Victimology and Trauma Studies: Bridging Perspectives in a Landscape of Practice
MacLeod, Heather Bertha Morrison
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Victimology as a field of study remains largely undeveloped at Canadian degreegranting institutions. In 2019 there are no degree programs leading to major or minor concentrations in the academic study of victimology in Canada. There was one certificate program offered at the Université de Montréal where the language of instruction is French. The disciplinary maturity of victimology is likely to rely on a willingness on the part of stakeholders within a landscape of practice to work collaboratively and discriminately on program development, so that the pressing needs for education are met. Participants in the study, Victimology and Trauma Studies – Bridging Perspectives in a Landscape of Practice, formed an intentional, transdisciplinary community to identify how an integration of diverse knowledge perspectives can broaden the field and provide a resource for possible program development. The inclusion of victims, advocates and experiential workers as participants was a priority of the study. The literature review and the findings of the study are presented in ways that express the complexity of the data collected, the scope of victimology as a transdisciplinary field of study and are in accord with the principles of community-based research, namely: Community relevance, research design, equitable participation and action and positive social change at the community level. A holistic analysis of interviews, conversations and survey results that are national in scope led to participant identification of priorities in victimology education development. The conclusions of the findings support the claim that through critical pedagogies and practices linked to social justice through adult education, knowledge can be constructed and mobilized in ways that contribute to an axiological approach to victimology learning and knowing. The urgency is there. It is hoped the findings of the study can contribute to building a foundation upon which educational programs in victimology and trauma studies can be built.