Analysis of Victimization

Learning Goal: I’m working on a law multi-part question and need an explanation to help me learn.

Discussion 1: Do a content analysis of victimization and the media. Watch a film, or TV program about crime and violence, and list the extent and type of victimization that was depicted. How often were women victimized in your show? Any children? Are any victimization theories presented in that show or film?

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Discussion 2: At the beginning of last summer I was working as a waitress. I was 27, and the past couple of years had been filled with changes. I’d had a son, and not long after that I had broken up with Bob, the father of my baby. A fellow named Rick was one of the customers at the restaurant where I worked. I liked that he kept to himself and wasn’t rowdy like the other guys. When we met, I had to admit that I was interested in him. And when we began seeing each other, I thought he was the perfect date—he wasn’t possessive, and he’d even visit with me when I was at my mother’s house. About three weeks into the relationship, Rick asked me to marry him. Shocked and flat­tered, all I could say was that we should give it some time. He seemed fine with that. But a few days later something happened that really unnerved me. We were out driving when Rick suddenly swerved away from another car and began shouting, “Oh, my God, that’s my ex-girlfriend. I have an in­junction against her for breaking the windows in my house and slashing my tires.” He started talking about lawyers and pending court cases. I became suspicious and had him checked out with a friend who was the local sher­iff. When I saw his files, I was dumbfounded. There were charges of crimi­nal mischief and grand theft. He’d been in jail for assaulting a police officer. He had charges of lewd and lascivious acts with children. I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore. At first he came to the restaurant . . . and just stared at me. One night I found a bill on my windshield for some work he’d done on my car as a gift. The note threatened that if I didn’t pay $450 he’d put a lien on my car. I drove to his place and told him, “I’m writing you this check, and I never want to see you again.” Rick smacked my face so hard my head spun. Then he grabbed my car keys. Terrified, I ran down the street to a friend’s house and called Bob, my ex, to pick me up. When we left, a sheriff’s car was in the street. Rick said that I had struck him. I showed the sheriff the marks on my face but decided not to press charges. The next day I went back to Rick’s and calmly asked for my keys. He re­fused saying, “I am going to kill you for this.” The look in his eyes made my blood run cold. About a week later I went to pick up my son at day care. The gas gauge showed empty, even though I’d recently filled it up. Appar­ently someone had loosened the gas hose. The person had to have the keys to my car.

Then the calls started at work. Rick would say, “I’ll get even with you. I’ll make you hurt like you hurt me.” Similar messages were left on my home answering machine. Over the next three months, the terrifying events esca­lated, starting with Bob’s car being rammed one night. The brakes to my car had been tampered with. The day we reported Rick’s attack on Bob, we were told that I was the fourth woman who said that Rick had done some­thing like this. We were told that Rick was a suspect in the case of a dog that had been hanged from a swing set with an extension cord. Rick was later arrested and charged for soliciting an undercover police officer for prostitu­tion. He was sentenced to five and a half years for probation violation and other charges. Right now I feel safe. But soon, I know the day will come when I get a call saying Rick’s been let out.

Qs: In what ways was the woman victimized as she moved through the system?

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