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Published : October 17, 2012 | Author : Akash Shah
Category : Criminal law | Total Views : 25463 | Rating :

Akash Shah
Akash Shah

1.1 Victim
“Victims” means persons who, individually or collectively, have suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through acts or omissions that are in violation of criminal laws operative within Member States, including those laws proscribing criminal abuse of power.

A person may be considered a victim, under this Declaration, regardless of whether the perpetrator is identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted and regardless of the familial relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. The term “victim” also includes, where appropriate, the immediate family or dependants of the direct victim and persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assist victims in distress or to prevent victimization.

The dictionary meaning of victim is:
1.A person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action oragency: a victim of an automobile accident.

2.A person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her ownemotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or bysome impersonal agency: a victim of misplaced confidence; thevictim of a swindler; a victim of an optical illusion.

3.A person or animal sacrificed or regarded as sacrificed: warvictims.

4.A living creature sacrificed in religious rites.

In short victim is a person who has sufferer due to any of the reason. There are provision of relating to compensation to the victim, but the major question is that whether it is only on paper or it works. Any person victim of crime need lot of time to recollect himself from that particular incident which take palce in his life.

1.2 Victimization
There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates a close relationship between offending and victimization. One reason for this is that some kinds of crime arise out of mutual interactions between people, to the extent that victims and offenders are almost interchangeable: the clearest example would be fights in and around pubs on a Saturday night. Even where crimes do not arise immediately out of interpersonal interactions, people often tend to commit offences on others within their social circle, because these people are most accessible to them, or because they are paying off an old score. This way we can say that victimization is the relation between victim and the accuse, there is no exact definition available on it. There are different theory of victimization which are as follow:

* Primary victimization
* Secondary victimization (post crime victimization)
* Re-victimization (repeatedly became the victim)
* Self-victimization (variety of reason to justify abuse)

1.3 Victimology
Victimology is the scientific study of victimization, which include the relationship between victim and the accuse. Justice J.N.Bhatt has defined Victimology: victimology is a science of suffering and resultant compensation.

The dictionary meaning of victimology is as follow:
The study of the victims of crime and the psychological effects on them of their experience.
The possession of an outlook, arising from real or imagined victimization, that seems to glorify and indulge the state of being a victim.
As it is mentioned in the meaning itself that it is psychology of the victim but it directly related to the behavior of the offender or the accuse. The theory of victimology deals with this aspect very well.

1.4 Statement Of Problem
We have seen the definition of victim, victimization and victimology. All the three word are based on the psychology of the person and his stability or control over his brain. The main problem is all of us talk about this term but no one of us really moves in to the society and try to help them out. There are various schemes of government which talk about it or we can say work on it. But again a question what is the outcome then. In this condition we should do only one thing that is try to follow all the law in the society and result will be positive only.

1.5 Objective
The objective of this project is:
* To know who is the real victim in the society
* To know the problem faced by them

1.6 Hypothisis
The researcher has made certain assumption in the beginning of the research project which are going to be tested during the project, they are the following.

The real victim most of the time have to suffer a lot for getting justice
There are law relating to this issues but they are not implemented.

1.7 Scope Of The Study
The research is a doctrinal research. The researcher here would like to know more about the penal aspect in this context. The researcher has tried to analysis the topic by studying various authors, experts, cases of The Indian Apex Court and High courts, articles, etc. The researcher has strictly followed the boundary and has studied only with reference to Indian authors, experts, cases, etc.

1.8 Methodology
The present research study is mainly a doctrinal and analytical. Keeping this in view, the researcher has gone through different books, journals, Web references, E-journal, reports etc.

The relevant material is collected from the secondary sources. Materials and information are collected both legal sources like books.

1.9 Chapter Scheme
Victim and impact of crime on it
Formerly, the term ‘victim’ was as likely to be associated with general misfortune as it was with crime. This point is reinforced by the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, whose definition starts by referring to ‘a person killed or tortured by another’, but then continues: ‘a person subjected to cruelty, oppression, or other harsh, or unfair treatment, or suffering death, injury, ruin, etc., as a result of an event, circumstance or oppressive or adverse impersonal agency’.
2.2 Impact of crime
One in four citizens are victims of common crime each year

In the last century, trends in crime were measured by the number of persons convicted in criminal courts. Then trends were measured using the number of crimes recorded by the police. Today, trends in crime are measured also by surveys of the general population to estimate the level of victimization.

