Victim Studies (VCST)

VCST 5364. Seminar in Victimology. 3 Hours.

Students critically examine the study of criminal victimization. Students analyze theories of crime victimization, findings from contemporary research, typologies, best practices, and policy implications.

VCST 5365. Seminar in Crime Victim Services and Management. 3 Hours.

Students examine topics in non-profit agency management with a particular focus on residential shelters. This course satisfies a core requirement of the Master of Science in Victim Services Management program. By the end of this course, students examine and critically evaluate evidence-based practices and laws that govern shelter service delivery.

VCST 5366. Advocacy and Case Management. 3 Hours.

Students engage with an advanced understanding of advocacy work. Bridging research, policy, and practice, students explore the history of the victim rights movement and principles of empowerment-based advocacy. Issues surrounding confidentiality, professionalism, and ethics in service provision are also explored.
Prerequisite: VCST 5364.

VCST 5368. Human Sex Trafficking. 3 Hours.

Students explore the scope and magnitude of global and domestic human sex trafficking as well as synthesize the research on antecedents to entry into the sex trade and mental and physical health outcomes from trafficking victimization. Traffickers and solicitors are examined in light of criminological and victimology theory and research. Students evaluate and assess public policy, criminal justice responses, and social service delivery for victims of trafficking in terms of effectiveness.
Prerequisite: VCST 5364.

VCST 5370. Elder Abuse and Victimization. 3 Hours.

Students engage in a broad-based study of social, physical, and psychological aspects of elder abuse and victimization. Topics include the dynamics of aging, types of elder abuse, the incidence and prevalence of these crimes, and prevailing theoretical perspectives. Particular attention is paid to elder abuse and the law, along with social service, law enforcement, and medical responses to these offenses. In addition, students explore long-range trends in aging in the U.S. and national, state, and local initiatives to protect the population's eldest members.
Prerequisite: VCST 5364.

VCST 5371. Interpersonal Violence. 3 Hours.

Students explore non-lethal and lethal violence occurring over the life course between or among persons who are typically related by blood, legal union, or cohabitation. This includes intimate partners, children, parents and other family members, as well as close friends. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation of community-based resources for preventing or responding to interpersonal violence, along with history of public policy. In addition, students evaluate the challenges of coordinating efforts among legal, medical, and social service providers.
Prerequisite: VCST 5364.

VCST 5383. Family Violence. 3 Hours.

Students evaluate research policy and practice on the study on family violence. Students examine victim-offender relationship dynamics, theoretical explanations for battering, danger assessment, barriers to help-seeking, and legal considerations.
Prerequisite: None.

VCST 5384. Child Abuse and Neglect. 3 Hours.

Students evaluate research, policy, and practice in addressing the history and development of the child saving movement in the United States. Students examine practical considerations for advocates, including mandatory reporting, confidentiality, and abuse and neglect indicators.
Prerequisite: None.

VCST 5385. Non-Profit Grant Writing. 3 Hours.

Students are familiarized with the process of non-profit grant writing. Students write grants for the mock shelter programs they developed in VCST 5365 Crime Victims Services and Management Seminar. They learn how to develop a proposal and the various types of grants. Logic models and performance measures are explored.
Prerequisite: VCST 5365.

VCST 6093. Independent Study in Victim Studies. 1-3 Hours.

Students examine a topic related to victim studies. Under the direct supervision of a faculty member, the faculty and student formulate a course of study which could include reviewing relevant literature, engaging in research, exploring professional practice, or conducting other forms of inquiry appropriate to the course of study. The course may be repeated for credit. Variable Credit 1 to 3.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing and Department Approval.

VCST 6330. Neurobiology of Trauma. 3 Hours.

Students evaluate the role of the brain, brain systems, and hormone/chemical responses in explaining reactions to experiencing and witnessing a variety of traumatic events. Information is contrasted to traditional, responses from criminal justice practitioners (e.g., law enforcement, courtroom actors), medical staff, and social service personnel when presented with victims of trauma. Evidence-based practices for effective forensic interview techniques and victim advocacy are synthesized in light of recent advances in neuroscience of trauma.
Prerequisite: VCST 5364.

VCST 6338. Coordinating Victim Services. 3 Hours.

Students examine professional stakeholders in victim service delivery to ensure efficient, professional, and cooperative victim-centered responses to trauma and criminal victimization. Students evaluate the preventative and reactive mechanisms available to a range of government and non-government providers and synthesizes the management of these victim service provisions. Additionally, students explore the challenges of coordinating efforts between different professional organizations and ways to critically and effectively address problems.
Prerequisite: VCST 5364, VCST 5365, & VCST 5366.

VCST 6394. Special Topics in Victim Studies. 3 Hours.

Students examine special topics in the field of victimology and victim services. This course is designed to give Victim Services Management graduate students academic flexibility. Students may repeat this course for credit when topics differ.