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Victimology is the systematic study of the victims in a crime instance; it covers all the aspects of the victim in terms of lifestyle, the background of the victim, the health facet and the physical characteristics. In addition to the provision of the information on the victim it also gives important information on their health, the personality, social habits and the personal history.
Concepts of criminology
The concepts of criminology have its roots in the early works of Beniamin Mendelssohn specifically in his 1956 writing entitled, "A new Branch of Bio-Psycho-social Science, Victomology. (Mendelsohn, 1956). Thus Mendelssohn is recognized as the father of Victomology followed by other criminologists such as Ellenberger (1955), Schafer (1968) and Wolfgang (1958). These criminologists published works that have been fundamental in explaining the concepts of Victomology. The future of Victomology is based on the programmes and laws that will help in the fulfillment of the of the United Nations declaration which aims at establishing victims' rights and services (Pershing, 2009). Victomology differs from other disciplines such as criminology, sociology, and psychology in that it mainly focuses on the data of the victim that pertain a certain case.
The first official shelter for the battered women termed as the safe house for women and children that had escaped domestic violence against them was established by a certain group called, appropriately enough, Refuge,(AER) in Chiswick, London (United Kingdom) in the1971. This was followed by the rapid establishment of the similar refuges homes for the same purpose around the world.
Initially, there were so many informal refuges in existence, particularly in the homes of the supportive people amongst the community members, or the family members. Women who lacked this type of support, or the necessary information about these informal shelters had very little choice to make about their situation (Dussich & Kiyoko, 2000). The Refuge house at Chiswick was the first of its kind, however, it was rapidly followed by many others with the women around the world realizing of their potential in finding some small solution to their difficulties as they encountered in their lives.
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Establishment of refuges
The first women's refuges were established by women's movements, not by governments or organisations, although these later did get in on the act ~ the governments when they saw there were votes in it, and the churches when they realised this was a way to get government funding and potential converts. In United States of America in 1974, when a group of feminists that were doing legal aid work particularly in the St. Paul, Minnesota, collectively opened the Women's House, This was the first refuge home for battered women and the children in the United States history. Currently the estimates suggest that there are more than a thousand hot lines, shelters, and the programs established for the battered women. More states in the United States have formed the coalitions to help bring people together in order to work on these issues. The two major ones are; the National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and the National Coalition against Sexual Assault (NCASA), these two have memberships that range over 500 agencies with a strong focus on the public awareness and the social change.
The first rape crisis center was established by Elizabethan O'Sullivan, it was founded in Washington D.C and was named D.C Rape Crisis Center(D.C.RCC) .The Civil rights movement performs an important circulation in the societies systems which are considered most powerful and dangerous thereby strengthening the Anti-discrimination and the hate crime laws.
The civil rights movements advocates for a juvenile system that encompasses children who have committed crimes, whom the laws considers to be at risk of committing crimes and those in need of protection.
The following are the organization that advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and homicide and can be contacted in case an individual want to report and incident of stated above:
- Avocats Sans Frontières
- Amnesty International On-Line
- Anti-Slavery International
- Association for the Prevention of Torture
- Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
- Child Welfare League of America
- Coalition for the International Criminal Court war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
- Human Rights Library at the University of Minnesota
- International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy
- International Commission on Missing Persons
- International Crime Victim Compensation Program Directory
- International Cruise Victims
- International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence
- International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims:
- National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
- Privacy International:Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
- S.O.S. Attentats
- The SOLD Project
- United Nations Home Page
- White Ribbon Campaign
- World Society of Victimology
- Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse
- HVSG - Homicide Victims' Support Group Australia
Some of the services that not provided by the government on crime compensation
programs are: failure by the judicial system to consider the victims rights to fair trial, the right to get personal lawyer, victims of crime often are not given work training or even allowed to get free lawyers and they are therefore left to rehabilitate themselves, no compensation for pain and suffering, health and counseling services and the maintenance of the child born as a result of sexual assault.