Lifestyle theories of victimization assert that changing roles and schedules in daily life affect the number of situations with high victimization risks that a person experiences. Describe lifestyles that are considered most at-risk versus those considered least at-risk for victimization. Do you believe crime preventive measures that use this type of theory and research are “blaming the victim” or simply using common sense to try to reduce an individual’s risk?
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Although crimes can happen at any time, there are some factors that raise one’s chances of becoming a victim. One factor is people’s lifestyle choices, or how they choose to act and live while going about their daily lives. The choices you make in your life have a big impact on your risk level. Higher victimisation risk is associated with riskier lifestyle choices.
An people with a low risk of victimisation, for example, will be aware of their surroundings and avoid potentially harmful scenarios such as wandering alone at night, wearing showy jewellery, or leaving car or home doors unattended. A victim with a medium risk for victimisation may do everything a victim with a low risk does, but with a little more carelessness. For example, a medium-risk person would lock their car doors but stroll alone out to their car late at night. As a result, while the car is secure, the walk to it may not be. Finally, someone who is at high danger of being victimised would disregard the majority of safety procedures and constantly put oneself in vulnerable situations.
There are many elements that contribute to an individual’s chance of becoming a victim, and this course will go over a few of them, but first, let’s look at how our daily behaviours lead to victimisation.
According to the lifestyle exposure argument, people who fit specific demographic profiles are more likely to be victims of crime because their habits expose them to riskier situations. The likelihood of being victimised rises as a result of lifestyles that increase the amount of time spent in public settings, especially at night, and time spent with strangers. Lifestyles are essential because they raise the risk of being exposed to potential criminals who lack appropriate restrictions. As a result, it is the danger of being victimised, not the lifestyles themselves, that creates chances for victimisation. This argument argues that lifestyles and risk exposure entirely moderate the well-established association between demographic variables like gender and victimisation. Empirical research, notably in the area of property victimisation, have found consistent support for the notion.
Gottfredson, M. R. (2021). Modern control theory, lifestyle, and criminal victimization. In Revitalizing Victimization Theory (pp. 56-76). Routledge.