The criminal victimization of children and women in international perspective

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Abstract In this article we will present an overview of the results of the national
and international crime victims surveys regarding the distribution of victimization
according to age and gender with a focus on violent crime. The results show a
consistent inversed relationship between age and criminal victimization by all types
of crime. Children are by far the most at risk to be victimized by criminal violence
of all age groups. The violence is in large part committed by parents or
other caretakers. The relationship between gender and victimization is less straightforward.
Men are more exposed to various types of non-sexual violence by
strangers, including homicide. Women are more exposed to sexual violence. Exposure
to non-sexual violence by intimates is less strongly gendered than
sexual violence by intimates according to the results of dedicated surveys on
domestic violence among males and females. Cross-national analyses suggest that
violence by intimates against females is most prevalent in countries where gender
equality is low. However, self-reported victimization rates of violence against
women by intimates are also relatively high in countries where gender equality is
the highest, such as Scandinavian countries. This paradoxical result seems due to
increased sensitivity to acts of less serious violence among female respondents in
the latter countries. The various findings concerning the distribution of victimization
risks across age and gender are interpreted with lifestyle-exposure theory
and feminist perspectives on violence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen and children as victims and offenders - Background, prevention and reintegration
Subtitle of host publicationSuggestions for succeeding generations (Vol1)
EditorsHelmut Kury, Slawomir Redo, Evelyn Shea
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages22
VolumeVOL 1
ISBN (Print)9783319083988
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • victimization survey
  • Women
  • International


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