Describe the history and key concepts of the study of victimology.
Victimology is linked to the field of criminology, which is the scientific study of crime. It began with the works of Cesare Beccari, who critiqued the way that crimes were punished, and Jeremy Bethman, whose work focused on how social and legal reforms could create a better moral society. Both were highly influential on the future of criminology. Criminologists have focused on the criminal understanding of why crime occurs and how to prevent it, and for good reason. If we want to stop crimes from occurring, we need to focus on the criminals—what motivates them and how to prevent them from engaging in criminal activity. In fact, the history of the legal system is based on the idea of bringing society back into balance.
Often overlooked or marginalized in the conversation are the victims of crime. Victimology is the study of the victims of crime with the goal to create a general theory to help prevent victimization. The field has expanded to examine the following:
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