A model of crime victim decision making

M. S. Greenberg, R. B. Ruback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This paper presents a three-stage model of victims' decision to notify the police. First, victims must label the event as a crime, then they evaluate its seriousness, and finally, they decide what to do. Two major sources of stress are assumed to motivate victims: a sense of injustice, and feelings of vulnerability which lead to fear of subsequent victimization. Calling the police is, however, only one of several modes of reducing such stress. Because of the arousal and confusion occasioned by criminal victimization, victims are highly susceptible to social influence. Relevant data are reviewed and policy implications are drawn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-616
Number of pages17
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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