Victim Vulnerability

Victim Vulnerability

Author: Eric Anton Kreuter

Publisher: Nova Publishers

ISBN: 1600212824

Category: Psychology

Page: 159

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An examination of the psychological literature on victimisation shows disproportionately that that we know more about the predator than we do the victim. Moreover, almost all the literature on the victim is presented from either a reductionistic or cognitive-behavioural point of view. This book examines the psychology of a victim of repeated criminal acts from the existential-humanistic perspective. The method used is the single case study. The subject, currently age 51, a pilot, was the victim of identity theft, extortion, and duress. These crimes, some of which are treated under federal law as violent by their nature or effect, resulted in a large, unrecoverable financial loss, suspension of the pilot's medical certification required to operate aircraft, abrupt termination of his chosen career, a continuing governmental record of being delusional despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, lasting emotional and physical distress, as well as other consequences. Meanwhile, the predator has harmed dozens of individuals, forming a diverse cohort. A life history of the subject is presented as a context for the specific chronology of events defining his victimisation, which is followed by an existential interpretation. Interviews and archival data, including written and audio forms of documentation, have been incorporated into the study. Seven criteria were selected from existential-humanistic psychology that have been applied in the exploration of the behaviour and personality of the victim: (1) the interior life-world of the person; (2) self-actualisation needs vs. adjustment to social norms; (3) meaning through suffering; (4) being in the face of non-being; (5) attitudes toward death and annihilation; (6) dreams, visions, and mythic experience; and (7) existential use of the void. The study found characteristics of the psyche of a particular victim that may have made him vulnerable. These characteristics include: being overly trusting; being under the influence of a hero-rescuer archetype; and being overly reliant on instruments due to training as a pilot. Mainstream psychology has ignored this dimension, which is needed to understand the total person.
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