Journal of Victimology and Victim Justice

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Rape or ‘NOT’ Rape: Analysis of (Six) Case Studies and Narrative of Victims

    The article has focused on six case studies. It analysed different scenarios in known offender rape cases, how the situation unfolded and led to serious consequences. The criminal justice system reacted to polarizing the offenders and victims, and thereby, creating greater dissension. The parents were deeply hurt by their daughters’ decision to form a relationship with a boy without informing them thus showing distrust in them. The fear of being ostracized by society and their norms persuaded them to take strict action against the boy in order to protect their honour. To reclaim their honour, they even got their daughter married to the rapist in one such case. Whether the daughter agreed or not is out of the question. Are these matters of being unfaithful to parents and/or hurt caused by their secret association with their boyfriend, or just a ‘false’ honour to be protected by subduing their daughter and also using the law to fulfil their ulterior motives; are questions to be delved into finding a solution to such common phenomenon.

  • Finding Solace Behind Bars: Experiences of Inmates in Kumasi Central Prison

    Most studies on prisoners in West Africa and Ghana have been on prisoners’ rehabilitation services and overcrowding conditions of inmates. This study sought to explore how inmates find solace while in prison given the poor prison conditions reported in many studies in developing countries. It aimed, among others, to examine the activities or things that give solace and happiness within the prison environment as well as the strategies inmates adopt to sooth their conditions in prison. Qualitative approaches were adopted in the study. Data were collected mainly through the use of interviews. The study involved a sample size of 31 male inmates within the Kumasi Central Prison. It was found that inmates form social networks in the cell to find peace (solace) and relief in prison cells. They also engage in indoor games, religious activities and skills training as ways of coping with the harsh conditions. It was also found that family network and support were central to inmates’ solace in prison custody. Survival and finding solace in cell were also dependent on the kind of friendship support inmates acquire in the prison.

  • On the Loneliness and Dissonance of Being a Survivor of the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi
  • Emerging Narratives in the Wake of Homicide: Victim, Survivor and Transcender

    This work draws upon participant observation of 96 victim-centred events, 36 intensive interviews with individuals who had lost loved ones to homicide (co-victims), and content analysis of a variety of written narratives. Using a symbolic interactionist framework, it presents three narrative types that were found to emerge in the wake of violent loss. Termed ‘victim’, ‘survivor’, and ‘transcender’ narratives, this paper demonstrates how each narrative type is distinct in terms of focus, tone and purpose. In doing so, it offers insight into the aftermath of crime as it relates to the victim experience.

  • ‘Voiceless Victims’: Children Living in the Red-Light Areas of Ibadan, Nigeria

    Much research work on victims of sex work, including studies employing feminist perspectives, focuses on sex work as either being a ‘victimless crime’, or women as victims, leaving the victimization of children as direct and proximate victims relatively unexplored. The practice of commercial sex work in Nigeria is illegal; however, sex business thrives in most urban centres with considerable prevalence of red-light districts. Brothels, strip clubs and other sex-oriented businesses that constitute red-light districts are usually located in neighbourhoods where people that have no business with sex work live with their families. This present study, therefore, moves to expose the risks and vulnerabilities of children living in red-light areas. Drawing on social disorganization and learning theories, an analytical cross-sectional survey of residents of neighbourhoods where commercial sex work thrives within the city of Ibadan was conducted. Fifty-seven family men and women living in red-light areas with their children were purposively selected to provide data for the qualitative study. The rate of children’s engagement in premarital sex, consumption of illicit drugs, alcoholic intake, stealing, street fighting, and school dropout was found to be a factor of their intimacy with sex work and workers in red-light areas. The study concludes that children who grow up in red-light areas are more vulnerable to being physically, emotionally, sexually abused and exploited than children who do not live in such areas. Regulation of sex work activities and prioritizing of child protection issues were suggested.

