(noun) A crime that is against the law but that only harms the individuals who consented to engage in it.
Example: Gambling, prostitution, and recreational drug use are typically discussed a possible victimless crimes.
Audio Pronunciation: (vic·tim·less crime)
Download Audio Pronunciation: victimless crime.mp3
- Plural: victimless crimes
- Term popularized by Edwin Schur in the Crimes Without Victims: Deviant Behavior and Public Policy: Abortion, Homosexuality, Drug Addictions (1965).
- The “victim” in a victimless crime is not a person but a given society and its beliefs, norms, and values.
- Victimless crimes are studied in criminology.
- Vice crimes are often victimless crimes.
- A type of crime.
- Davies, Pamela, Peter Francis, and Chris Greer. 2007. Victims, Crime and Society. Los Angeles: SAGE.
- Schur, Edwin M., and Hugo Adam Bedau. 1974. Victimless Crimes: Two Sides of a Controversy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
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How to Cite the Definition of Victimless Crime
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “victimless crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 25, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/victimless-crime/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
victimless crime. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/victimless-crime/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “victimless crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 25, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/victimless-crime/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“victimless crime.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/victimless-crime/>.