Within this research program we look at causes of victimization, who victims are, where and why they become a victim, and the legal and social consequences in the short and long term. With this program, the NSCR aims to build an (inter)national research and knowledge center in the field of victimization, in collaboration with (inter)national universities, field organizations and interest groups.
Research into victimization takes place from different disciplines, such as criminology, psychology, law, psychiatry, medicine, anthropology and philosophy. Because research into victimization has been fragmented to date, the NSCR brings these different disciplines together. In this way we contribute to further knowledge and theory development about the various facets of victimization, such as etiology, prevention, interventions in the form of assistance and services to victims, consequences and recovery. In addition to victimization of crime, the research program also focuses on victimization of major events such as medical errors, traffic accidents and war crimes.
The research program focuses on four research questions. First, we study the prevalence of victimization, such as the nature, frequency and distribution of victimization. A second question revolves around the etiology of victimization: are certain people more at risk of becoming victims and are certain situations or activities more risky? What are effective prevention mechanisms? Third, we map out the responses to victimization. For example, by investigating whether victims’ rights are observed in practice, whether interventions are perceived as useful by victims, to what extent restorative justice practices contribute to recovery, and to what extent civil and collective compensation proceedings have the intended effect. Finally, we investigate the consequences of various forms of victimization in the short and long term.
Among other things, we study victims of (online) sexually transgressive behavior, domestic violence and cybercrime. We also investigate the effects of legal and administrative measures. We conduct research in the Netherlands, Europe and conflict and post-conflict areas into the impact of reparations by international courts on the lives of victims of international human rights violations and war crimes, and the impact of transitional justice on this. Finally, we are working on projects that focus on (collective) recovery measures and individualized peer group support.
Due to the diversity of victimological research, we use different theories within the research group, originating from different disciplines. For example, the needs-based model of reconciliation is applied to research into restorative mediation. There are also various studies that investigate restorative justice. In addition, we use classical victimological theories such as the ideal victim and revictimization, as well as more innovative theories such as viral justice and theories of intergenerational transmission and help-seeking behavior. Finally, this research group makes extensive use of mixed-method research: combinations of surveys and interviews, but also register data, file analysis, observations and ethnographic research.