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Victimology – CJ 6335

Spring 2021


Office Location:

Office Phone:

Email Address:

Elizabeth L. Gilmore, PhD

C 340 T


[email protected]

CRN #:

Mode of Instruction:

Class Day and Time:

Class Location:


Face to Face

Wednesday 5:30p – 8:30p

CSB 230

Office Hours:

Monday: By Appointment

Tuesday: By Appointment

Wednesday By Appointment

Thursday: 1p-4p

Friday: By Appointment

**NOTE: Due to changes on campus amid COVID-19 – I will not be holding in person office hours, with the exception of 1 hour prior to the start of class on our class meeting day (Wednesday from 4:30p to 5:30p). Please contact me if you need to schedule a one on one meeting via Zoom. In addition, I will holding weekly virtual office hours – see Blackboard for important updates and announcements related to virtual office hours.**

Catalog Description:

This course examines the nature and extent of victimization-focusing on theories, history, and trends. Additional analysis will focus on the relationships between victims and social institutions, groups, and individuals. Justice system and social service responses to victimization will be evaluated.


Graduate standing or departmental approval


Required Texts:


There is no required text book for this course

Note: Additional articles/readings/supplemental content (documentaries, trainings, podcasts etc.) will be assigned via blackboard and available via the internet.

Some course materials are available in digital form on the internet (e.g., articles, videos, websites, etc.). If you cannot travel to campus to use computing and network resources, you are expected to have reliable computing hardware, software, and the Internet & network access. If you do not have access to the requisite required technology your learning and grades may be negatively impacted.

Students will be required to use Blackboard Learn ( as part of this course. Blackboard is the platform in which the bulk of the course materials will be located (assignments, homework submissions, lesson materials, etc.).

If you have a technical problem, please contact me immediately for help resolving the issue. Please understand that I will try to work through as many issues with you as possible; however, I am not able to “fix” every technical problem that students may encounter. For some technical problems or questions about Blackboard or other UHD technology-related issues, I may refer you to the UHD Help Desk. You can contact the Help Desk directly by phone at (713)221-8031, by chatting at, or on the web at

It also critically important that students check Blackboard frequently to assure they have updated information about course content and assigned readings*

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will meet the following departmentally required learning objectives:

LO 1: Students will be able to identify, describe, and communicate current issues in the criminal justice system.

LO 2: Students will be able to apply theoretical concepts to the study of crime and justice.

By the end of the course students shall be able to:

1) Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of academic explanations and perspectives surrounding crime victimization in the United States.

2) Explain how the social context surrounding victimization may impact victims’ and society’s reactions and responses to victimization.

3) Evaluate the merits of interventions aimed at addressing issues and barriers experienced by crime victims.

4) Discuss the interplay between victims’ rights and the functioning of the justice system.

5) Understand the role of trauma informed approaches when interacting with victims of crimes.



The title of this course alone should suggest that the material covered will be graphic in nature. In participating in this victimology course, please be prepared to read, listen to, and discuss graphic and oftentimes disturbing material. This course will cover topics specific to various types of crime victimization, including, but not limited to, homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and child victimization. Images may be incorporated into lecture materials to assist students with gaining a precise understanding of types of victimization. Students will also be required to listen to recorded sessions of victims speaking about their victimization. If you find such topics/images disturbing/offensive, please reconsider taking this class.

Whether one has personal experiences with the varying types of victimization or not, it is important that students understand that aspects of this course may be sensitive in nature. This makes it particularly important that students respond professionally to the material being taught, refraining from joking about or behaving insensitively to topics discussed.

Please also note that professors are unable to keep confidential the disclosure of victimization or involvement in criminal activity. Should a student disclose the involvement in either of these events, for the protection of the student, this must be reported to UHD authorities.

If needed, student Counseling Services is also available on campus at 713-500-3327, or on site at N320 One Main Street.


