Relationship between Criminology and Victimology

Relationship between Criminology and Victimology


Criminology represents the oldest as well as widely employed approach to determining different aspects relating to criminal activity with the view to providing explanations for crime causal factors. In its most basic description, the filed can be described and the scientific technique of studying the nature, extent, cause in addition to the management of various criminal conduct (Walklate 132).  From a general perspective, this distinct discipline incorporates different areas like formulation of laws, violation of these laws as well as various criminal transgressions as crucial social phenomena. Victimology on the other hand entails the examination of the relationship existing between a victim of a particular crime and the perpetrator (Petherick, Turvey and Ferguson 235). However, to appreciate this conception, it is important to seek an understanding of the meanings of the terminologies perpetrator and victim.

A perpetrator or the offender refers to a person who has previously committed a crime against a victim. The victim on the other hand is an individual who has suffered harm as a result of the perpetrator’s actions (236). It therefore entails the examination of victimization in regards to the association between offenders and victims; the interface between victims and criminal justice system (police, courts and corrections institutions) and the linkage between victims and different societal institutions and groups such as social movements, the media, and businesses.  Law enforcement bodies therefore leverage victimology and associated theories to establish the factors that explain why a victim was targeted by a perpetrator (Muncie 148).

An initial examination of criminology/criminal justice and Victimology indicates that the fields are closely entwined despite the existence of clear similarities as well as differences.  This submission will therefore seek to critically analyze the two terms with a view to establishing the nature of the relationship that exists between criminology/criminal justice and Victimology.

The Relationship between Criminology/Criminal Justice and Victimology

Although distinct fields, criminology and victimology are complementary areas with the latter being a fairly new concept having previously been classified under the general discipline of criminology (Muncie 149). Essentially, criminology focuses studies crime from a perpetrator’s while Victimology considers crime from the perspective of the victim.  The central focus of both fields is predicated on the need to understand the interaction between crime and societal outcomes notes (S. L. Walklate 235). From this presentation, it is evident that although both disciplines differ in terms of focus of approach, they are largely similar in their application

To begin with, both fields share a commonality in regards to augmenting effectiveness within the criminal justice system as scientific approaches to the study of different crimes, the causation and effects on societal outcomes. This similarity is afforded by their dissimilar approaches and the fact they focus the most crucial aspect of criminal justice-criminal offences/offenders as well as victims (Petherick, Turvey and Ferguson 236).  By examining offenses, perpetrators in addition to victims, criminology/criminal justice and victimology improve effectiveness with respect to dealing with as well as ensuring that victims receive justice.

Secondly, flexibility is an aspect that appropriately describes the relationship between both fields due to their inter-connectedness considering that the victims’ and criminals’ roles can at times be fuzzy (S. L. Walklate 238). Flexible roles therefore mean that the fields share a deep intricacy associated with criminology as well as crime as nothing can be considered clear cut in the study of crime, causes and associated effects on the victims contends (Muncie 149).

Finally, criminology and victimology apply the same approaches to research particularly in regards to collection as well as of pertinent data (Petherick, Turvey and Ferguson 241). Towards this end, both field lay profound emphasis on appropriate techniques for collating in addition to interpreting data. This emphasis is informed by the potential ramifications portended by data gathering and interpretation techniques on the achievement of anticipated objectives as well as goals.  A central convergence point is the understanding by professionals in both fields that incorrect collation of data and interpretation of the same can curtail the realization of objectives and by extension the development of appropriate strategies of dealing with perpetrators and improving victims’ outcomes (243).

Further, criminology as well as victimology apply similar techniques to research activities such as those used in social sciences such as case studies, surveys, and polls. The methods used are founded on different communication forms, questionnaires, interviews, social experiments, systematic observations in addition to secondary scrutiny of published documents (Muncie 141).

Although both criminology and victimology are complimentary fields as evidenced by the similarities, they differ in a number of ways as distinct fields. These differences are as a result of their dissimilar approaches to studying different aspects relating to crime. To begin with, both differ from a historical perspective. Towards this end, their application to understanding crime began in varying periods. Criminology on the one hard began during the nineteenth century when Cesare Lombroso developed the theories aimed at furthering the understanding of the origins of criminal conduct as well as traits (S. L. Walklate 236).  Conversely, victimology is considered a relatively new concept having started after the conclusion of the Second World War in Europe as a way of understanding the relationship that exists between victims and offenders (Muncie 146).

Secondly, they are dissimilar in terms of focus points and extent of analysis. From a general perspective, criminology is a distinct discipline that incorporates different areas like formulation of laws, violation of these laws as well as various criminal transgressions as crucial social phenomena (Walklate 132). Victimology on the other hand entails the examination of the relationship existing between a victim of a particular crime and the perpetrator (Petherick, Turvey and Ferguson 235). Criminology is therefore a retributive concept as its primary objective is to prevent crime in addition to punishing perpetrators. On the converse, Victimology is restorative model, which focuses primarily on the victim as opposed to the offender with a view to restoring the condition of the victim prior to victimization.

Finally, criminology and Victimology differ in terms of research findings despite having common research techniques (S. L. Walklate 133). In other words, professionals in both fields arrive at dissimilar conclusions as well as finding due to different areas of focus. However, it is important to note that although the findings are different, both fields seek to use research as a means of availing appropriate explanations for conception of crime.


This term paper has critically analyzed criminology and victimology with a view to establishing the nature of the relationship that exists between both fields. It has subsequently established that though different in terms of approach, both fields have a relationship. This relationship is defined by the common purpose to explain the manner through which different crimes can be addressed but through profiling the both the victim and perpetrator. This in turn improves efficiency with the criminal justice system through crime deterrence and restoration the victim’s condition to the status prior to an attack.

Works Cited

Muncie, John. Understanding Criminology. London: McGraw-Hill Education, 2007.

Petherick, Wayne, Brent E. Turvey and Claire E. Ferguson. Forensic Criminology. Academic Press, 2009.

Walklate, Sandra L. Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013.

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