Victimization can be defined as the act or process of someone being injured or damaged by another person. The resulting damage may be physical (e.g., bruises, broken bones) or psychological (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression). Victimization is a frequent event that occurs within an interpersonal context, often involving an abuse of power, such as a parent who abuses a child; an adult child who abuses a frail, elderly parent; or a teacher who sexually abuses a student. Although past research on victimization has tended to be compartmentalized, a more integrative approach is needed not only because of the frequent comorbidity among the different types of victimization, but also because of the shared psychological issues. Read more about Victimization.
Victimization Research Topics
To understand victimization, several core themes need to be acknowledged. Contrary to a layperson’s perspective, victimization is not a rare event that occurs only in a stranger-on-stranger context. On the contrary, victimization is an extraordinarily frequent event that most often occurs in, and adheres to, the ordinary roles of human life. Although stereotyped conceptions of victimization do occur (e.g., a woman raped by a stranger walking down a street at night) and are damaging and need to be addressed, these types of victimization are not the norm outside the context of a war. Rather, the most significant sources of victimization are those that arise out of our ordinary day-to-day roles, such as those of spouse, parent, child, and friend. Thus, victimization must be understood as an inherent part of human relationships.
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