Do you believe that murder is an interactive event? If so, does that amount to “blaming the victim”? If there is a murder transaction, should we not consider rape, domestic assault, and so...

Do you believe that murder is an interactive event? If so, does that amount to “blaming the victim”? If there is a murder transaction, should we not consider rape, domestic assault, and so forth as “transactions”?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Whether we consider murder interactive depends on the murder. When someone randomly kills strangers, the act is not interactive, but the majority of murders, in fact, are of acquaintances or family members, in which there is an interactive dynamic.

The science of victimology attempts to understand the relationships between victim and criminal, not as a matter of blame but as a strategy for prevention. If one can predict who is likely to become a victim of a crime, for example who might be at risk for domestic abuse, one has a better chance of preventing the crime.

This is important both on the individual level and the level of specific populations. For example, if one can identify potential areas where crimes are likely to happen, one can increase police presence. If social workers can identify women or children at risk of abuse, it might be possible to remove them from potentially abusive situations before the abuse escalates to the level of physical violence. In a sense, thinking of crime as transaction is not blaming the victim, but honoring the victim by making the victim rather than the criminal the center of attention. 

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