Victims of Crime
According to the Lifestyle Theory a persons lifestyle can contribute to their victimization. Behaviors such as going out late at night, associating with young men, and residing in cities increases the chances of falling victim to sexual assault. Therefore, one can reduce their chance of becoming a victim of sexual assault by staying home at night, living in a suburban area, avoiding public areas, and getting married. The lifestyle theory states that a person is more likely to become a victim of a crime if the individual is living a high-risk lifestyle (Siegel, 2006).
According to Siegel, “women are much more likely than men to become the victims of rape or sexual assault. ” Women who meet a man, and within a few hours or Just a few days, allow themselves to be alone with him are more likely to be the victim of sexual assault that those who exercise more cautious behavior.
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Those who take drugs, or drink run a much higher risk of becoming victims because these activities can alter a person’s judgment. The victim might be less likely to realize a dangerous situation. Also, the ore time someone is exposed to street life, the greater their chance of becoming victims.
As in the case of runaways, who have a very high risk of victimization. Those who participate in criminal behavior increase their chances of becoming victim of crimes as well (Siegel, 2006). While victims of sexual assault are often blamed for the crimes committed to them, society as a whole is much more sensitive to victims of the these crimes than ever before. Jurors are more able to see the victims without blame. Police departments have special training and Special Victims Units to better deal with victims. In 1982, Ronald Reagan created the Task Force on Victims of Crime.
So finally our Justice system does recognize that victims also have rights. For thousands of years, victims of sexual assaults were blamed. Proof of this, is found in The Bible “If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and he man because he violated his neighbors wife” (Deuteronomy 22:23-24) Both the victim and her rapist were stoned to death.
In some countries today, rape victims are still punished or killed after they are raped. The Lifestyle Theory does give society some idea of activities that should be avoided to reduce the chance that a person will become a victim. I do believe that sometimes the victims of sexual assault made poor lifestyle choices (Siegel, 2006). Reference: Siegel, L. J. (2006). Criminology. 9th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.