Why Don’t Victims Report Crimes?
The main reason victims don’t report crimes to the police or the FBI is that they are either afraid, ashamed, or prefer to handle the matter in another way, such as report the incident to someone else.
According to a 2012 study conducted by the U.S. Justice Department National Center for Crime Victims, that analyzed the reasons that roughly 52 percent of all crimes were not reported to the police from 2006 to 2010.
Here are some of the reasons that victims stated for not reporting:
CRIMES DON’T SEEM WORTHY OF REPORTING – THEY ARE UNSURE IF THERE WAS A CRIME
Eighteen percent of people who don’t reported crimes told the Justice Department they didn’t consider the crimes important enough to take to the police. This is especially true in cases of household thefts, where the value of the stolen goods can be small and/or covered by insurance. In comparison, very few car thefts go unreported.
PEOPLE DON’T TRUST THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS
A substantial number of people believe the police can’t or won’t help them. Sixteen percent of people in the Justice Department survey said the police are unwilling or unable to help. This is even more prevalent among residents in big cities, where mistrust of the police tends to be higher than in suburban or rural communities. Deanna Wilkinson, Ohio State assistant professor of human science, told The Columbus Dispatch that urban crime victims often don’t trust the motives or the effectiveness of the local police or don’t want to be drawn into an investigation that might involve testifying in court, missing time at work or other personal inconveniences.
FEAR OF EXPOSURE OR RETALIATION MOTIVATES THEIR SILENCE
Reporting a crime can be scary. Thirteen percent of those in the Justice Department study who failed to report crimes cited potential reprisals as the main factor for their silence. This group includes victims who knew the perpetrators and sought to protect them from police. Victims of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence often don’t report these crimes to the police out of fear of reprisals, fear that the justice system will treat mistreat them, or to protect a spouse or significant other who abused them.
SHAME IS OFTEN TO BLAME IN SUCH CASES
As a 2007 National Institute of Justice survey discovered, the percentage of crimes reported to the police are particularly low on college campuses in cases of rape and sexual assault. The statistics, cited in a 2014 Time magazine article, found that only 15 percent of such crimes were reported to police. This generally aligns with the 2012 Justice Department report, which found 67 percent of rape and sexual assault victims of any age avoided contacting the police. Many victims wanted to maintain their anonymity to protect their privacy or cited embarrassment or shame as reasons to keep quiet. Many victims were uncertain whether the legal definition covered their situation and many doubted the police would believe their story.
VICTIMS REPORT TO OTHER AUTHORITIES
The Justice Department study found that the leading reasons people cite for not reporting crimes to the police stemmed from a decision to handle the problem themselves or report the incident to other officials, such as a school official, guard or someone else outside the police department. This was particularly true in cases of crimes at schools, where a whopping 76 percent of crimes weren’t reported to the police.
In the case of SCAM victims the number of victims that DO NOT report the crime is above 90%
Is it any wonder that law enforcement has not prioritized scams before now?
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
- SCAMMERS ARE LIARS – unless you live in Africa, you have nothing to fear from scammers. They only want to make money!
- BLACKMAIL – Scammers are? Liars! Remember that! They don’t have time to waste on someone that will not pay. They will threaten, but it’s empty talk.
- VIOLENCE – same thing, Scammers are liars and will use threats to get what they want. They DO NOT have vast networks of people around the globe – the risk is simply too high. They hide in Africa.
- SOCIAL STIGMA – Well it is embarrassing that you gave away so much money, but you were manipulated, Now become an adult and do the right thing! You must report the crime to the police and Anyscam.com (so the rest of the world is informed), but you don’t have to share it with family and friends (unless you drew them into it).
- IRRESPONSIBLE – if you do not report the crime, you are doing exactly what the scammer wants you to do! You are personally letting them get away with it, and victimize someone else – don’t put that on your conscience too.
- FRIENDS & FAMILY – If you friended the scammer on social media, you may have lead the scammer right to your family and friends through your friends list. You need to set your shame aside and do the right thing by telling them immediately. Even if they do not understand, it is still your responsibility.
- GUILT – Is a terrible thing. You feel guilty about being scammed, and how you went along with what the scammer asked you to do. But now that you know, guilt is not an excuse. As a responsible adult you have to do the right thing – you can’t remain silent.
How can you get over the scam, if you let your fear silence you from reporting the crime?
We are not saying it is easy. We are not saying that others will understand. We are not saying that you will not be afraid. But these are just excuses for not doing the thing that needs to be done. The sooner you do it, you can then begin to recover and get over it.
Please do the right thing!
Miami Florida USA
Thanks to Jim Thomas for portions.
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