  • Introducing Victim Impact Statement in India: Reconceptualizing Victim Status

    The right to fair trial is inherent in the concept of due process of law, which now forms part of Article 21 of Indian Constitution after the Maneka Gandhi judgement. Pertinently attached with the same comes the responsibility of the criminal system to treat victims with increased awareness and sensitivity. However, the established convention shows that in planning and developing administration of criminal justice, proper attention is not given to the victims of crime in achieving goals of criminal justice; the major cause of it being that a victim is heard only as a witness not as a victim. A credible response to the said issue has emerged in the form of victim impact statement (VIS) in the modern legal system across the world. With that being said, the researchers through this article try to deduce the need for incorporating a VIS in India through the various jurisprudential understandings of what it means to be a victim, including the gap between the subjective experience of the sufferer and the interpretation of the same by others, and what restorative justice would mean to heal a victim. Establishing upon the same premise of victim status, the researchers try to suggest that the introduction of VIS, with the primary purpose of it being a therapeutic tool and not an instrument of changing the course of justice, will serve to make us reconsider our contours of a ‘victim’.

  • Road-mapping the Contradictions Around Premenstrual Syndrome: A Medico-legal Quandary

    Even though the term premenstrual syndrome has entered the common lexicon, yet it still remains a Gordian knot that needs to be untangled by not only the medical profession but also the legal profession. Resolving this conundrum requires a balancing of the dichotomy between ‘medicalizing’ women’s lives and a need to affirm women’s experiences. There exist several legal impediments while presenting evidence of this syndrome for diminishing the responsibility of a woman in a criminal trial. The present research is undertaken with an aim to determine the relationship between female criminality and premenstrual syndrome. The research further examines the credibility of utilizing the evidence of premenstrual syndrome to excuse a woman from criminal responsibility during a trial. This article is a step in the direction of pushing the envelope for spurring a holistic development of law, which is inclusive of the specific needs of women.

  • The Peril of Acid Attacks in India and Susceptibility of Women

    Acid attacks on women have become the most burning area and are considered to be the most nastiest and the most atrocious kind of violence committed on weaker sex. It is the thoughtful and pre-mediated use of acid on another human being for no blunder on her part. Reasons could be easy accessibility of acid, male-domineering and male-dictating society, antagonism, scorned and disdained lovers, etc., to name a few. Cases on acid attacks are mounting, swelling and escalating like anything. The perpetrators do not realize the consequences of such menacing, ominous and looming attacks on innocent victims and throw acids on them, distorting their face, limbs and different parts of body. It is high time now. Something stringent needs to be done to curb this evil in our society. Otherwise it will be too late, and innocent creatures on this earth will continue to suffer for no fault of theirs. The authors would be dealing with various facades, legal remedies and compensations dealing with acid attacks in the present society.

  • How Do Different Case Conclusions Impact on Survivors of Homicide? Developing and Applying a Conceptual Framework to Organize Current Empirical Knowledge

    Supporting families and friends of homicide victims (‘survivors’) requires understanding how homicide impacts on survivors. Although recent work has examined how the loss of a loved one and events following a homicide—such as media coverage, the criminal justice processes and the perpetrator’s sentence—affects survivors, there has been little consideration of how final ‘case conclusions’ (other than the perpetrator’s sentence)—such as homicide–suicide, cold-case homicide or perpetrator declared permanently unfit for trial or acquitted of murder or manslaughter—impacts on survivors. This article examines existing literature about how different final case conclusions, other than the perpetrator’s sentence, impact on survivors. A novel conceptual framework—the ‘Homicide Case Pathway’—is presented to organize these efforts. There are shared and diverse effects of final case conclusions on survivors, centred on five key themes—emotions and feelings, denial of justice, lack of closure, belief in the system and hope. There is a clear need to conduct further research into the effect of final case conclusions on survivors, in order to better understand survivors’ experiences, and subsequently identify and implement suitably tailored victim support strategies for survivors.

  • Determinants of Target Victim Selection: A Case Study of Criminals from Gambaga Prisons

    The study was conducted to explore the determinants of target victim selection by criminals, mode of operations adopted by criminals and the factors considered in the selection of victims by criminals. The study adopted a qualitative approach where simple random and purposively sampling techniques were used to select a sample size of 50 inmates in the Gambaga prisons. Interview guide was the main tool used for the data collection for this study. The study found that victimization influences criminal intentions and behaviour of an individual. The inmates noted that they like to attack victims in isolation and in dark places, especially at night. The study further found that criminals operated in gangs, in areas with darkness and in the night using caps and tattered dresses that anonymized them. They also used fear to traumatize their victims, monitor their victims, as well as operated with guns and knives and under special requests of other individuals in society.

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