Source: (1996) In International victimology: Selected papers from the 8th international symposium, held in Adelaide, Australia, 21-26 August 1994, ed. by Chris Sumner, Mark Israel, Michael O’Connell, and Rick Sarre, 121-133. Conference proceedings, no. 27. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology

In the call for tougher policies on crime – harsh, deterrent punishment of offenders – many assert that crime victims, out of fear and anger, demand such policies. Does this assertion accurately characterize the perspective of victims? And, if this is the generally accepted perception of crime victims, does this perception obstruct the inclusion of victims in criminal justice proceedings out of concern that they are too emotional and vindictive? In this context, van Dijk examines international crime surveys to determine crime victimization rates, fear of crime and efforts at crime prevention, victims’ attitudes toward sentencing, victims’ satisfaction with the police, the need for victim support, and implications for further research and policy.

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