The information provided by these surveys shows that victimization is a frequent occurrence, involving loss, injury and trauma. It shows that police and particularly court data underestimated the extent of crime.

Crime affects the individual victims and their families. Many crimes also cause significant financial loss to the victims. The impact of crime on the victims and their families ranges from serious physical and psychological injuries to mild disturbances. The Canadian Centre of Justice Statistics states that about one third of violent crimes resulted in victims having their day-to-day activities disrupted for a period of one day (31%), while in 27% of incidents, the disruption lasted for two to three days (Aucoin & Beauchamp, 2007). In 18% of cases, victims could not attend to their routine for more than two weeks. A majority of incidents caused emotional impact (78%). Irrespective of the type of victimization, one-fifth of the victims felt upset and expressed confusion and or frustration due to their victimization. Overall, victims felt less safe than non-victims. For example, only a smaller proportion of violent crime victims (37%) reported feeling very safe walking alone after dark than non-victims (46%). Just less than one-fifth (18%) of women who had been victims of violence reported feeling very safe walking alone after dark when compared to their male counterparts.

The impact of crime is perhaps best thought of as a product of the perceived seriousness or intensity of these effects plus their duration from the victim’s own standpoint. Defined in this way, the term refers to an inescapably subjective assessment and evaluation by the victim of the overall consequences of the offence. This includes its meaning and significance for the victim, and whether or not it has resulted in a change of self-perception by which the victim comes to perceive himself or herself as a victim. Thus, the ‘impact’ of a crime has a crucial bearing on the way the victim interprets and responds to it during the second phase of the victimization process, as distinct from whatever tangible or intangible ‘effects’ may be associated with the primary phase. Unfortunately, most researchers have tended to conflate these two terms and to treat them as interchangeable, which has added to the methodological problems mentioned above, though it might help to account for the seemingly confused nature of many of the findings.

The UN Declaration on Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power draws attention to the fact that crime is not just a violation of a criminal code but also causes harm to victims, including economic loss, emotional suffering and physical or mental injury.

The UN Handbook divides the impact of crime on victims into:
• The physical and financial impact of victimization
• Psychological injury and social cost
• Secondary victimization¨ from the criminal justice system and society.

2.3 Victim and criminal justice system
India’s criminal justice system is from the British criminal justice sysytem. There is a clear Doctrine separation of power by the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. The judiciary is independent and there is a free press. The penal philosophy in India has accepted the concepts of prevention of crime and treatment and rehabilitation of criminals, which we can see by many judgments of the Supreme Court and High Court of India.

Victims have no rights under the criminal justice system, and the state undertakes the full responsibility to prosecute and punish the offenders by treating the victims as mere witnesses.

2.4 Constitution, Criminal Law and Procedure:

The Indian criminal justice system is governed overall by four laws:
(i) The Constitution of India
(ii) The Indian Penal Code
(iii) The Code of Criminal Procedure of India
(iv) The Indian Evidence Act

The legislative power is vested with the Union Parliament and the state legislatures and the law-making functions are divided into the Union List, State List and Concurrent List in the Indian Constitution. The Union Parliament alone can make laws under the Union list and the state legislatures alone can make laws under the State list, whereas both the Parliament and the State Legislatures are empowered to make laws on the subjects mentioned in the Concurrent List of the Constitution.

The Constitution of India guarantees certain fundamental rights to all citizens. Under the Constitution, criminal jurisdiction belongs concurrently to the central government and the governments of all the states. At the national level, two major criminal codes, the Indian Penal Code, 1861 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, deal with all substantive crimes and their punishments, and the criminal procedure respectively to be followed by the criminal justice agencies, i.e. the police, prosecution and judiciary during the process of investigation, prosecution and trial of an offence. These two criminal laws are applicable throughout India and take precedence over any state legislation. All major offences are defined in the Indian Penal Code and these apply to resident foreigners and citizens alike. Besides the Indian Penal Code, many special laws have also been enacted to tackle new crimes. The Indian criminal justice system has four subsystems which include: Legislature, (Union Parliament and State Legislatures), Law enforcement (Police), Adjudication (Courts), and Corrections (adult and juvenile correctional institutions, Probation and other non institutional treatment). The legal system in India is adversarial.


