A typology of victim characterization in television crime dramas
Fictional crime drama, Gender, Victim blame
Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture
The purpose of this paper is to assess the nature of female victim blame in crime dramas. We focus specifically on how female victims of interpersonal violence, rape/sexual assault, and stalking are characterized in the 2003-2004 season of Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order, Law & Order-Special Victims Unit, and Without a Trace. Using a content analysis, we examine statements made about victims and offenders and create a typology representing the characterization of female victims in relation to the characterization of offenders. We find that victim blame does not occur in an overt, direct manner. Rather, it occurs covertly through the relationship between victims and offenders. When offenders are characterized more positively, victims are portrayed negatively and as having some responsibility for their victimization. © 2010 School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany.
Original Publication Date
Rader, Nicole E. and Rhineberger-Dunn, Gayle M., "A typology of victim characterization in television crime dramas" (2010). Faculty Publications. 2062.