Behavior: Is the Victim Guilty?

After the slaying of Robert Kennedy, University of Houston Psychologist Richard Evans characterized the Kennedys as "victims in search of assassins." Evans' concept—that victims often invite and help to shape crimes—was not widely held three years ago. Now it is established as a new discipline known as "victimology."

At its last conference, the International Criminological Society included a special session on the behavioral patterns of victims. For the first time in the U.S., three courses in victimology are being offered, one at the University of California, the others at Northeastern University and at...

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