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According to the oxford dictionary, Victimology is the study of victims of crime and the psychological effects of their experience. Domestic violence often includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and abuse to property and pets (Garnely, 1989).In cases of domestic violence there are many victims and my focus is on the case study given where a Anne shoots her husband, in front of the children.Anne claims that Denise had been hitting her and pushing her around, so she reached for a gun and shot him in the chest. As I arrive there she is taken to custody by the police, and the children are being questioned about what had happened.
Causes of victimization
According to Doerner & Lab, (2011) victimization can be caused by the crime itself and the criminal justice system. In this scenario the most apparent crime is the death of the husband and the other crime is the supposed domestic violence. In this situation there are many victims; Anne is a victim of domestic violence and the children are also victims of the same as well as the tragic death of their father. Denise is also a victim of the violence which leads to his death.
As a law enforcement officer I can help the 1st victim, who is the deceased by ensuring that the proper procedure is followed to establish the cause of his death as well as the circumstances that led to his demise. The children witnessed their father’s death and they might be experiencing a range of emotions. As an officer, I will notify a close family friend or relative to come and stay with the children. Incase none is available, the Department of Social Services or the Child Protection Services should be notified. After taking the statements from the children who were the key witnesses, they should be taken to the social worker or the law enforcement officer who will stay with them until the Social worker gets there.
The other cause of victimization is by the criminal justice system.The mother who has been taken to custody, as much as is she is a victim of domestic violence she is also charged with homicide. The children will have to spend a lot of time away from school for court hearings and this does not help with getting on with their lives. In case the case goes to trial, they will be emotionally drained as they will relive the events that led to the situation they are in.
Consequences from the victimization of the given scenario
As a law enforcement officer, the follow up on the children’s condition is important to ensure that their safety and well being is taken care of. If it was established that they were physically abused or subjected to any other form of abuse, I will take the necessary steps to make sure they get the professional help needed. They need counseling and therapy as well as placement in homes that will take care of them and help them cope. Anne is already in police custody waiting to be charged with her husband’s murder. The children are adversely affected by this traumatizing event, and due to their big age difference they cannot all get generalized treatment to deal with this. They may suffer the stigma from society of being a murderer’s child; this is particularly hard especially if the children continue living in the same community.
There might be separation of the siblings as one family may not be able to take them all in, some may stay with relatives and others in foster homes as none of them is old enough to take care of the siblings. This tearing apart of the family will definitely affect their development, the disruption of their normal routine especially on the children. Childhood traumas always develop into adult hood traumas (Doerner & Lab, 2011).Older children are at a higher risk of being traumatized as they have better developed senses so they grasped more of what happen to their parents (Gable & Johnston, 1995).The children may experience nightmares or reliving the event and this can cause emotional distress on the children especially if they feel they don’t have any one to help them get through this.
In case there was violence towards the children before Anne killed Denis, the children will have a lot of issues depending on the nature of the abuse. Incase their mother goes to prison; they will be forced to grow up without parents, which is not a very good idea for teenagers. The trauma can cause emotional detachment, rage, sadness and going through life afraid of all situations. To some extremes as adults they develop a lot of personality disorders if they don’t get help to deal with the events taking place.
The victims didn’t protect themselves from the perpetrator; they might have stopped the immediate attacks from Denis, but the consequences of those actions were worse than the domestic violence in the home. The children might grow up thinking that it is okay to solve thing by violence and killing others. Anne if convicted will spend most or all her life behind bars and live with the guilt of taking their fathers’ life. From another point of view, it seems that they protected themselves from the perpetrator because if Anne hadn’t shot him, he would have continued physically abusing her and eventually turn to the children. This would have been more tragic, but the children would still have both parents and with some luck they could get help to get out of that situation.
Organizations that help and their benefits
There are many organizations that help victims cope with the situations and get the help they need. Some have shelters that take in battered family members as they get you the relevant help to get you on the path to recovery. These organizations include National Organization for Victims Assistance, National Domestic Violence hotline and National Coalition against Domestic violence. These organizations offer immediate assistance, counseling, case advocacy and referrals. They also offer support groups that help in the healing process and reintegrating the victims into society.
These organizations are effective in indentifying domestic violence cases and providing a way out for the victims. Most of the organizations have hotline numbers that the victims can call and get the help they need. The limiting factor, for the work they can do is that they are only able to help those that seek the help. A high number of victims are too scared to ask for help due to increased fear about how the perpetrator will react to being reported. Most of these organizations depend on voluntary man power and donor funding which limits the number of people they can help.
From my point of view, am able to ensure that the victims in this scenario are well taken care of. Some of the challenges law enforcement might face is the objectivity of the children in giving the account of events because of their relationship with the victim and the perpetrator. Therefore, collection of reliable evidence in this situation is hard. This is a very emotional situation and as an officer I have to remain focused and follow the procedure to help the victims in this scenario.
The best techniques to prevent victimization
Victimization in this situation was caused by the domestic violence that resulted in the death of the perpetrator. To avoid such an occurrence the best way is to help families that are affected by domestic violence to realize that they are the victims and they don’t deserve what is happening to them. Escape is not always the best, but they should have a personalized safety plan that involves what they would do in case they need to leave, alert a family member or a friend about the situation (Creative communications, 2009).
These techniques are beneficial as they are able to keep the victim safe as they try and get a plan together. Probably if someone had tried to get Anne out of the situation, she would not be in jail and the children would have both parents even though they are separated. It is easier to implement control measures before it all gets out of hand with greater consequences.
Creative Communications. (2009). Personalized safety plan, Web.
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Doerner, W. G. & Lab, S.P. (2011). Victimology.Elsevier, Inc: Massachusetts.
Gable, K., & Johnston, A. (1995). Children of incarcerated parents. Lexington books: New York.
Garnely, A. (1989). Integrating feminist and social learning analyses of aggression: Creating multiple models for intervention with men who battered. Springer: New York.