In terms of restorative justice principles, the focus is on “repairing the wrongs” (Randall, 2013, p. 473) and most significantly, includes participation of all parties involved as well as the larger community. Involvement of the community creates the potential for recognition of the broader impact of crime, often including other people in the victim’s life such as family members and even people who are unknown to the victim. However, what may be most significant is the understanding that crime not only impacts the broader community, it is also a product of the broader community.
Melanie Randall (2013)
VICTIMOLOGY AND SURVIVOR STUDIES: BRIDGING PERSPECTIVES IN A TRANSDISCIPLINARY
LANDSCAPE OF PRACTICE
Victimology is a transdisciplinary field of study focused on harm, victimization, victims and survivors of crimes, victims and survivors of non-criminal victimizations including human rights violations (Quinney, 1972), and the societal relationships and responses to victimization (Landau, 2014). The historical and theoretical transitions in victimology as a field of study are evident in the societal changes that have occurred over recent years, changes that prioritize the rights and needs of victims and survivors. However, missing from the literature is evidence of dedicated victimology programs and corresponding research plans from Canadian degree granting institutions. The transdisciplinary foci and multiple perspectives on victimization and survivorship from criminology, sociology, psychology, law, justice and legal studies, medicine and gender studies, and various community organisations create a rich resource that can inform and help create positive change in the education and practice of interveners and responders, advocates, actors in justice processes, policy makers and scholars. Harm prevention is a consideration when assessing the urgency of need for victimology education. For example, a study with victims of sexualized violence found negative interaction with community responders is associated with poor health outcomes and is “hurtful in its own right” (Campbell, 2001, p. 1253). Researchers concluded that “perfunctory” (p. 1254) instruction on issues of violence to women offered by police academies and medical schools is insufficient. They recommended that instruction be provided about “the beneficial and detrimental effects” (p. 1254) of responder interactions and the potential impact on victims. When responders have insufficient education in the needs and experiences of victims, the risk of doing harm through negative interactions increases (Tamarit, 2010). The Victimology and Survivor Studies research will create a data resource that will help to refine and develop ideas, bridge diverse perspectives, and determine priorities in victimology and survivor studies. The identification of emergent themes and priorities will inform future program development initiatives.
Heather Fox Griffith
Heather Fox Griffith