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Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”Developments in Critical Victimology$
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Marian Duggan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447338765

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447338765.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

Creating ideal victims in hate crime policy

Creating ideal victims in hate crime policy

(p.43) Two Creating ideal victims in hate crime policy
Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”

Hannah Mason-Bish

Policy Press

This chapter suggests that problems over the perception of the nature of hate crime mean that often victims of disablist hate crime are overlooked. Developed partly through campaign group activism and high profile cases, hate crime has become a solid part of criminal justice policy and practice. The legal framework recognises different forms of crime motivated by prejudice or hostility towards victims based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or disability. However, this chapter demonstrates that there are particular problems with the implementation of provisions related to disablist hate crime which can be understood by utilising Christie’s ‘ideal victim’ typology. Born out of an identity politics which sought recognition for the specific harms of hate crime, the development of policy has been shaped by sometimes simplistic perceptions of what it is to be victimised, often framed around issues of stranger danger and attributing recognition to ‘deserving victims’. This reliance on identity politics often means that victims of disablist hate crime are portrayed as weak and vulnerable, which can contribute to anxiety. This chapter shows the relevance of Christie’s ideal victim thesis due to an increasing emphasis on identity politics being used to determine ‘deserving’ and ‘legitimate’ victims.

Keywords:   disability, hate crime, victim deservedness, vulnerability, identity politics

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