U.S. flag

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

CRIME PREVENTION V VICTIMIZATION PREVENTION - THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TWO DIFFERENT REACTIONS

NCJ Number
57392
Journal
Victimology Volume: 3 Issue: 3/4 Dated: SPECIAL ISSUE (1978) Pages: 285-296
Author(s)
E S COHN; L H KIDDER; J HARVEY
Date Published
1979
Length
12 pages
Annotation
TWO STUDIES CONCERNED WITH THE EFFECTS OF CRIME PREVENTION AND VICTIMIZATION PREVENTION ACTIVITIES ON FEAR OF CRIME AND FEELINGS OF CONTROL OVER CRIME ARE REPORTED.
Abstract
IN THE FIRST STUDY, 81 RESIDENTS OF A WHITE WORKING-CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD OF PHILADELPHIA, PA., WERE INTERVIEWED. RESIDENTS WHO BELONGED TO A COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION (AN EXAMPLE OF CRIME PREVENTION BEHAVIOR) REPORTED LESS FEAR OF CRIME AND MORE CONTROL OVER CRIME THAN DID RESIDENTS WHO DID NOT BELONG. RESIDENTS WHO MADE A POINT OF AVOIDING DANGEROUS AREAS (AN EXAPLE OF VICTIMIZATION PREVENTION BEHAVIOR) REPORTED MORE FEAR AND LESS CONTROL THAN DID PEOPLE WHO ENGAGED IN FEW SUCH AVOIDANCE BEHAVIORS. AFTER READING DESCRIPTIONS OF HYPOTHETICAL REACTIONS TO CRIME, STUDY PARTICIPANTS REPORTED THAT THEY WOULD FEEL LESS FEAR AND MORE CONTROL WERE THEY PREVENTING CRIMES RATHER THAN PREVENTING VICTIMIZATION. IN THE SECOND STUDY, 37 WOMEN ENROLLED IN A PERSONAL DEFENSE COURSE REPORTED THAT, AS A RESULT OF TAKING THE COURSE, THEY WERE LESS WORRIED ABOUT BEING HOME ALONE OR OUT AFTER DARK AND FELT MORE ACTIVE, BRAVE, IN CONTROL, AND INDEPENDENT. THIS FINDING SUGGESTS THAT PERSONAL DEFENSE TRAINING IS AN EXCEPTION TO THE FIRST STUDY'S FINDING ABOUT VICTIMIZATION PREVENTION. PERSONAL DEFENSE TRAINING IS AN UNUSUAL EXAMPLE OF VICTIMIZATION PREVENTION IN THAT IT LEADS TO FEELINGS OF MORE CONTROL AND LESS OF CRIME. SUPPORTING TABULAR DATA AND A LIST OF REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)