Criminal Offense: From the Perception of Perpetrator and Victim
Awareness Crime

Criminal Offense: From the Perception of Perpetrator and Victim

Criminal Offense

The increasing crime rate in India is a topic of concern as it is increasing at an alarming rate of 1.6 per cent per annum. Certain psychological disorders enhance the likelihood of a person committing a crime. People with mental illness are more likely to engage in violent behavior if they do not get adequate treatment. These people are frequently affected by their mental illness, such as command hallucinations. Other factors may include, the a history of substance abuse, joblessness, homelessness, and secondary impacts of mental illness, such as cognitive decline which increases the likelihood of executing a violent crime.

Other reasons for committing crime chiefly include poverty, lack of resources, emotional disturbance, and illiteracy; apart from the aforementioned reasons; a convict can also commit crime due to psychological illness, which includes conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and may also contain oppositional defiant disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder. The consensus is that those with mental illness are more likely to engage in violent or aggressive behavior. With this article we will explore the dynamics of criminal offenses from the perspectives of Perpetrators and victims, including emotions, intentions, and impact.

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Emotional Complexity in Crime

Due to the widespread belief that behavioral and conduct problems are signs of psychological disorders, crime and psychiatric disease are mistakenly associated with popular consciousness. The following article will focus on the emotions of the perpetrator while committing an offense offence; various emotions and their intensity shall also be discussed. The aftermath of an offense by a perpetrator on the victim is also discussed in the latter half of the article. This article thus tries to explain an affective aspect of crime from both perspectives, i.e., perpetrators and victims.

Narrative descriptions of offenders suggest that they experience various emotions while committing a crime, like humiliation, righteousness, arrogance, ridicule, cynicism, defilement, and vengeance that, in effect, give the offender the feeling that s/he had a moral right to attack. In intense psychological distress, even individuals of virtue may perform illegal acts. Their behavior is not acceptable, irrespective of their exceptional attitude, since their activities are deliberate and they have the ability and opportunity to conform their behavior to the law. However, these individuals may not necessarily mean to transmit a message of disdain, even though victims may first perceive it as such.

Offender Emotions:

Highlighted emotions, including confidence, tranquility, exhilaration, deliberation, courage, and anxiety, are experienced by offenders throughout the spectrum of crime and offence. The variability of emotions is also affected by the intentionality of a perpetrator, which may, in turn, decide the heinousness of a crime. As impressions of the intentionality of the perpetrator get more apparent, so does the effect of anger and compassion on the development of opinions. The significance of intentionality is connected to many different domains, including the domain of risks, as well as the domains of immorality and breaking the rules. In the evolutionary process, anger developed to handle rule infractions in small preparative societies with significant degrees of social reliance.

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The Psychological Impact of Crime Victimization

People who are the victim of crimes often endure a wide range of short-term and long-term psychological and emotional repercussions. People who have been the target of violent acts may experience a range of emotions, including shock, a loss of faith in the community, and guilt because they believe they might have done more to avert the incident. 

In addition, survivors of violent crime may have ambiguity and emasculation, as well as a heightened sense of vulnerability, which may result in intense anxiety for their safety. It has also been shown that being a victim of violent crime may lead to feelings of melancholy and rage, as well as the development of symptoms of stress, anxiety, despair, disorientation, and tension.

The victim events of injustice, such as being a subject of a violent crime, may lead to developing coping mechanisms. Instances of cognitive coping mechanisms that subjectively diminish injustice include things like downplaying the severity of the injury, as well as explaining and rationalizing the conduct of the offender. Behavioral coping responses directed to counterbalance injustice more objectively could involve disclosing the incident to the police, demanding the perpetrator’s punishment, claiming compensation, or trying to engage in self-administered righteousness and vengeance.

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All of these options are available to individuals. Such feelings are a kind of psychological self-defense since we react in this manner as we value ourselves, i.e., we possess self-respect, and the perpetrator’s insulting attitude questions our self-worth. Thus, rage and resentment are healthy emotions, even if they may only be present in thought and not in reality, since they represent proof of something good, particularly our self-respect, which represents our moral behavior.

Emotional Toll and Coping Challenges

Exposure to violent crime sometimes leads to PTSD in the patients; this is a direct consequence of facing crime. Victims who have PTSD have intense feelings of vengeance at times. It is believed that an extreme fixation with thoughts of retribution results from the disturbed emotion regulation that occurs in PTSD due to extended and frequent exposure to traumatic events. People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a significantly increased chance of suicidal thoughts and engaging in self-injurious behavior. A few coping techniques that victims utilize to cope with the consequences of a violent crime may be disastrous. For instance, participating in substance misuse (such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or abusing drugs) or unsafe sex are all examples of harmful coping mechanisms.

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Thus, it can be concluded that perpetrators of crime have an increased propensity to do the crime because of their psychological makeup, which may include behavioral disorders. However, psychological disorders are not the only reason for an offense’s commencement; there can be other significant reasons like poverty and illiteracy. There are a variety of emotions that are experienced by a person when a crime is committed. Victims essentially feel an emotion of hatred and anger, which is a healthy way of expression and also acts as a coping mechanism.

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