The impact of victimisation on feelings of unsafety in different welfare regimes

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Abstract

This article examines the relationship between the experience of victimization and feelings of unsafety in 21 European countries. Using multilevel regression, it investigates how different institutional factors moderate the effects of victimization on feelings of unsafety. The empirical analyses are based on data from three rounds of the European Social Survey (6 to 8). Theoretically, the article combines a traditional victimological approach, which suggests that victims of crime feel more unsafe than non-victims owing to an increased sense of vulnerability and an institutional perspective in which certain institutional conditions are seen as moderating the relationship between victimization and feelings of unsafety. Using a multilevel framework, results show that, in countries with a high level of spending on social protection, low inequality and high levels of trust in the criminal justice system, the negative effects of being victimized on feelings of unsafety are smaller. Our results further show that the connection between victimization and feelings of unsafety is much weaker in the Nordic welfare regimes than in all other welfare regimes. The article concludes that the Nordic welfare state and criminal justice system seem to be relatively effective in limiting victims’ feelings of unsafety and thus reducing the overall sense of unsafety in society
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
ISSN1477-3708
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

Keywords

  • Fear of crime
  • Victimazation
  • Welfare regime
  • Cross-national comparison
  • Multilevel
  • European social survey

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