Integrating Crime Victims' Issues Into University and College Curricula

By Linda Williams

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) announced May 1 the release of Integrating Crime Victims ’ Issues into College and University Curricula, a series of multidisciplinary educational model materials designed to broaden college and university students’ exposure to and awareness of criminal victimization and its impact on victims and teach them about helpful responses when encountering victims.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), funded the University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Criminology and Justice Studies, along with partners from the University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and University of Massachusetts Medical School to develop innovative, multidisciplinary education models that address victimization issues and responses to crime victims. The results of these efforts were released today.

This free online resource consists of curriculum kits and teaching materials, including class exercises and sample assignments; a faculty involvement guide with steps for creating a supportive learning environment for students and responding to student experiences with victimization; and templates of internship agreements to increase undergraduate and graduate student placements in victim services. All materials are fully customizable and designed to be highly adaptable across multiple academic disciplines.

College and university faculty, victim service providers, and other stakeholders can use these online materials to
  • add crime victim components to existing courses and programs, 
  • develop new victim-oriented courses and programs, 
  • increase the availability of victim-oriented field placements for undergraduate and graduate interns
  • consider adding information about criminal victimization and its impact on victims to existing courses or developing new victim-oriented courses.

The overall goal of the curriculum is to provide comprehensive and quality education and training materials to educate future victim service providers and allied professionals by integrating victims’ issues into the nation’s educational system and to professionalize the field of victim services.

Learn more about the curricula.

Linda Williams, Ph.D., UMass Lowell; David Hirschel, Ph.D., UMass Lowell; and Alison Cares, Ph.D., Assumption College and UMass Lowell served as the Principal Investigators. Mary Frederick, UMass Lowell, was the Project Manager.

Project partners included: Andrea Leverentz, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Boston; Susan Krumholz, Ph.D., J.D., University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; and Ira Packer, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School.