This course has the potential to become an online course and content will be administered online until at least February 1, abiding by current UH-D policies. Course material will be taught synchronously online, meaning students will meet online during scheduled class times via Zoom.

Unlike in a face-to-face setting, as an online student you have more responsibility for your learning as well as keeping up with the course material. In order to do well in this course, you must keep pace with the assigned course material and take the initiative to seek answers to questions about content and course requirements.

This also means that you must initiate interactions with the professor. I will not be in a room with you to watch and listen, and assess how learning is progressing. It is your responsibility to ask questions, and to let the professor know if and when you struggle with material or on assignments. Please take your role as an active learner seriously.

Additionally, please know that I am available to meet with you virtually during office hours to assist with your learning. Do not hesitate to make an appointment, or “drop in” should you need to review or discuss course material.


In this course, students are strongly encouraged to take the “Student Self-Assessment” for online learning.  This assessment will help you and your professor to pinpoint any assistance you might need as you pursue online learning.  The “Student Self-Assessment” can be accessed at


If you need to contact me for any reason, please e-mail my UHD account – [email protected]. I disable the “my messages” function in Blackboard, so you must e-mail directly (using either your gator mail account or personal e-mail address) or by using the “send e-mail” function located in the navigation bar of Blackboard (this will send an e-mail to my UHD e-mail account from your gator mail account).

When sending me an e-mail it is very important that you include your full name as well as the name of the course and section for which you are enrolled, so that I can respond
If you do not receive a response from me within 24 hours of sending an e-mail, please resend it.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if anything related to this course is unclear.
I am available during office hours for either a face-to-face meeting or to speak with you over the phone. If your schedule prohibits you from being able to make contact with me during posted office hours, please contact me via e-mail and I will work with you to schedule a time that works with both our schedules for a meeting (either face to face or via phone contact). Course material often builds upon content covered in previous weeks, so a misunderstanding or incorrect interpretation of information can often have an impact on not only the unit in which it is covered, but future learning as well.


Students are expected to show courtesy, respect, and support for the instructor and fellow classmates. When speaking in class, responding to a threaded discussion item, or e-mailing in this course, be courteous. Offensive language will not be tolerated. Do not use disparaging remarks in your assignments or contributions to in class discussion.


It is expected that each student will do his/her own work. Cheating, including plagiarism, on any assignment will result in a zero for that assignment, a formal report being filed, and other potential penalties.

The UHD Academic Honesty Policy (PS 03.A.19) states “Students must be honest in all academic activities and must not tolerate dishonesty.” It is each student’s responsibility to read and understand the Academic Honesty Policy found in the UHD Student Handbook beginning on page 26. All students are urged to read the Handbook which can be found online at and to be aware of the penalties associated with being caught cheating or plagiarizing. Cheating may include plagiarism, taking an examination for another student, altering graded documents. Plagiarism is the act of using ideas or the work of another person and presenting them/it as your own.

Cheating may include (but is not limited to) plagiarism, submitting work that has already been submitted for a different class, taking an examination for another student, and altering graded documents. Plagiarism is the act of using ideas or the work of another person and presenting them/it as your own. If you have any questions regarding such acts, please contact me.


Please see page 7 of the UHD Student Handbook for an explanation of when a grade of Incomplete is appropriate.


Your failure to attend class (face to face or hybrid), engage course material (Online only), or make contact with faculty to adequately explain your absence by the 10th class day of the semester will result in your being administratively dropped from this course.  Being dropped from this course may affect your enrollment status and/or your financial aid eligibility.



To address issues related to disruption of university functions, COVID reporting, and safety protocols, as well as mandatory engagement with classes by the 10th class day, UHD has prepared a general set of requirements that can be found on the following website:

These requirements are part of the expectations for this course. Any updates to the website will be communicated to students via their Gatormail accounts.


