Victim precipitation was first made known by Criminologist Marvin Wolfgang in his 1957 article “Victim precipitated criminal homicide”. Wolfgang states the term victim precipitated is applied to criminal homicides where the victim is a direct, positive precipitator to the crime. The role of the victim is characterized by “his having been the first in the homicide drama to use physical force directed against his subsequent slayer.” (Wolfgang, 1957)
In 1968 Criminologist Menachem Amir’s primary research was regarding Victim precipitation in forcible rape. In his paper titled “Victim Precipitated Forcible Rape” Amir presents research that the victims behaviour towards the offender is the cause of sexual assault, not the offender’s actions. (Amir, 1968)
Today, victim precipitation is often referred to as victim blaming, In 1971 William Ryan coined the term victim blaming in his book “blaming the victim” Ryan describes victim blaming as an ideology used to justify racism and social injustice against black people in the United States. Second wave feminists picked up this term in the 1970s for their campaign against rape culture in the United States which has since spread to the rest of the World.
When discussing and researching rape cases the variables that the easiest to manipulate and investigate are victim characteristics. The use of hypothetical scenarios enables researchers to manipulate and control any relevant victim characteristics in order to assess whether a variable plays a significant role ...
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... rape or attempted rape in their lives. (United Nations Development Fund for Women, 2008). And the reporting of sexual assault to the police is exceptionally low and few offenders are successfully prosecuted this leads to a lack of support and education within the community. (Madeleine van der Bruggen, 2014).
From a young age women are taught that it is their duty not to get raped, we a taught how to protect ourselves from these situations and if we do find ourselves a victim of assault, its our own fault. Yet society does not teach young boys not to rape, and when these young boys grow into men who commit these heinous crimes societies first reaction is to blame the victim. These attacks on the victim don’t just come from the offender or the public, recent studies show that victims when telling their story use self-blaming language and proceed to blame themselves.
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