Faculty Spotlight
Dean, School of Fire and Health Sciences
Graduate-Victim Studies

Certificate in Victim Studies

The recognition of victim's issues has taken on great importance in this day and age. Victims of all types require advocates and service providers that can assist them in understanding their rights, informing them through the various processes and resources available, and developing programs and policies in response.
The Victimology Program at Anna Maria College is interdisciplinary and draws on courses in Criminal Justice, Education, Human Development, Nursing, Pastoral Ministry, Psychology and Social Work.  It is designed to prepare graduates for entry into a wide variety of positions in law enforcement, criminal justice, the court system, corrections, and victim services programs, as well as in other professional settings involving work with victims of crime, their families, and the community at large. 

The Graduate Certificate in Victim Studies may be earned either on track to earning master's degree or as a shorter course of study resulting in a certificate. Students must successfully complete four courses, two required and two elected.

Required courses
VTM 601 Victim Studies
VTM 602 Trauma and Its Effects

Elective courses
Seven elective criminal justice courses are required of the degree. Students may choose to take up to three courses (nine credit hours) in elective graduate coursework from related disciplines with program director approval.  Courses earned towards Certificate Programs in Victim Studies or Homeland Security can be applied as elective coursework towards the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree.

> Read the Victim Studies Course Descriptions
VTM 601 Victim Studies

Victim Studies Course Descriptions

Considers the evolution of the study of Victimology from a historical perspective. It will focus on the scientific study of the physical, emotional and financial harm people suffer as victims in our society. The course will also examine the public's political, social and economic reactions to victimization.

VTM 602 Trauma and its Effects

This course examines the different ways trauma and crime can impact victims. It includes an analysis of who is affected by trauma and crime; immediate, short-term and long-term reactions; factors that impact a victim's ability to cope; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and emotional and psychological trauma; and the spiritual impact of trauma and crime.

VTM 605 Victim Advocacy

An examination of the developing field of victim advocacy. The course will focus on the history and nature of the victims' rights movement, basic victims' rights, communication and service provision, cultural and spiritual skills, and ethical issues. The analysis will conclude with an analysis of best practices and opportunities for collaboration within the field to move it forward.

VTM 613 Children as Victims

This course will analyze the special vulnerabilities and needs of children. Issues surrounding their vulnerability, how the justice system responds to and works with others in addressing those needs and vulnerabilities, and services and treatment will be the focus.

VTM 616 Elder Fraud and Abuse

This course will provide an overview of the various types of elder abuse and fraud to include financial fraud, identity theft, telemarketing scams, sweetheart scams, Medicare scams and swindles, phishing, physical and mental abuse, exploitation by caretakers, and neglect. This course will look at the laws governing these crimes and the agencies charged with investigation and care of elderly victims. The special problems of dealing with geriatric victims will be discussed.

VTM 622 Domestic Violence

Analyzes the experiences of and responses to domestic violence. The course will examine the causes and effects of violence within various family structures and interpersonal relationships. Theoretical and legal analysis will be a focus as well as research and systematic response.

VTM 631 Victims and the Law

This course reviews the laws, court procedures, and support services currently in place that address the rights and needs of crime victims. Subjects covered include the statutory protections available to victims, restitution and the proper role of victims in the sentencing phase of the adjudication process. Also examined are the responsibilities of police and the criminal justice bureaucracy in their interactions with victims and the victim service programs provided by government agencies and community assistance groups. Special attention will be paid to the law, services, and responsible agencies in Massachusetts as well as any pertinent Federal legislation in this area.

For More Information
For more information, including course details and admission requirements, please contact:

Graduate Studies and Continuing Education Admissions
(508) 849-3423

Program Director
Patricia W. Gavin, M.S.
(508) 849-3377