UHD has developed many resources to support your learning. We have developed a website that will offer a “one stop shop” for access to many of the resources you might need this semester to support your educational goals. Please access this website to get started: If you do not find the resource you need on this website, please contact your instructor, who will make every effort to connect you with the help you need.


All students are subject to the university-wide policies set forth in the UHD Catalog, the Student Handbook, and the UHD website, available at


The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student population. Accordingly, UHD strives to provide reasonable academic accommodations to students who request and are eligible, as specified by Section 504 and ADA guidelines. Students with disabilities may work with the Office of Disability Services to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in this course, including official accommodations. If you have a disability, or think you may have a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services, to begin this conversation or request an official accommodation. Office of Disability Services, One Main St., Suite GSB 314, Houston, TX 77002. (Office Phone) 713-221-5078 (Website) (Email) [email protected]


A student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university-affiliated bookstore.  The same textbook may also be purchased from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.


Section 51.911(b) of the Texas Education Code requires that an institution of higher education excuse a student from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student who is excused under this subsection may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.

“This information does not constitute all course policies; students are responsible for all course requirements established by their instructor during the semester and all institutional policies as established in the UHD student handbook.”



The mission of the W. I. Dykes Library is to support the University’s academic programs and to facilitate teaching and learning by providing learning resources, new technology and information service to the faculty, staff and students to meet their curriculum, research and information needs. The library is located on the 4th and 5th floors of the academic building, at One Main Street. In addition to serving as an excellent source of information, the library also has several study rooms that can be reserved for student use as well as computer lab areas where students can access the Internet and print. The library also has multiple ways to contact librarians for assistance outside of visiting in person, including via phone: (713) 221-8187, text: (713) 489-4771, or via the UH-D website through the using of chatting with a librarian. In person library hours for the spring semester are Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm, with other services, (such as chatting and texting) available extended times during evenings and weekends. Please note that the library hours/capacity may vary for in person visitation, but will be available for online support.


In pursuit of its dual mission, the UH-D Writing & Reading Center facilitates UH-D student, staff, and faculty efforts to read, write, think critically, and communicate, and provides student peer tutors of writing with a rich teaching and learning experience and ongoing professional development in writing center research, theory, and tutoring practice.​ The Writing & Reading Center is able to assist with any type of personal or academic writing (undergraduate or graduate level) including, but not limited to, essays, creative writing, lab reports, scholarships letters, resumes and cover letters. You can come to the writing center during any stage of the writing process so that they can help you learn a variety of writing skills. The Writing Center is located at One Main Building (N925). Their phone number is 713-221-8669. Appointments can be made face to face, online, or via dropbox. Tutoring appointments are scheduled using the WC Online scheduling website at


The UH-D Student Health Services offers non-emergency medical services to UH-D students enrolled in the current semester. A UH-D identification card is required for all services. The staff includes a Board Certified Physician, nurse practitioner, RN, and medical assistant. Student Health Services is location in the Main Building, Suite S445, and their phone number is (713) 221-8137. Please note that several services require an appointment. These services include but are not limited to: preventative medical services, general physicals, wellness exams, birth control consults, diagnosis and treatment of infections, diagnosis and treatment of minor injuries, laboratory testing. The clinic is not open on Friday. Walk in hours are also available. The office will be closed during University holidays and emergency closures. For a list of fees, please see the Student Health Services page on the UH-D website.


The Student Counseling Program is designed to help you maximize your mental health and effectiveness at home, school or work. Through this program, you receive confidential, personal support for a wide range of issues, from everyday concerns to serious problems. Whether you want advice about a relationship, need to talk to someone about drug use, or are simply feeling overwhelmed by school life, the Student Counseling Center can help. You have access to contact the Student Counseling Center via online and can also receive crisis support over the phone or schedule an appointment with them. It is important to know that all records, including medical information, referrals and evaluations, are kept confidential in accordance with federal and state laws. The Student Counseling Center is located at One Main Street, Suite S445, and their phone number is 713-500-3852.


