The Act on Protection of Crime Victim was fully revised in 2010, and in same year the Act on Protection Fund of Crime Victim was enacted. The Act on Protection of Crime Victim regulates investigation into actual conditions of crime victims to support them in reasonable and appropriate way. It is the time to research crime victims and their needs for support.
This study investigated crime victims that differed from crime victimization survey that investigated non-crime victims as well in proportion to the population. The precedent studies were forced to approach crime victims with help of supporting organizations: And, this study diversified government agencies in target and increased number of the samples to overcome limitation of precedent studies.
The study was aimed at more than 2,000 samples (cases): But, the study could obtain approximate half of target sample (1,158 cases) despite almost three months investigation time from middle of September 2010 to early December 2010. The investigation could make the victims suffer from another pains who already experienced serious criminal damages. So, the investigation was temporarily suspended during inspection period. As a result, the authors were forced to inspect the victims who were permitted not to reply so that results of sampling differed from probability and some of the questionnaires had no answer. The interviewees' experience and attitudes varied depending upon either crime types or organization taking care of the victims not to generalize the answers. So, this study introduced the interviewees' answers for reference only and investigated difference of the answers by either crime type or government agency to classify into two, that is to say, actual conditions of losses and damages and desire of the support.
The crime victims suffered from difficulties and damages:
At first, the crime victims suffered from physical injury, in other words, the interviewees at not only crime victim assistance centers but also consulting service suffered from physical injury more than remaining groups did. The victims at the crime victim assistance centers suffered from physical injury more, and the ones at consulting service also did seriously. (Table 3-21, Chapter 3, paragraph 2). Many interviewees at consulting service consisted of two, that is to say, the ones at consulting service of family violence, and the ones at consulting service of sexual abuse. The former had distribution being similar to that of the victims of violent crimes (Table 3-22, Chapter 3, paragraph 2). Not only victims of violent crimes but also the ones of family violence were thought to be given treatment of physical injury as well as countermeasures against aftereffect in similar way. Some of countermeasures for the victims of family violence shall be applied to the ones of violent crimes as well, and those for the victims of violent crimes shall be done to the ones of family violence. This is because treatment of the crime victim assistance center for the victims differed from that of family violence consulting service. The victims of both violent crimes and family violence suffered from physical injury similarly. Both victims had no difference of assistance from either offenders or insurance firms (the assistance from both were very much low) (Table 3-31 to Table 3-35, Chapter 3 paragraph 2). But, the assistance from either the government or public organizations had much difference to be likely to produce problems (Table 3-37, Table 3-38). In other words, the crime victim assistance centers were given less assistance of physical injury than family violence consulting services were done. The crime victim assistance centers need to improve the problem.
Treatment of mental aftereffect of the criminal victims varied depending upon assistance organizations. The victims at either family violence consulting services or sexual abuse consulting services had more mental aftereffects than the ones of violent crimes at the crime victim assistance centers had (Table 3-40 and Table 3-41, Chapter 3, paragraph 4). The victims of violent crimes at crime victim assistance centers were given much less treatment of mental aftereffect than the ones at consulting services were done. And, the victims were given much less treatment from either the government or public organization. The consulting services were aimed at treatment. The victims of violent crimes at crime victim assistance centers had mental aftereffects as much as the victims at consulting services had: But, the former was given much less treatment of mental aftereffect. The crime victim assistance centers need to develop mental treatment function by themselves or to have close relations with consulting services to share roles.
And, the press gave victims secondary losses and damages. Precedent studies included so many cases that were not reported at the press, so that they reported secondary losses and damages absolutely or relatively less. But, this study reported higher victim rate after controlling report of the press. (Table 3-77, Chapter 3, paragraph 5).
This study differed from precedent studies at the findings of the victims' desire of assistance:
The organizations that either the victims or their family members relied upon varied depending upon victim himself or herself or his or her family. (Table 4-37, Chapter 4, paragraph 5). The victim visited consulting service by himself or herself more often, and asked his or her family member to visit crime victim assistance centers. This was because victims of violent crimes had difficulty at visiting crime victim assistance center by themselves immediately after occurrence of the crime. The ones who were forced to visit crime victim assistance center mostly were said to be victims of violent crimes and their family members. The ones who suffer from violent crimes are expected to be fallen into panic status immediately after a crime because of many factors. How does the victim visit the center by himself or herself under such a situation? Therefore, the victim may not visit the center and instead his or her family member can visit it after making efforts to find out.
Either crime victim or his or her family said that they could get a lot of help from crime victim assistance center and others, and the findings of this study had not much difference with that of precedent studies. The victims can be satisfied with victim assistance organizations regardless of their types. And, the victims do not ask the organizations to give assistance extraordinarily, and they add requests to expand current level of the services. On the contrary, either crime victims or their family members shall be allowed to get in touch with government agencies promptly and efficiently that is thought to be important. Either crime victim or his or her family could find out crime victim assistance center by visit (6%) (Table 4-48, Chapter 4, paragraph 5). They could find out the center owing to introduction of either police (26%) or prosecutor (13.2%), and the aggregation of both channels did not reach half. The crime victims, in particular, in the case of violent crimes, are usually fallen into panic state immediately after the crime to have difficulties at searching for crime victim assistance center.
Therefore, the crime victim assistance center had better find out crime victims more often, or either police or prosecutor should inform crime victims and their family of the center. The police shall inform crime victims and their family firstly as far as possible considering the police's prompt actions.
The study suggested three policies:
Firstly, the crime victim assistance organizations shall strengthen organic connection or supplement functions of those organizations. The consulting services having long history can be differentiated from newly organized crime victim assistance center at types of crime types and others to be short of some functions and to let crime victims have difficulties at being given assistance.
The crime victim assistance center that is focused on victims of violent crimes are short of either consulting service or mental treatment, while the consulting services are short of assistance services of the center. The victims need both crime victim assistance center and consulting service. Both organizations need to supplement functions each other to solve the problem. Each one may keep its own function by each type of crime and have all of the functions by itself: If not, each organization can be combined in organic way to supplement insufficient functions. The latter may be practical considering budget and expenses of the crime victim assistance, and the former shall be partially used. For instance, robbery crime victim is not allowed to be given consulting service of psychological treatment at family violence consulting service.
Secondly, the crime victim assistance center shall not expect that the victims would visit it by themselves, and it shall let victims visit with almost obligation. The crime victims, in particular, victims of violent crimes are often unable to visit crime victim assistance center by themselves because of impact of losses and damages, and tremendous physical and mental aftereffect. The crime victim assistance center and other assistance organizations, the police, the prosector shall connect and invite victims each other.
Thirdly, the Act on Protection of Crime Victims regulates that studies like this study shall be made continuously in the future. The purpose of continuous study is to plan assistance ways as reasonable as possible. The studies that are similar to this study shall reflect trials and errors to improve as follow: Those studies do not have relations with methodologies such as sampling to consider secondary suffering of the crime victims firstly. This is because crime victims may have great difficulties at recollecting their suffering. Similar types of studies need to consider thought of the victims as much as possible. In other words, interviewers who are almost professionals from point of view of therapy, for instance, psychiatrist and doctors of consulting service and psychology, had better be employed even for the purpose of research of crime victims. Those studies may require enormous amount of expenses. Good methodologies shall be used constantly not to give the victims suffer from another pains.
Keyword : Crime Victims, Victim Survey, Crime Victim's Needs for Support, Protection and Assistance to Crime Victims, Victim Assistance Program