Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Victim facilitation, victim precipitation, and victim provocation

Annmarie Griffin

Pod 3 Journal Assignment


Victim facilitation, victim precipitation, and victim provocation

Victim Precipitation/Facilitation/Provocation- are terms used to describe a victims role in a crime.

Focuses on the prevalence of the victims involvement

Minimize victim blaming and enhance victim personal responsibility

Victim Facilitation was introduced in the writings of Marvin Wolfgang (E Notes 2012). This term is used in a way as to not blame the victim but to blame the interaction that the victim has that makes them susceptible to becoming a victim of crime. Victim facilitation allows for the study of the actions that make a victim vulnerable to being a victim of a crime. The text states that "victim facilitation ought to be reserved for situations in which victims carelessly and inadvertently make it easier for a thief to steal (Karmen, A., 2010)." Their negligence allows for certain crimes to be committed against them. They share a certain amount of blame. Through their thoughtlessness they increase their risks of becoming a victim. "Facilitation is similar to a catalyst in a chemical reaction that, given the right ingredients and conditions, speeds up the interaction (Karmen, A., 2010)." Auto theft and burglary are the two most notable crimes cited in studies of facilitation (Karmen, A., 2010). The text stated that a crime of facilitation may be when a person leaves a house door open and burglar walks in and steals their stuff. It went on to say these any crimes committed would be considered an illegal act of trespass by intruders seeking to commit thefts (Karmen, A., 2010)". If I left my door open it does not mean it is an invitation for someone to come in and steal my possessions. It was interesting to see that younger households in poorer neighborhoods with more residents were more prone to facilitation than their counterparts. I want to go to law school and this notion surprises me. I am unsure if it is in-fact the correct legal definition of the scenario depicted. I do not believe that anyone asks to be a victim of a crime. The notion that one would even blame the victim of a crime is astounding. It reminds me of movies and stories of the past where we have seen rape victims being re-victimized on the stand by being blamed for the act against them simply due to their style of dress or other behaviors.

Victim Precipitation/Provocation are ideas associated with victims of murder, robbery, assault, and rape. Precipitation is based upon the notion that the victim contributed to the acts against them. The text equates this to a person who attempts to rob a drug dealer and gets shot in the process (Karmen, A., 2010). This notion to me is plausible. It seems likely that if you are doing illegal things then you may place yourself in harm’s way to become a victim. If you were to commit and armed robbery with a toy gun and were shot and killed in the process it would be an example of precipitation. It does not justify the crime but makes sense in the realm of things.

"Provocation means that the loser is more responsible than the victor for the fight that ensued (Karmen, A., 2010)". It basically means that if you were to randomly attack someone and they defended themselves where you got more seriously hurt, then it would be your own fault. In my chosen profession this equates to a self-defense strategy for the person that hurt the other more seriously.


Karmen, A. (2010). Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology. Belmont: Wadsworth.

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