Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

The Criminologist: The Official Newsletter of the American Society of Criminology


Given the prevalence of victimization, especially among college-age populations, we all have students who have experienced their own victimization or the victimization of someone close to them. Violent victimization rates are highest among those age 18 to 24, an estimated one in four to five women experience an attempted or completed sexual assault during their college career, and most victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner were first victimized before the age of 25. Some victims may be visible, in that they choose to share their experiences with you or the class, or their experience is otherwise public, but many will remain invisible. Course material related to victimization holds the potential to trigger emotional reactions, which are not limited to victims and survivors. Students who have experienced other types of trauma, such as military veterans, as well as any student with the emotional capacity for empathy, could have a strong reaction to materials on victimization. For example, realizing that engaging in preventive efforts cannot guarantee safety can be very unsettling. Given this reality, how can we teach about the often complicated nature of victimization in a manner that does not inflict additional harm?


© American Society of Criminology. Reproduced with permission.