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psychological reaction to a highly stressful event; symptoms may include depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and recurring nightmares

cycle of violence

victims of crime, especially victims of childhood abuse, are more likely to commit crimes themselves

victim precipitation theory

view that victims may initiate, either actively or passively, the confrontation that leads to their victimization

active precipitation

aggressive or provocative behavior of victims that results in their victimization

passive precipitation

personal or social characteristics of victims that make them attractive targets for criminals; may unknowingly either threaten or encourage their attackers

lifestyle theories

views on how people become crime victims because of lifestyles that increase their exposure to criminal offenders

deviant place theory

view that victimization is primarily a function of where people live

routine activities theory

view that victimization results from the interaction of three everyday factors: the availability of suitable targets, the absence of capable guardians, and the presence of motivated offenders

suitable targets

objects of crime (persons or property) that are attractive and readily available

capable guardians

effective deterrents to crime, such as police or watchful neighbors

motivated offenders

people willing and able to commit crimes

victim-witness assistance programs

government programs that help crime victims and witnesses; may include compensation, court services, and/or crisis intervention


financial aid awarded to crime victims to repay them for their loss and injuries; may cover medical bills, loss of wages, loss of future earnings, and/or counseling

crisis intervention

emergency counseling for crime victims

victim-offender reconciliation programs

mediated face-to-face encounters between victims and their attackers, designed to produce restitution agreements and, if possible, reconciliation

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