Source: (2000) In, Hiroshi Iitsuka and Rebecca Findlay-Debeck, eds., Resource Material Series No. 56. Tokyo: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders. Pp. 60-70.
Victimology has made enormous strides in the past 20 years. As the result of ongoing studies and research, there is more knowledge about the phenomenon of victimization and of those who are occasionally, frequently, or repeatedly victimized. There is adequate knowledge of the distribution of victimization in time and space, of the dynamics of victimization, and of the process of victim/target selection. Several theoretical models have been developed to explain the variations in victimization risks. Even more progress has been achieved at the applied level. The victims movement has been successful in sensitizing politicians, policymakers, the criminal justice system, and the general public to the plight of crime victims. This has resulted in a flurry of legislation aimed at improving the lot of crime victims and at recognizing and implementing some basic rights for crime victims. Many steps have been taken to increase victim participation in criminal justice proceedings, to improve the treatment of victims by criminal justice personnel, and to allow the victims some input in criminal justice decisions. In many countries, State programs to compensate crime victims have been established. Restitution by the offender is being ordered in an increasing number of cases. Programs for victim-offender mediation, both in serious as well as in minor offenses, have been established in many countries; repairing the harm done to the victim is one of the primary conditions of successful resolution of the conflict. Special assistance to certain categories of victims — such as victims of rape, child victims of sexual assault, and victims of family violence — is now available in many jurisdictions. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
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