Victims and offenders of criminal violence

Research paper by Eckart Kühlhorn

Indexed on: 01 Mar '90Published on: 01 Mar '90Published in: Journal of Quantitative Criminology


In order to test the hypothesis that victims and offenders of criminal violence are linked by means of the same life-style, a representative sample of 172 sentenced offenders and their victims was analyzed. It could be demonstrated that the pairs were systematically asymmetric: the offenders were younger, more often males, less wealthy, and more socially deviant than their victims, in spite of the fact that the victims were not representative for a normal population with regard to social deviance. The results of the study are more compatible with the supposition that violence can arise when certain situations are misinterpreted by the offender than with the proposal that violence is a result of similar life-styles in special segments of the population.