UH-D has three reserved spaces for students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors and community partners, to provide Gator Moms a safe place to pump as the need arises. All locations (One Main, Commerce Street, and Shea Buildings) are designed with a nursing mother in mind—from small refrigerators for temporary milk storage to comfortable chairs to reading materials related to breast feeding and nutrition for mother and child and to help moms successfully balance motherhood, college courses and work. The Lactation Room located in One Main Building, can be found in room S445. For convenience, access to the One Main Lactation Room is available after-hours and weekends by contacting UHD Police Department at 713-221-8065. In the Davies College of Business moms interested in reserving the Lactation Room can make an online reservation for the Business Study Rooms, Room B243. For additional information, contact the College’s Career Center at [email protected], call 713-221-5011, or visit Room B104 in the Shea Street Building during normal business hours 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday & Friday and 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday & Wednesday. The LR is available in one-hour time increments. Finally the College of Public Service has a lactation room in the Commerce Street Building (our building) in Room C444. During normal business hours (7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), a lactating mother may contact designated staff members (Stacey Bryant at 713-221-5091 or Cynthia Hartman at 713-221-8906) in the College of Public Service in-person, by telephone or email to request a reservation for a 30-minute time period. For more information, visit UH-D’s Student Health Services. Please note that lactation room will remain closed in accordance with UH-D policy during COVID-19.


UH-D has expanded our partnership with the Houston Food Bank to award food scholarships to all currently enrolled UH-D students. UH-D’s Food for Change Market will give students access to fresh produce, meats, and other groceries right here on UH-D’s campus, enabling you to save money for other necessities and maintain your focus on school!

How does it work?

· Complete the Food for Change Registration form for the Houston Food Bank.

· You will receive a food scholarship that will allow you to shop in the UHD Food for Change Market for up to 60 pounds of goods a month.

· No payment is required when shopping in the market, the goal is to reduce stress on students managing personal responsibilities and academic progress. 

· You can shop for groceries before, in between, or after class to help supplement you and your family’s food needs.

The food scholarship can assist with lowering your grocery expenses throughout the semester. It will also allow you to stay fueled and healthy while pursuing your educational goals. Visit the Food for Change Market to learn more about the program, meet the team, complete the Registration form and more. The UHD Food for Change Market is located in the One Main Building, in room S292 near Student Activities. For more information about UHD’s Food for Change Program, please contact Student Activities at [email protected].

****The above listed sources are just a few of the many resources available to our UH-D Gators. If you need help with something that is not listed above, please do not hesitate to contact me. Allow me reiterate – everyone needs help at various times in their life, so please ask if you need assistance.*****


As assignments and examinations are graded, grades will be posted on UHD Blackboard. Students can log on to UHD Blackboard to view your grades once they have been entered. Final grades will be posted according to the University schedule. If you ever have a concern about your grade(s) please don’t hesitate to speak with me.


Course evaluation forms will be made available electronically towards the end of the semester. I would like to encourage you to complete these evaluations as they often provide useful feedback.


Please do not hesitate to come to me with any questions, problems, or issues you may have. Do not wait to address these issues until it is too late for you to receive an acceptable grade.


Method of Determining Final Course Grade

Course Grade Requirement

1) Weekly Course Attendance/Participation (13 Total – 10 points each)

130 points

2) Reflective Journal (6 Total – 50 points each)

200 points

3) Final Paper

200 points

4) Paper Presentation

5) Presentation Collaboration

100 points

100 points

Total Possible Points

730 points

Grading Criteria and Conversion:

A = 657 (or more) points

B = 580- 656 points

C = 511- 579 points

D = 438- 510 points

F = 437 points or less


WEEKLY COURSE ATTENDANCE/PARTICIPATION: This course is a structured using a seminar style format. As such, attendance and participation are a critical component of this class. Students are expected to come to class having read the assigned content, ready to discuss and contextualize the assigned material. For each class meeting, students will be assigned a grade for each class session to document and assess attendance and meaningful participation. For this first portion of the class, and during each class meeting, a grade will be reflected in a score for the week (maximum 10, minimum 0). A student who attends the entire class period but does not participate will earn a grade of 3. The remaining 7 points possible will be awarded based on my assessment of participation by the student in the class session. In awarding the final 7 points of this score, both frequency of participation AND quality of the participation will be considered. Each week students can earn a maximum of 10 points for weekly attendance/participation. Please see the course calendar, as attendance/participation grading dates may vary.

