The Victim-Offender Overlap: Examining the Relationship Between Victimization and Offending

Published: January, 2019

The relationship between victimization and offending, also referred to as the victim-offender overlap, is widely documented. While crime victims do not always become offenders, most offenders have been victims. The victimization experience can produce negative physical, mental, and behavioral outcomes in individuals and some may go on to commit their own crimes. This article outlines leading theoretical explanations for the victim-offender overlap, factors that influence victimization and offending, and recommendations for practitioners to address violent victimization and prevent subsequent offending.