Perhaps the first theory to explain victimization was developed by Wolfgang in his study of murders in Philadelphia. Victim precipitation theory argues that there are victims who actually initiated the confrontation that led to their injuries and deaths. Although this was the result of the study of only one type of crime, the idea was first raised that victims also might play a role in the criminal activity.

Victimization is a highly complex process encompassing a number of possible elements. The first element (often referred to as ‘primary victimization’) comprises whatever interaction may have taken place between offender and ‘victim’ during the commission of the offence, plus any after effects arising from this interaction or from the offence itself. The second element encompasses ‘the victim’s’ reaction to the offence, including any change in self-perception that may result from it, plus any formal response that s/he may choose to make to it. The third element consists of any further interactions that may take place between ‘the victim’ and others, including the various criminal justice agencies with whom s/he may come into contact as a result of this response. Where this interaction has a further negative impact on the victim, it is often referred to as ‘secondary victimization’.

3.2 Primary victimization
The ‘primary victimization’ phase of the process, it may be helpful to begin by distinguishing between the ‘effects’ or consequences that are known to result from crimes of different kinds and their ‘impact’ on victims themselves. Certain crimes entail physical effects, which are likely to involve some degree of pain and suffering, and may also entail loss of dexterity, some degree of incapacity and/or possible temporary or permanent disfigurement. Many crimes also have financial effects, which may be either direct. Very often crime can result in additional costs that might be incurred, for example, in seeking medical treatment or legal advice, or loss of income as a result of attending to the crime and its aftermath, or possible loss of future earning potential. Certain crimes can also have psychological and emotional effects upon victims including depression, anxiety and fear, all of which can adversely affect their quality of life.

3.3 Secondary victimization
Secondary victimization refers to the victimization that occurs not as a direct result of the criminal act but through the response of institutions and individuals to the victim. Institutionalized secondary victimization is most apparent within the criminal justice system. At times it may amount to a complete denial of human rights to victims from particular cultural groups, classes or a particular gender, through a refusal to recognize their experience as criminal victimization. It may result from intrusive or inappropriate conduct by police or other criminal justice personnel. More subtly, the whole process of criminal investigation and trial may cause secondary victimization, from investigation, through decisions on whether or not to prosecute, the trial itself and the sentencing of the offender, to his or her eventual release. Secondary victimization through the process of criminal justice may occur because of difficulties in balancing the rights of the victim against the rights of the accused or the offender. More normally, however, it occurs because those responsible for ordering criminal justice processes and procedures do so without taking into account the perspective of the victim.

3.4 Re – victimization
Crime is not distributed randomly. According to a recent estimate, based on data from the British Crime Survey, 44% of all crime is concentrated on 4% of victims. (Farrell and Pease, 2001) The following table shows the proportion of victims in this source who will be a victim of a similar offence within a year of the event.

Some of the repeat victimization is due to the victim living or being associated with the offender. Wife battering tends to happen more than once to the same victim who continues to live with the same man. This is also true of sexual incidents.

Some of the repeat victimization in property offences is due to the location of the victim or their residence. Those who live close to a concentration of potential offenders in residences that are unprotected are particularly at risk of repeat victimization.

Repeat victimization is disillusioning to victims who report their experience to the police and the criminal justice system because they were not protected. Being victimized a second time increases the psychological trauma of the event.

3.5 Self victimization
In this category person himself commits such act which result in his own victimization we can say up to certain extent that it can be included in repeat victimization only as it result from wrong persons company, wrong habit, etc.

Diverse views exist on the focus and place of the discipline of Victimology. While some believe that Victimology should function as an independent area of enquiry, others view it as a subfield of Criminology. A second issue concerns the breadth of victim related issues to be covered in the field of Victimology. Some scholars advocate that Victimology should limit itself to the study of victim-offender interaction. Others argue that the needs of crime victims, functioning of the organizations and institutions which respond to these needs, and the emerging roles and responsibility for crime victims within the CJS are important areas of inquiry for Victimology. A third issue is the breadth of the definition of the term ‘victim’. One approach is to limit the concept to victims of traditional crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, burglary etc. However, it has also been proposed to include a broader definition of the concept by covering groups such as prisoners, immigrants, subjects of medical experimentation, and persons charged with crime but not proved guilty.