REFLECTIVE JOURNALS: Students will be required to complete six reflective journals throughout the semester. Each journal will require the student to answer multiple questions related to course content and may require a discussion of material derived from the assigned readings, videos, and/or web links posted in blackboard. Reflective journal assignments as well as materials needed to complete each journal may be found in the coordinating weekly folder. Students must answer
portions of
question in order to earn full credit. Questions must be answered using full and complete sentences. Reflective journal submissions must be type written, in 12-point, Times New Roman font, and uploaded as Word document (.doc or .docx). All citations should be in APA format. It is highly recommended that students proofread their reflective journal prior to submission, as 10 points (10%) of each submission will be graded on correct usage of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Journals may require the inclusion of scholarly sources, which must be cited both in text and on a separate reference page. Each journal is worth 50 points.

PAPER: Each student will write a high-quality, substantive research paper on a topic approved by the instructor. When writing this paper, students should read everything (or as close to that as possible) related to their instructor-approved specific issue, problem, proposed solution, and/or theory (or theories) that is available in the academic literature (mastering the literature) related to their paper topic. The student will also be required to present content related to their paper topic during the

Students should consider their audience to persons seeking to not only understand but apply the subject for an empirical research project – meaning that students will organize and present their research paper in such a way that it will be useful to those knowledgeable or who are in the practice of working with victims’ issues—such as victim service providers, those that work with victims, scholars, and/or researchers. Student should demonstrate their abilities to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and apply criminological theories.

The goal of the paper and subsequent presentation is to identify and analyze a specific issue or problem related to victimization in the United States. Based on that analysis students should develop a plan to prevent, intervene, or remedy the identified issue. This would be an example of a policy paper to address a particular issue. All topics must be approved by the instructor.

The inclusion of a minimum of ten (10) scholarly sources (such as peer-reviewed research articles and/or theoretical pieces) is required for successful completion of this paper. Government reports and documents related to the problem or issue are also appropriate to cite. Student are permitted to utilize other less scholarly sources (such as information about programs from websites, brochures, or descriptive reports) if they are considered appropriate if their use is limited and highly relevant to the paper’s topic, issue, problem, solution, etc. Textbooks and encyclopedia entries are not appropriate. Questions regarding the appropriateness of sources will be discussed on the first day of class, and as needed throughout the semester.

The paper should be formatted consistent with APA style. Be sure to double space consistently throughout the paper. Use one-inch margins all the way around, Times New Roman 12-point font, and only an abbreviated form of the title and page number appear in the right-side of the header. Use a title page, but do not include an abstract. Include a reference page. For more assistance on APA formatting I encourage all students to contact the Writing & Reading Center at 713.221.8670 or by visiting the Center’s website:

The center does provide virtual appointments; and I highly recommend using their services. Also, students can visit the below web sites for further information about APA formatting and citation style:

– (UH-D)

– (Purdue OWL)

– (BYU Linguistics)

A paper with more than a few spelling and grammatical errors will be given back to the student, asked for a thorough proofreading, and only graded for a letter grade reduction upon resubmission (within 3 days of being notified that the paper was deficient in this regard). While estimating page numbers can be difficult in assigning a substantive, high-quality paper, a rough guideline is that the paper should be 12-20 pages in length. Students will submit electronic copies of their papers through TurnItIn in Blackboard. The paper is worth 200 points.

