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Understanding Violence and Victimization, Fifth Edition, explores selected types of violence and examines the causes and responses to such victimization. Written for courses in victimology, violence, and criminology, it addresses topics such as domestic violence, stranger violence, workplace violence, school violence, criminal justice violence, and the violence of terrorism. Each chapter includes case studies and discussion questions and explores prevention strategies, victim responses and legal approaches. This edition features a new chapter on understanding violence and provides the latest information on victimization.
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We live in a violent society. People from all walks of life are subjected to many forms of violence. Some are victimized by strangers, others by family members and intimate partners. Violence occurs in our homes, workplaces, and in places we least expect it to happen. It is difficult to predict when or where it will occur. In writing this book, I have been interested in exploring selected types of violence, particularly the type that captures media and public attention because of its seriousness and callousness. Therefore, I choose not to write about nonviolent victimization, such as property crimes and frauds. It is not my intention to downplay the importance of these crimes, but to focus more on the crimes of violence that we fear most.
The book combines victimization theory with applied responses to victimization. It is written for the person studying victimization and violence, as well as for those employed in crime prevention and victim service programs. My purpose is to discuss offender-victim relationships, provide data, and explore situational factors and responses to victims. Throughout the book, there are case studies called focuses that enhance a point and can be used to generate discussion.
Chapter 1 addresses theories of victimization and measures of tabulating victim data. The chapter basically introduces criminal victimization, discussing how and why some people are victimized. Chapter 2 covers intimate victimizations, such as domestic violence, acquaintance rape, and stalking. My intent in this chapter is to address legal and social issues of intimate violence as well as preventive measures. I look at the identity of the offenders, why they do what they do, and what the victim can do to prevent these offenses. Chapter 3 addresses stranger violence. Two of the most prevalent types of stranger violence are murder and robbery. The chapter focuses on the situations in which persons become victims of violence by strangers and what can be done to prevent these occurrences. There is also a discussion of serial killers, their motives, and their victims. Chapter 4 focuses on workplace violence and harassment. These are important topics because of recent attacks of co-workers by disgruntled employees or by third parties. Research conducted on the sources of and responses to workplace violence is covered. The purpose is to offer suggestions on what can be done to reduce the potential for violence.
Chapter 5 addresses school violence and victimization. Due to recent acts of violence on our nation's campuses, I felt compelled to discuss some possible explanations and responses. After all, schools are microcosms of society, just as are some workplaces and communities. Chapter 6 discusses proactive and reactive strategies to victimization. In this chapter, I discuss personal defense measures, including the use of firearms. The section on the defensive use of handguns considers the research on firearms in preventing victimization. The chapter investigates other proactive crime control measures such as building design and community planning. The chapter concludes with presentation of measures to aid victims through victim compensation programs and laws. In some instances, victims seek relief from the courts in the form of personal damages from property owners. Victims criminally assaulted at work or on private property may have a civil case against a property owner or manager. Thus, litigation has an impact on organizational business policy and operations.
In closing, I would like to offer a disclaimer. Throughout the, book, I refer to a number of legal cases and crime response procedures. They are offered as a general guide. I recognize that laws, statistics, and procedures may change or may not apply in some situations. This is the problem of writing a book of this type. By the time it is published, new laws or amendments to existing ones are instituted, and new studies are published. To address this problem, I included in the appendix information on retrieving current information relative to victimization. The reader is advised to consult with local law enforcement or other authorities for information on changes or new programs relevant to victimology. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
My thanks to all who assisted in the preparation of this book. I want to thank my family for their patience and understanding. Special thanks to Robin Baliszewski and Frank Schmalleger for inspiring me to write in the first place. I wish to express my appreciation to the Prentice Hall staff, especially Rose Mary Florio, Neil Marquardt, Kim Davies, Michelle Sutton-Kerchner, Cheryl Adams, and others for working with me on the preparation of this book. I also thank former California Lutheran University students Shantee Ravare, precious moyo Stephen Seper, Sirrel Maldonado II, Jennifer Weir, and Pat Engle, faculty secretary, for assisting with word processing. I also wish to thank the following reviewers who offered advice in preparing this book: Dana C. DeWitt, Chadron State College; Hugh J. B. Cassidy, Adelphi University; Ronald J. Graham, Fresno City College; William E. Kelly, Auburn University; and Tom Long, Vance Granville Community College. Finally, I want to acknowledge Lynda Paige Fulford, director of public information at California Lutheran University, for assistance with publicity.
Robert J. MeadowsFrom the Back Cover:
Violence can erupt from the home, workplace, school, or from day-to-day routine activities. There are no boundaries or rules as to when or where violence and victimization may take place. Understanding Violence and Victimization, Third Edition is a unique and fresh approach to the subject that not only addresses theories and varieties of violence and offenders, but also offers practical responses to crime.
In Understanding Violence and Victimization, real-life case studies show situations leading to victimization and explore the social, legal, and psychological dynamics of violence and victimization. The reader is educated on the precursors of violence such as stalking and harassment, and then examines intimate violence, child abuse, elder abuse, workplace, school, and stranger violence.
The reader is acquainted with policy responses to victimization such as civil justice, victim compensation laws, personal protection approaches, and legislation.
Understanding Violence and Victimization, Third Edition continues to be a much-needed wake-up call to the threat of violence, and is a superior resource for students studying crime, victimization, or justice policy. In addition, justice practitioners, victim advocates, and the average citizen should find this book relevant and insightful.
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