The crime usually presupposes the involvement of two parties in it: the offender and the victim. The present lab project is based on the study of real legal cases that are presented as the set of related items from popular media sources. Thus, the laboratory work proves the usefulness of resorting to media as the source of cases for study as all the cases are taken from real life and documented. Besides, the application of theoretical knowledge about victim categories in practice enabled us to evaluate the causes and possible motives of crime promotion. The analysis of six case studies illustrated the statement that in the majority of cases the victims may be observed as the principal provokers of the victimization.
The lab project presupposes the practical application of theoretical knowledge. Thus, it introduces a new theory about victim facilitation, precipitation, provocation, and fabrication (Karmen 2009) as opposed to completely innocent victims in the first case study. The lab introduces the concept of “victim facilitation” and proves the necessity of the further study of the concept as it can make a considerable contribution to the increase of public awareness and decrease of crimes that are characterized by victim facilitation. What is more, the case study about the stolen ambulance illustrates the possibility of a combination of victim factors, for instance, victim facilitation and victim proneness.
The usefulness of the lab study may be also observed in its multidimensionality. It tackles many aspects of victimology, not only the relationship between victims, offenders, and the judicial system but the interrelation of victims with other social institutions, mass media, represented by the press (The New York Times), specialized issues (Criminology Journal) and the Internet source. The analysis of the case studies as presented in mass media should also include such aspects as possible mistreatment of victims by journalists. These ways of mistreatment may present great significance as they may lead to grave consequences and need further study and analysis. The possible ways of mistreatment can include such areas as the description of the appearance of victims with the criminals being still at large, or making reports about the process of investigation while still in progress, with the possibility of the disclosure of the information that presents crucial importance for the inquest. Thus, case studies may also be analyzed from this perspective.
The presentation of definite case studies that illustrate victim categories makes it possible to set a number of examples of the legal cases that took place in reality. Such is, for instance, the case with a man; let us call him Mr. Brown, who left his car with the keys in the ignition and left. The car was stolen by a juvenile criminal, let us call him John Smith, who at first had no malicious intent of car theft but was attracted by easy access to the car. In this case, the car owner who is the victim may be considered blameworthy because of the facilitation of the crime on the basis of breach of security measure. The laboratory work presupposed the analysis of the example of the case where active precipitation in the form of a provocative outfit on the part of a victim was exercised. However, passive precipitation may also be observed, it may be defined as the presence of some personal characteristics, which can provoke aggression on the part of a victimizer. An example can be the arrival of immigrants who join the competition for work and can face aggression on the part of natives.
Karmen, A. (2009). Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology. Cengage Learning.