Victimology and the Victim

Victimology is the study of crime and its victims. The perpetrator or offender is at one end of the spectrum and the victim at the other. The criminal and the victim represent opposing sides in the war against right or wrong. The victim is typically perceived as the innocent person who became prey to the guilty person who was on the opposing side of morality. The criminal was the bad guy and the victim was the good guy.

In 1948, however, Hans von Hentig, a German criminologist, began to change the societal attitudes towards crime following his study of several homicide victims. Hentig is credited as being a founder of the theory of victimology and was the first to suggest that the victim himself is “one of the many causes of crime,” reports Stephen Schafer, The Criminal and his Victim. Hentig’s theory altered societal attitudes and influenced change by altering the focus of a homicide investigation from the criminal to the victim.

Hentig’s approach was considered brilliant in the late 1940s. It was a new concept that quickly evolved and expanded into a theory. The victims were categorized and labeled while the investigators searched for what we now call an “unknown suspect.”

Investigating the victim’s lifestyle through interviews of friends and family helped law enforcement agents focus their resources and efforts on the victim as an attempt to locate the unknown criminal. They tried to understand why and how one person became a victim when another person did not. It is similar to reverse psychology and the reason victimology is sometimes referred to as “reverse criminology.” These strategies and tactics are still used today. The homicide investigator investigates the victim in an effort to understand the psychological aspects of the criminal which may lead to further clues about the whys and wherefores that led to one person’s death.

Reciprocal Arrangement

As a result of Hentig’s analysis of victims, he further theorized that there is “reciprocality” between the criminal and victim. This means that the victim and the criminal somehow share in the crime by providing somewhat of a reciprocal agreement and, therefore, some shared satisfaction as a result of the crime. Hentig’s theory stated that the victim shapes and molds the criminal and his crime. The relationship between perpetrator and victim, Hentig believed, created an intricate relationship and reciprocal arrangement between the criminal and the victim.

Victim Precipitation

Then, in 1963, another criminologist, Benjamin Mendelsohn, refined Hentig’s theory by expanding on it. Mendelsolm developed a similar idea which he called “victim precipitation.” Victim precipitation is a term which suggests that the victim of a crime had “an aptitude, although unconsciously, of being victimized,” reports Karola Dillenburger, The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy. Mendelshom concluded that victims “look, think, and act differently” than non-victims which increase their likelihood of becoming victims. There are as many types of victims as there are types of criminals.

Types of Victims

In 1948, when Hentig developed his theory about victimization and …

Na Akua Hawaii – Hawaiian Gods

Hawaiians are a deeply spiritual people. Their inspiration and mana (spiritual power, energy, and life force) come from the powerful forces of their natural world. This world was immense. It stretched beyond the eight main Hawaiian Islands and encompassed Kahiki, Aotearoa, Te Pito o te Henua and everything in-between. It spanned the breadth of earth’s largest ocean and included a sea of stars in an endless night sky. Based on the enormity of their world, it is no wonder why ancient Hawaiians were polytheistic.

There are over 400,000 different gods recognized in Hawaiian culture. These include the principal deities, demi-gods, ‘aumakua (ancestral gods), and many lesser akua (gods). Each had their own realm of influence over some aspect of Hawaiian society. In this pantheon of akua were those who had greater kuleana (responsibilities) such as war or politics and others with less important roles. Not all akua Hawai’i (Hawaiian gods) were worshiped by each individual. Gods varied from place to place and from island to island. Gods also differed according to a person’s area of expertise, for example, a canoe maker wouldn’t necessarily pray to the gods of hula (dance) for support and vice versa. There were, however, some deities and spiritual beliefs that all Hawaiians adhered to regardless of status or class.

Listed below are the major gods collectively known as Ka Ha (lit. the four) that influenced every aspect of the Hawaiian world. They were equally revered amongst all islands in ancient times and are recognized throughout Polynesia as some of the most powerful gods in Oceania.

In this list, readers will find the common name for each god, along with their sphere of influence. Also included are some of the main kinolau belonging to each akua. Kinolau literally means “many forms.” They are the physical manifestations of an akua and even though they often take the form of a plant or animal, kinolau are not limited to only flora and fauna.

Common name:

Ku

Other names:

Kunuiakea, Kuka’ilimoku.

God of:

War, politics, sorcery, farming, fishing, bird catching, canoe building.

Kinolau:

‘Ie’ie, ‘Ohi’a Lehua, Loulu, ‘Ulu, Niu, Pueo, Mano, ‘Io, Niuhi, ‘Ilio, Koa.

Common name:

Lono

Other names:

Lonoikaouali’i, Lonoikamakahiki.

God of:

Peace, fertility, agriculture, prosperity, sports, healing (medicinal herbs), love making.

Kinolau:

Pua’a, Kukui, Hapu’u, Ipu, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, ‘Ama’ama, ‘Ohua Palemo, thunder, clouds, lightning, rain.

Common name:

Kane

Other names:

Kanenuiakea.

God of:

Freshwater, life, procreation, canoe builders, increase of ‘o’opu, healing.

Kinolau:

Wai, ‘Ohe, Ko, La’i, Wauke, Kalo, forests, sunrise.

Common name:

Kanaloa

Other names:

N/A

God of:

Deep ocean, ocean winds, fishing, voyaging, healing.

Kinolau:

Ocean, Mai’a, Muhe’e, He’e, ocean winds, sunset.…