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Du côté des victimes, une autre perspective sur le vol à main armée

Consortium Erudit
Publication Date
DOI: 10.7202/017219ar
  • Law
  • Psychology


Armed robbery has long been regarded as a crime against property. But from the victim's point of view, it is a violent crime which endangers their lives and constitutes a traumatic experience. Nine years of research are briefly summarized with special attention to a recent survey of victims of commercial robbery in Montreal in which 440 persons were interviewed. It is difficult to describe a victim unless researchers agree on some basic definition of who should be defined as a victim. This is the first subject of discussion. After a short description of the way victimizations occur, the consequences of the robbery are discussed, and the responses of the mental health and justice systems are presented. Most victims do not resist and those who do so seem to be reacting to past victimizations or to an excess of violence on the part of the robber. Nearly 90 % of victims suffer some kind of emotional trauma and far from being helped in this regard, this trauma is often aggravated by the criminal justice system's response. It seems to affect the victim much more than the financial, physical and social consequences of the crime, which had little effect on their attitudes and needs. The main problem with armed robbery is that it creates and perpetuates a climate of suspicion, fear and anger very damaging to social relationships. These negative effects can be reduced, however, and the study points out some of the means by which this can be accomplished.

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