chapter  3
20 Pages

The Psychology of Victimhood


The psychology of victims and the dynamics of victimhood have been largely ignored by scholars and clinicians. Although the psychology of perpetrators and bystanders and the dynamics of posttraumatic stress disorder has been thoroughly examined (Ochberg & Willis, 1991; Viano, 1990; Walker, 1979), the psychology of victimhood as a personal and cultural phenomenon has not. In past years, the tendency was to blame victims; more recently, however, the tide has turned. It is now politically incorrect to explore the role of victims in violent systems. This is viewed as tantamount to blaming the victim.