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Victims' perceptions of the criminality of their assault experiences: Analysis of physical assaults and threats by males captured in the 2005 Personal Safety Survey

Author(s) Clare, Joe and Frank Morgan
Title Victims' perceptions of the criminality of their assault experiences: Analysis of physical assaults and threats by males captured in the 2005 Personal Safety Survey
Source Criminology Research Council,July 2009
Date 2009
Document type Research report
URL http://www.criminologyresearchcouncil.gov.au/reports/12-0607.pdf
Summary This study, using data from the 2005 Personal Safety Survey in Australia, explores the relationship between assault incidents captured by surveys and the victim's perception of the criminality of their experience. In addition to looking at all assaults separate analyses were conducted for male and female victims and in addition to analysing physical assaults the authors also incorporated analyses of the relationship between physical threats and perceived crime. It was found that parameters targeting victims' histories of abuse, level of fear and relative disadvantage were generally not useful in predicting the extent to which they perceived assaults and threats to be crimes. For women it was found that their relationship with the perpetrator had a significant influence on the perceived criminality of their victimisation and females were less likely to perceive incidents to be crimes when the perpetrator was known. The study also showed that male perceptions of incident criminality are not affected by victim-offender relationships but more likely to be influenced by activities such as heavy drinking or the incident occurring in licensed premises. Another important finding was that the Personal Safety Survey indicated there was a range of incidents which are not perceived as a crime, but which are still reported to police.
Keywords Victimisation; perceptions; personal safety survey; threats
Topic Victimisation