Integrating Crime Victims’ Issues Into College and University Curricula

These curricula were designed for use by faculty and university departments and programs to incorporate multidisciplinary educational approaches for integrating crime victim issues into their curricula. One of U.S. Department of Justice. Office for Victims of Crime aims is to increase the role of educators and educational institutions in addressing the issues that crime victims face.”

The curriculum materials are highly customizable and were developed to aid in incorporating concepts of victimology into established courses and majors of study, create new related courses and increase related internships and extracurricular offerings on the topics.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime
Program Name Level of Evidence Format Target Audience Special Features
Integrating Crime Victims’ Issues Into College and University Curricula
  • In-person Workshop
  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate Students
  • Faculty and staff
Criminology curriculum
Learning Objectives

Curriculum Kits:

  • Providing Care and Support for Victims of Crime (50+ minutes)
  • The Impact of Victimization (60 minutes)
  • Responding to Victims of Crime: Basics for Interns (2.5 hours, split for 2 class periods)
  • The Nature and Extent of Criminal Victimization (50 -75 minutes)
  • Victims and the Police: A Victim’s Journey Through the Criminal Justice System (50 minutes)
  • Victims and the Public Prosecutor: A Victim’s Journey Through the Criminal Court System (50-75 minutes)
  • Who is a Victim of Crime (20-40 minutes)
  • Victim Awareness: Reading, Analyzing, and Writing Victim Impact Statements (70-95 minutes)
  • Addressing the Needs of Crime Victims in Medical Practice (Medical Students 60 minute lecture, Residents 90 minute seminar)

Faculty Involvement: Resources include guides and information on the realities of victimization on college campus as well as guidelines for instruction and lesson design on the topic. The website also provides a link to free Victim Assistance Training Online.

Promoting Student Involvement: Information on how to generate interest in Victimology and increase involvement on the topic is available for download including templates for Internship Agreements and sample advertisement materials.


Each Curriculum Kit includes various methods including Power Point presentations, class exercises, assignments, readings and handouts. Instructors’ guides explain considerations and techniques for presenting material as faculty or victim advocates.


The curriculum includes nine Curriculum Kits: Seven are designed for college students in general, one for medical students and residents, and one (split into two class sessions) is specifically for students engaging in victimology-related internships.


All Curriculum Kits, which include presentations and related teaching materials, can be downloaded for free. Information and resources about Faculty Involvement and Promoting Student Involvement are also available online.

Population Served

General college student body, faculty, victim advocates, medical students/residents

Theoretical Basis For Approach

The project is designed to broaden college and university students' awareness of crime victims' issues and knowledge of appropriate responses, and to increase the number and diversity of students exposed to and educated in crime victims' issues. The approach is based on the premise that by adding a victim issues component to existing courses and programs, developing new victim-oriented courses and programs, and increasing the availability of victim-oriented field placements, victim issues will obtain a new level of prominence in university and college curricula.

The Integrating Crime Victims’ Issues Into College and University Curricula program was developed by experts at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell, School of Criminology and Justice Studies, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth and UMass Medical School. Data on crime rates come from three federally funded studies: The FBI Uniform Crime Report, Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey,and the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide.

Program Effectiveness

The Office for Victims of Crime found the curriculum materials to be effective with college students during a pilot study. The final material was peer reviewed by education leaders in criminal justice, but has not been subject to any published, peer-reviewed research studies.


Assumption College


The curriculum program provides ample resources for designing and implementing Curriculum materials in a variety of department and class structures. Once administrators and faculty have succeeded in structuring the program ongoing institutional support will likely be needed. Information on the website highlights the likelihood of students and survivors to disclose to faculty members and known victim advocates on campus. These individuals may require additional resources and support, especially if the num faculty members and known victim advocates on campus. These individuals ber of people involved in the work is small. Proper preparation may help curb burn out and solidify support structures for victims and their support people on campus.


All presentations and related materials for the curriculum can be downloaded for free. An online Victim Assistance Training is also available for free online.