Victims of crime suffer tremendous psychological damage as a result of the trauma that they experience. The effects can be totally debilitating and can destroy their lives. The author discusses the reactions, symptoms of acute stress and stages of recovery of crime victims. She also discusses post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), and the kind of help victims need to recover from their injuries. Finally, she suggests how mental health professionals in particular and society in general could better respond to crime victims.
The article presents the situation regarding violence to women for the region of Montreal. The nature and extent of the problem is examined and the risk factors are dealt with from a multidimensional point of view. The community and para-public services associated with this problem are described briefly and an account is given of the impact of past and present action. Some future prospects are also introduced.
With the advent of the Bill of Rights, making the offender less accessible, journalists are falling back more than ever on the victim to feed their daily tales of victimization.
The author analyses the various forms this source of victimization takes; for some victims, they are generally crimes that are spectacular and violent, and are often perpetrated against the most susceptible and vulnerable victims.
Each type of media (radio, dailies, weeklies, television) represents a particular way of adding to the suffering of the victim, and each has its way of “exploiting” the victim. The victim becomes a tool of the media, both commercially and ideologically, often with the connivance of the police, who also uses the victim for its purposes.
The victim is portrayed in stereotype, according to the type of victimization reported and the offender implicated, creating a guilty or innocent victim, and literally depriving him of his own account of his victimization to make it an object of curiosity that sells well.
Finally, the author analyzes how the police and the media, by interaction, can exploit the victim under the pretext of prevention or crime control and even through certain phenomena such as the reporting of crime waves promoting fear of crime. The article concludes that the media should have more respect for victims of crime.
In October 1987, an experimental program was introduced in the Montreal Law Courts, inviting victims of crime and personal attack, as well as victims of burglary, to inform the Court of the consequences they suffered because of these acts; the program was called the Déclaration de la victime. An evaluative study of this experiment was initiated at the same time. The article presents some results : the response of the victims when offered the opportunity of taking part in the judicial debate, the content of the declarations, their use by the members of the Court, their possible influence on the proceedings and on the judicial decisions.
This article looks at the 1990's agenda for Québec to improve the protection for victims of crime.
It summarises the progress made by Québec in implementing the United Nations Declaration on Victim Rights. It compares the progress in Québec with other provinces and countries.
It examines how police leadership to implement procedures that respect victims of crime could help the police, while improving significantly respect for victims. It discusses how Québec could combine the civil and criminal interests of victims of crime, while reducing court backlogs. It stresses the importance of reducing victimisation by building on the Agenda for Safer Cities developed in Montréal in 1989. It also calls for more comparative research on the extent to which reforms in different jurisdictions are meeting the needs of crime victims.