Victimology: A brief history with an introduction to forensic victimology

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Book Chapter

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Interim status: Citation only.

Ferguson, C., & Turvey, B. E. (2009). Victimology: A brief history with an introduction to forensic victimology. In B. E. Turvey & W. Petherick (Eds.), Forensic victimology: Examining violent crime victims in investigative and legal contexts (pp. 1-32). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science.

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1602

© Copyright 2009, Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Historically, the Latin term 'victima' was used to describe individuals or animals whose lives were destined to be sacrificed to please a deity. It did not necessarily imply pain or suffering, only a sacrificial role. In the nineteenth century, the word victim became connected with the notion of harm or loss in general (Spalek 2006). In the modern criminal justice system, the word victim has come to describe any person who has experienced injury, loss, or hardship due to the illegal action of another individual, group, or organization (Karmen 2004).

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