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Victim movements at a crossroad.

Christie, Nils
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) Punishment & Society. 12(2):115-122.

Victim movements are growing in most western countries. This is a natural consequence of modernity. Neighbourhoods are weakened, state control moves in and victims might feel they are left behind, forgotten in the legal process. Now they demand a new entrance. This is easy to understand, but difficult to absorb in a penal process. Victim power might be a strong driving force towards the punitive society. And may be it is bad also for victims. Civil meetings between victims and the persons or systems that might have hurt them might be more constructive alternatives, both for victims and their communities. In such meetings there are no limits to what can be expressed. Here delivery of pain is not at the centre, but the question of what happened, how could you do this to me or mine, or to values dear to us? Victim movements stand at a crossroad. They might strengthen civil societies and their members, or create further damage. (author’s abstract)


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