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Criminology Research Proposal


Catastrophic events in society usually emphasize a focus on the victims rather than the real causes of the event and how to prevent them in the future. Victimization has become a significant problem in society, viewed as a strategy by the media to gain as much attention to their outlets as possible. In this paper, I will examine the problem of focusing on victims in the event of a catastrophe rather than according them help and reducing the attention on them as much as possible.

The paper relates to the field of victimology because it provides remedies for helping victims of catastrophic evens recover better without putting too much attention on them. The paper will identify the role of the media in revictimizing victims of catastrophic events for the sake of gaining higher viewership. A gap in the current research exists whereby there is not sufficient information provided to detail the role of the media in further aggravating the sufferings of victims of catastrophic events. Using a comparison theory approach, I will examine the difference in recovery between victims of events highly publicized as compared to those that are less publicized.

Literature Review

The problem of victims being revictimized is a theme discussed by Hlavka, Kruttschnitt & Carbone-López (2007) through an assessment of the attention given to the victims. According to the authors, victims are often exploited in order to create juicy stories, particularly for the media. This means that it will be very difficult for the victims to get the assistance they require mainly because of the impact of the ole of the media in covering the event. Similarly, the victims become the focus of attention as most people will follow up on the plight of the victims without any focus given to the cause of the catastrophic event.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

This argument is mirrored by Van Dijk (1997) who argues that undue focus on the problems that the victim has undergone is wrong. Instead, it will be necessary to place an emphasis on the causes of the events in order to prevent a future catastrophe. Victims are unable to get the assistance they require because there is an emphasis on reporting their story and revisiting the catastrophic issue for the sake of media coverage. This harmful approach leaves the victims being victimized, and more attention needs to be paid in the manner in which the media covers such stories.

The theme of ‘justice’ is also a critical element in understanding the problems that victims endure in trying to get their rights. According to Richards (2009), the problem of balancing the rights of an offender and a victim in the case of mediation can present significant problems. Whereas the victim deserves compensation for an offender inflicting any form of damage, justice must be observed, and this can limit the scale of remedy for the victim. More attention has to be paid to the justice system to analyze the plight of victims and victimization in society.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

This theme is also argued by Fattah (2010) who argues that the evolution of victimization through the years has followed parallel paths. Victimization modes in the past and present have barely changed, and this is mainly attributed to the similarities in human behavior. The author argues that the problem of seeking justice in a ‘balanced’ system will always favor a more privileged group. Therefore, victims will often find themselves revictimized in order to avoid further complaints or challenges from them. The author argues that this culture is widespread in the world and is a critical element in understanding how victimization perpetuates itself in society.

The theme of ‘mediation’ is discussed in the article by Jacobsson, Wahlin and Andersson (2012). The authors provide information about the process of getting justice for the victim, arguing that some forms of mediation are too publicized for the victim’s good. In an attempt for possible offenders to get a better deal or less punishment, the event will always be publicized in a manner that does not guarantee the victim will be able to recover well. Consequently, they end up being revictimized because of the unnecessary attention caused by the need to ensure successful mediation.

This theme is also discussed by Wilson (2009) who argues that most processes for getting justice for a victim focus too much attention on the event. Consequently, all eyes will always be on the victim, and this makes it all the harder for them to concentrate on recovery. Instead, they have to endure further scrutiny and attention, something that is inevitable in the process of mediation. As a result, it is almost impossible for them to recover in an ordinary manner, with too much attention paid to the victim, consequently revictimizing them as they are forced to live through the difficult events once more.

Theoretical Framework

The theory that will be used for the research is the lifestyle/exposure theory. This theory documents the possibility of suffering from victimization as a result of their lifestyle and general exposure in the community. The theory describes the environmental factors that determine t victimization of individuals in society, articulating the differences of the publicized events depending on their lifestyles. This theory suggests that the process of victimization is already determined by the environmental factors surrounding an individual and the scale of victimization will largely depend on their position and social status in the community.

The theory applies to the issue of the victim being revictimized by too much publicity on a catastrophic event by articulating the different levels of victimization for each person in society. Catastrophic events that happen to renowned individuals in society are more likely to be publicized than those events that happen to ordinary citizens. This means that the scale of recovery for such individuals will be much more difficult as the publicizing of such events continuously forces them to relive through the bad circumstances once more. The ordinary citizens are likely to suffer less as their lifestyle and exposure will determine the scale of victimization.


Victimization occurs depending on the scale of publicizing an event; this means that most victims are often revictimized because they have to listen to and live through such events constantly. The victims of highly publicized events usually find it much harder to live a normal life because they are constantly reminded of the bad events as they took place. The media in the twenty-first century usually focuses on such stories publicizing catastrophic events at more scale than happy events. This means that the level of publicizing will influence the recovery of a victim from a bad event.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

The media, therefore, has a critical role to play in the victimization process because they determine the type of information that will be aired. The victimization of individuals is often perpetuated by how much the event is covered by the media or discussed in society. People who recover from instances of victimization often do so successfully because there is less attention paid to the catastrophic event. This is a crucial element in understanding the best way of stopping victimization in the community and understanding the role that the entire community plays in the process.


Fattah, E. A. (2010). Chapter 3: The Evolution of a Young, Promising Discipline Sixty Years of Victimology, a Retrospective and Prospective Look. London: Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Hlavka, H. R.; Kruttschnitt, C. & Carbone-López, K. C. (2007). Revictimizing the Victims? Interviewing Women About Interpersonal Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume 22 Number 7: 894-920.

Jacobsson, M.; Wahlin, L. & Andersson, T. (2012). Victim-Offender Mediation in Sweden; Is the Victim Better Off? International Review of Victimology 18 (3): 229-249.

Richards, K. (2009). Taking Victims Seriously? The Role of Victims’ Rights Movements in the Emergence of Restorative Justice. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Volume 21 Number 2: 302-320.

Van Dijk, J. J. M. (1997). Introducing Victimology. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam.

Wilson, J. K. (2009). The Praeger handbook of Victimization. Praeger.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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