The position of victims of crime has shown marked improvement over the past 30 years. The rise of the victim has been associated with the growth of a unified ‘victim movement’; a social movement that strives to improve the position of victims of crime. However, it is questionable whether the victim movement should be viewed as a unitary phenomenon. Instead of one movement, there appear to be a number of victim movements. There are differences between the victim advocates in the United States, Victim Support in Europe, the violence against women movement and proponents of restorative justice.. In this article, reasons for these differences are sought in victim-endogenous factors: differences in victims’ characteristics and the idealtypes employed by the different movements are an important explanation for the divergent development in organisations representing victims interests, which in turn influences their policy preferences. It is argued that advocates of restorative justice would benefit from understanding both the reality and the distortion involved in the idealtypes, including their own. This would allow proponents of restorative justice to adapt their practices in a manner that is both suitable and convincing to the representative and target group of the different victim movements.
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