4.2 Evolution of Victimology in India
At present, a crime victim or a complainant is only a witness for the prosecution. Whereas the accused has several rights, the victim has no right to protect his or her interest during criminal proceedings. Sometimes, even the registering of a criminal case in the police station depends upon the mercy of the police officer: victims suffer injustice silently and in extreme cases, take the law into their own hands and seek revenge on the offender.

Though no separate law for victims of crime has yet been enacted in India, the silver lining is that victim justice has been rendered through affirmative action and orders of the apex court. Besides, many national level Commissions and Committees have strongly advocated victims’ rights and reiterated the need for a victims’ law. Studies on crime victims by researchers started in India only during the late 1970s. Early studies were on victims of dacoit gangs (i.e. gangs of armed robbers) in the Chambal valley (Singh, 1978); victims of homicide (Rajan & Krishna, 1981); and victims of motor vehicles accidents (Khan & Krishna, 1981). Singh and Jatar (1980) studied whether compensation paid to victims of dacoits in Chambal Valley was satisfactory or not. Since the 1980s, many scholars have conducted studies in Victimology, which have been published.

4.3 Theory of victimology
The concept of victim dates back to ancient cultures and civilizations, such as the ancient Hebrews. Its original meaning was rooted in the idea of sacrifice or scapegoat -- the execution or casting out of a person or animal to satisfy a deity or hierarchy. Over the centuries, the word victim came to have additional meanings. During the founding of victimology in the 1940s, victimologists such as Mendel son, Von Hentig, and Wolfgang tended to use textbook or dictionary definitions of victims as hapless dupes who instigated their own victimizations. This notion of "victim precipitation" was vigorously attacked by feminists in the 1980s, and was replaced by the notion of victims as anyone caught up in an asymmetric relationship or situation. "Asymmetry" means anything unbalanced, exploitative, parasitical, oppressive, destructive, alienating, or having inherent suffering. In this view, victimology is all about power differentials. Today, the concept of victim includes any person who experiences injury, loss, or hardship due to any cause. Also today, the word victim is used rather indiscriminately; e.g., cancer victims, holocaust victims, accident victims, victims of injustice, hurricane victims, crime victims, and others. The thing that all these usages have in common is an image of someone who has suffered injury and harm by forces beyond his or her control.

From this discussion we can say that there are various laws relating to victim and their protection. Now big question before us is its implementation. There is a provision of compensation and protection of victim but the question is whether this is sufficient for victim. For example if a person is killed by other person and the person who died is the only bread earner in his family then what is the amount of compensation is to be paid to his family member. In one of the case Indian Supreme court in case of death of a person order the compensation of only 1.5 lakh and that also after 5 to 6 year of commission of crime (SR 6197/2012). Now can we consider it as a proper order? According to UN declaration there should be law on it and that is the reason for which India has made law for victims. The Indian criminal justice system is mostly emphasized on the accuse only and not victim, which we can see.

The victimization is relation between victim and offender, and victimology is a science of study of victimization. When we see that there is direct relation between offender and victim it is very difficult to protect the victim from the offender and I personally think that this is the only reason for very low rate of conviction in our country.

There are various countries in which the victim protection program is going on and the result is very good as there is no scope of any temporizing the victim or witness. If victim feel themselves safe then only they can speak in courts. When victim is easily approached by the offender it is really difficult to work even police is not taking proper note of this issues.

When person is suffering from such mental trauma it is very difficult to work with them and so we have to study the science behind it. And by using the scientific method we can get the result and make some good for the victim. According to me I don’t find the concept of victimology in practice in general, it is only on paper in our country. If we take a serious note of it then our criminal justice system will improve a lot and will bring some positive change in governance of the nation.
# Handbook on justice for victims by UNODCCP New York 1999 p116
# Handbook on justice for victims by UNODCCP New York 1999 p116
# http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/victim
# www.law.ed.ac.uk/cls/esytc/findings/findreport/chapter5.pdf
# Kalu Abdulbhai majothi V. State of Gujarat 1999 Cr.L.J. 2823
# http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/victimology
# Handbook on justice for victims by UNODCCP New York 1999
# Hand book by UN office of drug control and crime prevention New York 1999
# Victims of crime and the Law at p 100
# Hand book by UN office of drug control and crime prevention New York 1999 at p 9
# http://faculty.ncwc.edu/mstevens/300/300lecturenote01.htm

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: akashshah@legalserviceindia.com

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