Recognizing the Paradigm of the Unknowing Victim and the Implications of Liminality

Ost, Suzanne and Gillespie, Alisdair (2023) Recognizing the Paradigm of the Unknowing Victim and the Implications of Liminality. British Journal of Criminology. ISSN 0007-0955

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This article presents the novel conceptualisation of the unknowing victim (UV) and addresses the ethical ramifications of this status. Criminology and victimology have primarily focused on knowing victims, but certain crimes occur without the victim’s detection (eg sexual assault of an unconscious victim). There is a critical liminal dimension to UV’s status: they are on the threshold between unawareness and conscious awareness of their status as victims of crime and are thus situated on the brink of experiencing harm through their own discovery, or someone else’s disclosure, of the crime committed against them. We call for the recognition of UVs and the temporalities of their embodied experiences, and argue that there is an ethical imperative to prioritise their lived experience.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
British Journal of Criminology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
?? unknowing victimscrimeliminalityignorancedisclosureharmyes - externally fundedcriminologylawpathology and forensic medicineh social sciences ??
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Deposited On:
31 May 2023 09:55
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 23:51