Source: (2000) Criminologie. 33(1).As popular as victimology has become, surprisingly, no comprehensive history of the discipline has ever been written and there are no systematic assessments of its present state or its likely future developments. The present paper is an attempt to fill the lacuna. Victimology is a young, promising discipline and a fascinating subject. And although victimization is as old as humanity itself, it was not until after the Second World War that the scientific study of crime victims emerged as an essential complement to criminology's well established research on offenders. Because it emerged to fill a serious theoretical void, it did not take long for victimology to become an integral part of criminology. And although victimology has by now affirmed itself as a major research area within criminology, its nature, importance and standing continue to generate a great deal of comments and controversy.