Supporting Victims of Crime in Europe

  • Stephanie Fohring (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Description

'New Explanations for Non-Reporting and Non-Use of Services': In Scotland only 38% of crimes are reported to the police while some 91% of referrals to Victim Support Scotland come from the police. Thus, the vast majority of victims are not coming into contact with victim services (unless self-referred). Research into non-reporting and non-use of services typically focuses on the characteristics of an incident meant to be indicative of its seriousness such as injury or the presence of a weapon. This explanation is however found to be lacking. This paper will highlight selected results of a larger investigation of the experiences of victims of crime in Scotland. Specifically, it will present a novel explanation for the continually low rates of reporting crime to the police, and carry this explanation one step further, to help explain why many victims do not seek out support services. Through the innovative approach of combining advanced quantitative analysis of Scottish Crime and Justice Survey data with in-depth qualitative interviews this research has identified the victim’s perception and labelling of an incident as a crime or not to be paramount in the decision to not only report crime, but to utilise available support services. This finding is then explained in terms of a motivation to avoid be labelled as a victim, demonstrated to be adverse for a number of both personal and social reasons. By identifying the victim label as a potential barrier to support, this research represents the initial step in overcoming it; highlighting the need for innovative modes of support.
PeriodMay 2013
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United Kingdom