Which one of these will be stolen? Is there a born victim?
On a recent trip to Amsterdam, I came across rows of bikes and pondered which one would be stolen if a criminal had to choose one?
One very intriguing area of research in the criminal arena explores the question of whether a victim can play a role in their own victimization. In academic circles, this is termed victim blaming, victim facilitation, and victim precipitation and is considered by some a “controversial” area of inquiry. These concepts suggest that a victim can play a part in their own victimization, possibly by engaging in behavior that is riskier than the norm. There are a significant number of research studies that I have read that focus on the genetic makeup of the victim and reveal that there is a possibility that someone is a born victim, similar to the born criminal. These very alternative theories state that born victims will entice their predators through some form of social or other interaction. Genetic application to victimization is one area of study that has been developing in recent years, but was founded in early 2000 by researchers that analyzed data from 1,739 victims of Swedish homicides looking for patterns of victimization. The results indicated several key patterns, but the most enlightening was the identification of previctimization brain injury as a risk factor in these cases.
The researchers theorized that brain injury may cause irritability, agitation, belligerence, and anger, all deviant social reactions, which may contribute to victimization. The studies alarmingly revealed that there may be a correlation between one’s proclivity toward victimization and genetic makeup.
Let us see where this emerging area of research will take us in the years to come.