the criminal justice process, which could improve victims’ experiences. However, there is also considerable resistance to the use of RP in cases of gender-based violence. Using a victim-centred lens, in which it is seen as a reaction to victimization that aims to address the needs of the victim and allow them to advance in their healing process, we examine RP. Based on semi-structured interviews with 18 victims of sexual violence in Canada who participated in RP, we explore the healing potential for victims. We conclude that for victims of sexual violence, victim-centred RP should be viewed as a tool for victim support and not only as another tool in the criminal justice toolkit.

  • Everyday peace as a theory to explain victims’ peacemaking actions in intimate partner violence situations

    This paper assesses the transferability of the concept of everyday peace, developed in the conflict and peace studies literature, to practices utilised by people experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). The relevance of everyday peace to IPV is assessed by mapping typologies of the concept against behaviour that victims implement to manage and survive abusive relationships. To collect these data, experienced family violence practitioners were asked to recount practice-based information about everyday strategies that victims use to avoid triggering or to de-escalate a perpetrator, thereby minimising immediate harm coming to themselves or others. Theming these behaviours against typologies of everyday peace demonstrated the significant relevance of this theory to IPV. As such, we suggest that everyday peace is a useful conceptual framework to apply to family violence. Our analysis finds that the everyday peace framework is particularly helpful for exploring victim agency in these contexts, reframing mundane and everyday strategies as agentic. In addition, everyday peace offers a means for better understanding victims’ actions, which could help develop more effective service responses supporting choice and agency in IPV situations.

  • To pay, heal, and repair Mother Earth in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: Experiences of indigenous women’s reparation in the implementation of the Colombian Peace Accord

    This paper describes collaborative research with Wiwa and Arhuaco women concerning local reparations with an intersectional perspective on the Colombian post-conflict agreement. Our central argument is that indigenous women’s processes, experiences, and expectations of reparation reflect a wish to engage in a dialogue with the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) through its Works, Projects or Activities (TOAR) so that their perspectives on and complex conceptions of harm and reparation, as well as their relationship with social orders, bodies, and territory, can be recognized and considered in managing the risks of the revitalization of patriarchy during the post-accord period.

  • The power of professional ideals: Understanding and handling victims’ emotions in criminal cases

    This article explores how criminal justice actors interpret and process victims’ emotional expressions. On the basis of a qualitative study on the interactions between legal institutions and victims of violence in Denmark, the article demonstrates how police officers, prosecutors, victims’ counsel and judges each separately understand and evaluate victims’ emotional reactions. These actors interpret victims’ feelings according to their own professional roles and motivations so as to gain an overview of a case and the actions required of them in relation to it, resulting in quite different perceptions of victims’ needs and degree of trustworthiness. At the same time, professionals also interact across institutions by writing and exchanging case files, and in so doing police officers’ perceptions of victim reactions are often disclosed to both prosecutors and judges. This article contributes to existing knowledge of how different professional ideals specifically influence the handling of victims and their emotional needs, while the more general consensus on ‘appropriate emotions’ simultaneously generates knowledge across professions and institutional settings.

  • How (re) integration success and (re) integration failure is conceptualised in different contexts for women trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation

    In order to adequately meet the (re) integration needs of trafficked persons, it is important to first determine how success and failure of the (re) integration process is conceptualised in post-trafficking situations. We answer this question by looking at the feedback given by service providers (N = 40) when asked what they consider to be successful (re) integration, and what they consider to be a failed (re) integration process, based on their experiences with women trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation in Europe. This paper first provides an overview of the different dimensions of the (re) integration process: economic, institutional and social. It also situates the concept of recovery as applied in the context of post-trafficking situations within the overall framework of (re) integration. It concludes with a discussion of particular cases of successes and failures of the (re) integration process of trafficked persons. We find that rather than speaking of definitive success of the (re) integration process, it is much closer to what happens in practice to speak of the continuum of success along different dimensions. Finally, a failure of the process is found to be when a woman returns to a situation of exploitation, or when regression or re-trafficking occurs.

  • Why didn’t you resist? Situational influences on victim resistance during a rape

    The purpose of this study is to examine factors influencing victim resistance during rape. Specifically, this study aims to understand which factors impact victim resistance using a multivariate approach focused on situational aspects related to offender, victim, and crime context characteristics. The sample includes 2,017 rape cases where victims did not resist, resisted passively, resisted verbally, or resisted physically. The first step of this study uses bivariate analyses to examine the relationship between the different categories of victim resistance and offender, victim, and crime context characteristics. Second, we computed three sequential binomial regressions in order to better understand the impact of each variable in multivariate modeling. The findings suggest that victim resistance is impacted by three main dimensions: victims’ physical and psychological vulnerabilities, the mentalizing of victimization risk, and the analysis of offenders’ vulnerabilities and additional risks to the victim. Both theoretical and practical implications for victims as well as for various actors in the criminal justice system are discussed.

  • Book review: Violence, Gender and Affect: Interpersonal, Institutional and Ideological Practices
  • Just an ‘optional extra’ in the ‘victim toolkit’?: The culture, mechanisms and approaches of criminal justice organisations delivering restorative justice in England and Wales

    Despite policy and guidance stating that all victims of crime should have ‘equal access’ to restorative justice in England and Wales, victim participation remains low. Here, the ways in which criminal justice agents – responsible for providing victim services, including restorative justice – offer restorative justice to victims are explored. Drawing upon empirical data collected from criminal justice organisations in two police force areas, this article outlines what factors lie behind the inconsistencies found across police forces in terms of structure and delivery of restorative justice. Work pressures, differing views of the suitability or effectiveness of restorative justice and a lack of systematic guidance that underpins the work culture of criminal justice organisations all impede victims’ access to restorative justice. This paper concludes with recommendations for embedding a culture of restorative justice within criminal justice organisations based upon the principles of inclusivity and engagement.

  • Book review: What It Feels Like: Visceral Rhetoric and the Politics of Rape Culture

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