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Crime Victim in Bangladesh

Victim is an essential component of a criminal event. In the commission of crime there must be a victim whether direct or indirect. In cases of personal and property crimes, there exist direct victims. Besides, in case of corruption and state-level crimes, there are no direct visual victims but every citizens of the nation become victimized indirectly. Like offenders, victims may have participation or provocation to crimes; they have certain demographic characteristics as well as personality traits. Law generally emphasizes and focuses on crimes and criminals. But the participation or precipitation of victims is usually neglected. It is necessary to study on victims from various dimensions in order to understand victims’ role in the commission of crime. For example, why some people get victimized but others not, why some individuals become victims for several times (revictimization), and what lifestyle make them victimal than others. However, it must be understood that guilt is not shared by offender and victim. Criminal guilt belongs to the perpetrator of a crime – and it must be proved at trail beyond a reasonable doubt. The victim is free of guilt. However, victimology can demonstrate how potential victims, by acting differently, can decrease the risk of being victimized (Fattah, Victims and Victimology, p.54). The present study is also indebted not to make a victim liable for guilt, but to establish an understanding about the nature and characteristics of victims as well as victimizations. For a discussion of this type, it is important first to understand who is a victim.

According to the UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, "victims" means persons who, individually or collectively, have suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through acts or omissions that are in violation of criminal laws operative within Member States, including those laws proscribing criminal abuse of power. A person may be considered a victim, under this Declaration, regardless of whether the perpetrator is identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted and regardless of the familial relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. The term "victim" also includes, where appropriate, the immediate family or dependants of the direct victim and persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assist victims in distress or to prevent victimization (General Assembly Resolution, 1985).

From the above broader definition, anyone feeling deprived or injured from any dimension whether directly or indirectly may be called as a victim. However, there are some characteristics for being a victim. Victim can be characterized by as follows:
  •  Victim may be of belonging from any age group – child, juvenile, adult or old; and from any sex – male or female.
  • · Victim suffers harm whether there is any victimizer or not.
  • · Victim is a person who must feel deprived either absolutely or comparatively.
  • · Victims may show temptations or provocations either consciously or unconsciously to the victimizer.