U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Impact of Victimization on Fear

NCJ Number
Crime and Delinquency Volume: 33 Issue: 1 Dated: (January 1987) Pages: 135-154
Date Published
20 pages
This report examines the relationship between criminal victimization and fear of crime.
Past research has been surprisingly inconclusive about this issue, and some people's fears have been branded 'irrational' because the two did not appear to be tightly linked. However, the data analyzed here indicate that victimization affects both fear-related attitudes and behavior in a clear and consistent manner. This report also suggests that the impact of victimization is relatively uniform. Some research has indicated that certain groups are especially affected by crime, a claim that might be used to justify special treatment for selected victims and has been used to support demands for special 'treatment' of selected offenders. However, the strong effects of victimization registered in these data were not differentially distributed across subgroups. In sum, most people do learn from their experiences, although other kinds of learning are rational as well. (Author abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1987