Victimization In The Gangs

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Gangs throughout North America have been known to commit acts of violent victimization, towards other gang members and civilians alike, as well as other forms of organized crime. This can and has led to violence throughout communities which can cause unease and fear to propagate through them. One way that people cope with the problem is to join another gang within or close to their community. One may do this is to seek a sense of safety within the gang, and so that they can help provide protection against any that may wish to harm them. Youth are especially susceptible to this as they are often influenced by their surroundings and can find themselves being inducted into these gangs. They are usually used to do the low-level activities in the…show more content…
There are many ways in which one within a gang may commit a criminal act, whether it be the selling of narcotics, guns, assault and battery, or robbery. This, as well as putting the victim at risk of serious injury, can also put the perpetrator at risk of injury too. This can be from a failed attempt where the victim fought back, a deal going bad turning into a robbery and more. In the journal Gang Membership and Violent Victimization Peterson, Taylor, and Esbensen (2004: 795-796) conducted a study on victimization with 31% of the sample being gang members and found that "gang members account for a disproportionate amount of crime … commit[ing] approximately 69% of all violent offenses and 82% of the more serious violent crimes of aggravated assault, robbery, and sexual assault". This quote is interesting because it sheds light on the fact that when one is inducted into a gang, they have a much higher chance of performing the very act of victimization they were trying to avoid. This increased exposure leads to a greater chance of being victimized by various sources. It can also draw attention to the perpetrator which can mean they may be targeted for acts of retaliation. This, in turn, can lead to the youth who joined the gang to be exposed to victimization even if it was not what they wanted or intended to…show more content…
The book Youth Violence by Esbensen, Peterson, Taylor, and Freng (2010:107) goes into individual victimization rates in gang and non-gang members in detail. In the text, they state that, for gang and non-gang members respectively, 60% of participants have been hit compared to 43%, 38% have been attacked compared to 8%, and 21% have been robed compared to 7%. They also found that for their pool of non-gang members only 46% had experienced a form of violent victimization compared to 70% of the gang members. These statistics help to solidify the paragraph above by showing the difference in victimization rates between the two classes. They clearly show that when compared to non-gang members, gang members end up with a greater probability of being victimized. With all of that in mind, these statistics directly tie back into the thesis showing the proportion of victimization between gang and non-gang members. The first paragraph shows that gang members commit crimes at a higher rate than non-gang members, which could be the reason communities become unsettled and eventually join gangs. The thought proses could have been to join the group committing the crime so you yourself don't have to be on the receiving end. Unfortunately, due to the nature of crimes they commit, they put themselves into situations where they run the risk of getting victimized just because they are the
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