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By A. Cretney

It's a universal belief that violent crime is at the raise and social surveys checklist a growing to be worry of victimisation one of the public. but no longer all violence is criminalised, and masses legal violence nonetheless is going unreported. Punishing Violence examines the sequence of choices - via sufferers, law enforcement officials, prosecutors and courts - which ensure even if violent behaviour is criminalised. Antonia Cretney and Gwynn Davis research the relationships underpinning violence, the explanations for violent acts and the criteria militating opposed to winning court docket prosecutions. In doing so, they supply an authoritative account of the truth of attack and establish a significant dislocation among the needs of sufferers and the needs of the justice process within the therapy of violent crime.

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Punishing Violence

It's a universal belief that violent crime is at the bring up and social surveys checklist a transforming into worry of victimisation one of the public. but now not all violence is criminalised, and lots more and plenty felony violence nonetheless is going unreported. Punishing Violence examines the sequence of choices - via sufferers, cops, prosecutors and courts - which make certain even if violent behaviour is criminalised.

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The violence which he had suffered in this one instance was, by his account, part of a pattern of behaviour characterised by heavy drinking, baiting by his companions, and physical confrontation. It was the action of the night shelter staff which brought this incident to the attention of the police. But many other assaults, taking place in the open, on the street, or in underpasses, go unrecorded. Such behaviour cannot readily be dealt with by the court and it washes around the feet of the police without actually trickling into their shoes (or their files).

They felt ‘numb’, not just at being hit, but also at the fact that the attack was so unexpected and was perceived to be so unjustified. Those with no previous experience of violence were most affected. Forty per cent of assault victims had got over their distress within two weeks, but 25 per cent had still not made a full emotional recovery some six months after the attack. These researchers compared the emotional impact of assault with the distress suffered by accident victims. They reported that one week after the event the levels of anxiety and depression were similar among the two groups, but that after three months the accident victims Harm and reporting 45 had, in general, made a more complete recovery.

This in turn might help us decide whether non-reporting should be viewed as something to worry about—a problem to be overcome—or whether, in some circumstances at least, we should regard it as appropriate and perhaps even to be encouraged. Victim precipitation of assault has been defined as the circumstance in which ‘the victim [is] the first to commence the interplay or resort to physical violence’ (Wolfgang 1958:80). In several of the cases which we followed, including some which led to a criminal trial, the victim’s role remained at issue.

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