This year National Crime Victims Week will be commemorated from April 18- 24 2021. Students will be expected to virtually participate and disseminate information during this week in two distinct ways:

PAPER PRESENTATION: From the material in the paper, students are expected to produce a professional, 12-15 minute professional presentation accompanied by visual aids. This represents a well-prepared oral description of your paper’s topic, issue, and/or solution. Students will present their material (WITHOUT READING) via a Zoom recording, which will later be disseminated for purposes of education and sharing information within the department, college, and potentially surrounding community. The paper presentation is worth 100 points.

PRESENTATION COLLABORATION: Students will work collaboratively in groups to produce a combined artifact designed to assist with the dissemination of information for related to their recorded presentations. Students should work together to pool their individual strengths to collectively develop a strong final artifact. Students will be required to complete a self-assessment of their role in the collaboration, as well as assess each of their group members. The final artifact should be designed with the intention of distribution of throughout the department, college, and potentially the community. The presentation collaboration is worth 100 points.

LATE WORK: Late homework or other assignments will only be accepted under extremely extenuating circumstances. If you know you will miss an assignment or may have trouble meeting a deadline please contact me ahead of time to work out arrangements. Early submissions for credit are welcome. If there are any issues with completing any assignment, please contact the instructor immediately. One of the assignments in this course requires group work, which makes it particularly important for you to submit your work on time.


**The schedule below is a tentative class schedule. It is a guide for the course, and is not absolute. The professor reserves the privilege and discretion to modify the course outline throughout the semester. It is the responsibility of the student to keep up with any modifications. While the instructor may make modifications to the schedule, exam dates will not change.**

Week 1: 01/19

Topic Description: Course Syllabus Review

Topic Description: Welcome and Introduction to Victimology

Week 2: 01/25

Topic Description: Speaking as Though there is a Victim in the Room

Topic Description: Historical/Cultural Context of Victimization

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Week 3: 02/01

Topic Description: Theoretical Perspectives of Victimization

Topic Description: Crime Victimization Prevalence and Trends

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Reflective Journal One Due 02/07/2021 @ 11:59pm

Week 4: 02/08

Topic Description: Victim Offender Duality

Topic Description: Consequences of Victimization

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Assignment: Paper Topic Due 02/14/2021 @ 11:59pm

Week 5: 02/15

Topic Description: Recurring Victimization

Topic Description: Fear of Crime

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Week 6: 02/22

Topic Description: Homicide Victimization

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Reflective Journal Two Due 02/28/2021 @ 11:59pm

Week 7: 03/01

Topic Description: Child Maltreatment

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Reflective Journal Three Due 03/07/2021 @ 11:59pm

Week 8: 03/08

Topic Description: Intimate Partner Violence

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Week 9: 03/15 **SPRING BREAK**

Week 10: 03/22

Topic Description: Intimate Partner Violence

Topic Description: Strangulation

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Reflective Journal Four Due 02/07/2021 @ 11:59pm

Week 11: 03/29

Topic Description: Sexual Assault Victimization

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Assignment: Paper Presentation Due 04/04/2021 @ 11:59pm

Week 12: 04/05

Topic Description: Technology and Victimization

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Reflective Journal Five Due 02/07/2021 @ 11:59pm

Week 13: 04/12

Topic Description: Victims in the Courtroom Setting

Topic Description: When Cases Go Cold

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Assignment: Presentation Collaboration Due 04/18/2021

Week 14: 04/19

Topic Description: Best Practices for Trauma Informed Response

Topic Description: The Practitioner Role in Victimization

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Week 15: 04/26

Topic Description: Self Care for Practitioners

Weekly Course Attendance/Participation

Reflective Journal Six Due 05/03/2021 @ 11:59pm

Assignment: Final Paper Due May 6, 2021 @ 11:59pm

**FINAL EXAM DAYS MAY 8-14, 2021**


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