Victim situational exposure

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Turvey, B. E. (2009). Victim situational exposure. In B. E. Turvey & W. Petherick (Eds.), Forensic victimology: Examining violent crime victims in investigative and legal contexts (pp. 205-228). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science.

2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1602

© Copyright 2009, Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Before the turn of the century, I was a frequent visitor to the office of Dr. Stephen Pittel in Berkeley, California. Dr. Pittel still a friend and trusted colleague, is also a forensic psychologist who specializes in cases that involve interpreting the effects of drugs and alcohol. During one of my visits I noticed, tapes to the wall above his desk, a photocopied piece of paper ... Clearly intended as a form of dark humor, this list is also a didactic expression of precisely how one's immediate circumstances can influence direct exposure to harm. Being at the wrong end of a loaded gun exposes one to the harm of being shot; driving anything while intoxicated exposes one to the harm of crashing; and crossing the street, even while sober, exposes one to the harm of being struck by a moving vehicle. That is to say, it is reasonable to suggest there are people, places, and circumstances inherently fraught with harm. Some are easily recognized and avoidable. Some are not.

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