Perceived Danger and Offending: Exploring the Links Between Violent Victimization and Street Crime

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario.
Violence and Victims (Impact Factor: 1.28). 02/2013; 28(1):16-35. DOI: 10.1891/0886-6708.28.1.16
Source: PubMed


Perceptions of the danger of crime are typically discussed in the context of people's fear that they will be harmed by offenders. We shift the focus and examine the association between perceived danger and offending and the contribution of these perceptions to the well-established relationship between violent victimization and crime. We hypothesize that violence may embolden some victims and contribute to their perception that offending is not dangerous. We examine the mediating effects of these perceptions alongside two other potential links between violent victimization and crime: deviant definitions and risk seeking. Our analyses of data from a sample of homeless youth find that violent victimization is strongly associated with four types of offending--theft, drug use, drug selling, and prostitution--and that perceived danger significantly mediates several of these relationships. Our results suggest that perceived danger may be an important mechanism connecting victimization and crime.

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Available from: Bill Mccarthy, Feb 01, 2015