Victimology: a discipline between psychology and criminology

Victimology: a discipline between psychology and criminology

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

The victimology As a science, it should refer not only to victims of crime, but to all types of victims. Throughout the history of the development of this discipline it has been possible to appreciate a somewhat biased bias.

This is the tendency to identify the concept of victim like everyone who is involved as a taxable person of a criminal act typified.

Conversely, if the object of it opened a little more, we would find, for example, the possibility of studying the victims of natural disasters, economic phenomena, marginalization, discrimination, etc.

Some author defines the victimology as "the criminological science of the victim of crime, its elements, its role and, in particular, its contribution to the emergence of crime."

Conversely, in Spanish Criminal Law there is no reference to the concept of victim, but to the terms "taxable person" or "harmed", as the holder of the interest (or legal) for the crime, or the person who suffers damages as a result of it.


  • 1 Victimology against Criminology
  • 2 Victimology as part of criminology
  • 3 Victimology as an independent discipline
  • 4 Victimology as part of Legal Psychology
  • 5 Final Comments
  • 6 References

Victimology against Criminology

Neuman (1985) says that victimology is like criminology, but vice versa. It is the science that studies the second part of the crime-victim author binomial, with such a broad content as the study of victimization, personality of the victim, consequence of the criminal act on the victim and its possible solutions.

The object of this science would not be the study of crime through victims, but the discovery and recognition of problems that mainly affect crime victims.

Victimology as part of criminology

This position is shared by most authors:

  • All right as a branch of criminology, especially when his study focuses on the “author-victim” relationship
  • O well contemplated from the point of view of its object (victim of the offender)
  • Too, from the perspective of his approach (theory and methodology that confuse it with criminology)
  • Finally there authors who claim that victimology has been enriched by criminology and changed it, constituting its central focus.

In this sense the Victimology would be a branch of criminology that deals specifically with the victim as acting. That is, as a participant in a criminal event, as well as the victim as suffering, that is, per person affected by said event.

Victimology as an independent discipline

This position begins to make its way through two very significant aspects:

  • The constant celebration of congresses, courses or conferences on victimology to those who are experts in the field
  • To consider a part of the doctrine that the alpha and omega of the victimology he is the victim and not the criminal, since the victimology as a science it aims at the study of the victim and victimization

Victimology as part of Legal Psychology

Should we talk about a Psychology of victimization or a victimology as a branch of Legal Psychology?

  • In the first case, all the psychological and legal problems surrounding the victim would be nothing more than aspects of the new victimological science and the study of the victim
  • In the second case, the victimology It would be framed by Legal Psychology, as one more subject, and within them all the areas of interest that relate to it would be ordered

Final comments

In summary, although the victimology It has always emerged as a specialty subordinated to psychology and criminology, in recent years it is beginning to take its own identity.

Currently, we are witnessing the birth of a true independent science. However, they still have to settle their axioms and, perhaps, expand and diversify their object of study.

Regarding the victimology, today, everything is to be discovered. When can one say that one is contemporary to the birth of a new scientific discipline?


  • Cárdenas, A. E. M. (2011). Victimology as a study. Rediscovery of the victim for criminal proceedings.Prolegate me. Rights and Values14(27), 27-42.
  • Fattah, E. (2014). Victimology: past, present and future.Electronic Journal of Criminal Science and Criminology33(1), 1-33.
  • Marchiori, H. (2004).Victimology The victim from a criminological perspective. Bruges Publishing House.
  • Neuman, E. (1985).The victims of the criminal system. Marcos Lerner Editora Córdoba.