Victim lifestyle exposure

Date of this Version


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Book Chapter

Publication Details

Citation only.

Diaz, J. M., Petherick, W. A., & Turvey, B. E. (2009). Victim lifestyle exposure. In B. E. Turvey & W. Petherick (Eds.), Forensic victimology: Examining violent crime victims in investigative and legal contexts (pp. 165-203). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science.

2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1602

© Copyright 2009, Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




It has been said that for every crime there is at least one victim. However, victimity may not be assumed or otherwise presupposed. First, the existence of crime must be established; if there is no crime, there can be no victim. Then it is necessary to establish which participant is the victim. This cannot be assumed either as explained by von Hentig (cited in Wolfgang 1959, 245):

Here are two human beings. As soon as they draw near to one another, male or female, young or old, rich or poor, ugly or attractive - a wide range of interactions, repulsions as well as attractions, is set in motion. What the law does is to watch the one who acts and the one who is acted upon. By this external criterion a subject and object, a perpetrator and a victim are distinguished. In sociological and psychology quality the situation may be completely different. It may happen that the two distinct categories merge. There are cases in which they are reversed and in the long chain of causative forces the victim assumes the role of a determinant.

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