Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
CRIM 4460
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course will explore developments and critical issues from the field of victimology. The construction of the “victim” will be discussed by tracing the evolution of this designation through the development of the formalized justice system through to current debates. Topics such as the multidimensional impacts of crime and other social harm, the needs of victims, the evolution of victim’s rights, and trends in responses and legislation with respect to victims will be covered. Special attention will be paid to the human dimensions of victimization and the importance of considering the needs of those harmed in justice responses.
Course Content
  1. What is the history of victimology and the victim’s rights movement in Canada? This introductory section will provide an overview of the field, empirical research, historical developments in mindset and policy, and current issues.
  2. What do we mean by “victim”? This section will discuss the evolution of the term “victim” and how it has been constructed over time.  The issue of stereotyping victims and who is excluded from this designation will be critically explored. Also, this section will cover research on victim characteristics and prevalence in Canada.
  3. What are the impacts of crime and other social harms? The complex dimensions and various impacts of crime and social harm will be discussed including financial and other related costs to individuals and communities. Particular attention will be paid to the unique dynamics of sexual assault and intimate partner and family violence.
  4. What do victims need? This section will discuss elements of victim needs including safety, information, justice, support, access, and voice and how these have and have not been met by current justice responses. 
  5. Responses to Victims – The developments of various responses to victims will be discussed through a review of research, policy, and legislation.  Topics will include the role victims play in the criminal justice process and responses such as restitution, federal victims services (Correctional Service Canada, Parole Board of Canada, Policy Centre for Victim Issues, National Office for Victims), provincial victims services (police and community based victims services, compensation, legal aid, ombudsperson, crime victim assistance program), and balancing the rights of victims and offenders.
  6. Where is there promise? This section will discuss theoretical and practical alternatives where victims needs are held central (i.e. parallel justice, healing justice, restorative justice, crime prevention and community development).
Methods Of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including:

  • lectures
  • guest speakers and storytelling
  • experiential learning activities
  • a high degree of class participation.
Means of Assessment

The evaluation will be based on the course objectives and in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide specific evaluation requirements to the student at the beginning of the semester. Students may be required to complete in-class examinations, student presentations, essays, term papers, journal entries and comprehensive final examinations. Part of each class will be conducted in a workshop or experiential learning format requiring participation.


An example of one possible evaluation scheme would be:

Participation & attendance      10%
Reflective Journal  25%
Term paper  25%
Class presentation  20%
Final exam  20%
Total 100%



Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  • Discuss the evolution of the victims rights movements and where the gaps exist today
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the principles and impact of the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime, BC Victims of Crime Act (1996), and  the relevant sections of the Criminal Code, Corrections and Conditional Release Act, and Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • Discuss the label of “victim” from a critical perspective and how it has evolved
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, mental and relational aspects of harm and victimization
  • Describe the central needs of victims including the importance of information, safety, and support
  • Discuss the role of the victim through various stages of the criminal justice system from the criminal event to parole
  • Explain how the current criminal justice system addresses (or fails to address) the needs of victims
  • Explain the victim-offender relationship and the subjectivity of the victim experience
  • Discuss the cycle of victimization – the link between victimization and subsequent offending
  • Examine contemporary trends and issues in victimology
  • Articulate the various programs and services available to victims of crime in the province of BC
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:


Wemmers, J. (2017). Victimology: A Canadian Perspective. University of Toronto Press.


Landau, T.C. (2014) Challenging Notions: Critical Victimology in Canada. (2nd Ed.). Toronto: CanadianScholars Press.


Scott, H. (2016). Victimology: Canadians in Context. (2nd Ed.) Oxford University Press




No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Athabasca University (AU) AU CRJS 352 (3) 2013/01/01 to -
Coast Mountain College (CMTN) No credit 2013/01/01 to -
Columbia College (COLU) COLU ARTS 2nd (3) 2013/01/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU CRIM 4900 (3) 2013/01/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU CRIM 3XX (3) 2013/01/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU CRIM 3XXX (3) 2013/01/01 to -
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HUMA 3XX (3) 2013/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) No credit 2013/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ARTS 2nd (3) 2013/01/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC POLS 4XX (3) 2013/01/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV CRIM 419 (3) 2013/01/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC SOCI 3XX (1.5) 2013/01/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

Start Date
End Date
- 08-Dec-2021
18:30 - 21:20