Drawing on a wealth of local, national and international sources, unpublished documents and original research, this book provides a theoretical and practical critique of victimology. The authors outline and discuss the issues facing victims today and address the fundamental question: How can we best ensure justice for victims, while at the same time preserving the rights of defendants? The search for answers raises other key questions: What are the risks of crime and do they vary from country to country? What is the impact of crime on the victim? How are victims treated by police, welfare agencies and courts? Why have governments become interested in victims? Can we learn from the experiences of policies in other nations? H
The ‘Rebirth’ of the Victim as a Significant Actor
As Chapter 3 indicated, understanding the ‘demise’ of the victim is problematic. At one level what is clear is that victims did not disappear from the criminal justice process. Without them much of the work of the criminal justice process would have (and still would) come to a halt (Shapland, 1986).
But despite their undoubted functional importance to the operation of that process, and a more positive presence in some of the legislation (Mawby and Gill, 1987) by 1945 there was no real sense in which victims of crime had a voice in the political or the policy arenas. This is not intended to imply that changes had not ...