Paradoxical reactions of property crime victims
Numerous studies have documented the negative impact of crime on victims’ emotions, beliefs, and behavior1,2. Far more attention has been focused on reactions to crimes of violence, such as rape, robbery, and assault, than on reactions to property crime, such as burglary and theft3. In an attempt to address this problem, the research reported here examined the impact of burglary and theft on victims’ beliefs and emotions. Three hypotheses were tested: (1) victims who perceive greater potential harm in the crime situation (i.e., believe that “it could have been worse”) will feel less “wronged” than victims not holding this belief; (2) victims will perceive themselves as having less control over future crime victimization than those who have not been victimized; (3) victims who take more security precautions such as installing special locks and security systems will be less distressed than victims who take fewer such precautions.
KeywordsProperty Crime Control Belief Future Victimization Paradoxical Reaction Residential Burglary
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