Victimologists should only strive to be fair,open-minded,dispassionate,neutral and most of all unbiased. In the event of a crime, a victim may or may not be aware that they are exposing themselves to possible criminal charges. Being objective helps victimologists understand the situation that a victim found himself in; that resulted in a crime being perpetrated against them. However, victim blaming is not always universally wrong since some are aware of the danger theyexpose themselves to(Herries, 2013). On the other hand, being pro-victim biased limits the freedom of the victim while taking blame away from the perpetrator (Karmen, 2012). Thus objectivity is the best approach to understanding crime victims.
I do not agree with Professor Heinrich Applebaum that victims should receive punishment for crimes committed against them. Despite the permissiveness of the current society, individuals are aware of the decisions they make. These involve the decision to commit a crime. For instance, we cannot blame a rape victim for being raped by a drunk man. The man was aware that alcohol could affect his judgment regardless of how the victim dressed. It is the same case for instances of robbery and violence. However, extenuating circumstances can never be a factor when considering crime (Herries, 2013). Blaming the victim implies that the perpetrator was not wrong; which in any criminal situation is never the case (Karmen, 2012).
If Professor Heinrich Applebaum reflected on crime victims and the nature of victimizationwitnessed today, he would still have the same opinion. The society has become more permissive than 40 years ago resulting in more crimes which are mostly encouraged by the victims. People often leave their personal belongings such as laptops unattended in public places resulting in crime (Herries, 2013). Therefore, Applebaum would be more convinced that the victims are responsible for the crimes. However, in most of the instances, the victims are usually not aware that the crime may take place, leave alone the fact that they may end up being the victims of the crime. Besides, many criminals are driven to commit criminal activities by extenuating circumstances such as poverty and poor mental state rather than the victims’ actions.
In conclusion, victimologists should strive for objectivity rather than automatically adopting pro-victim bias. On many occasions, the victims usually do not know the risks they are exposing themselves to an event of a crime. Therefore, they cannot be held responsible for crimes committed against them. However, if Professor Heinrich Applebaum were reflecting on the current society, he would still keep the same opinion. The world is now even more permissive allowing crimes to be committed.
Herries, C. (2013). Victim Blaming. The Stanford Daily. Retrieved from https://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/01/15/victim-blaming/
Karmen, A. (2012). Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology. Cengage Learning.
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