Stranger Violence

Theorist Marvin Wolfgang's (1958) early research on crime divided murder into two categories:

  • Primary homicide: incidents of homicide involving nonstrangers and/or acquaintances known by the victim
  • Secondary homicide: incidents of homicide involving attackers or assailants not known by the victim

Secondary homicide eventually became known as “stranger crime,” which subsequently developed into what is now known today as “stranger violence,” or attempted assault or assault resulting in injury or death in which the victim did not know the offender. This type of violent behavior is widespread and prevalent in every society and can emerge in many different forms. It has no boundaries and can take place anywhere, whether in public (streets, shopping malls, ATM machines, parks, and public transportation) or private locations (household, vehicle). It happens to people ...

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