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#NUforNE: Shifting the Focus from Crime Perpetrators to Crime Victims | News – Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska 2021-04-08 02:48:03 –

About the #NUforNE series: This article is part of the University of Nebraska #NUforNE series.. #NUforNE features university-wide students, faculty, staff, and graduates who are influencing Nebraska.


Shift the focus from crime perpetrators to crime victims: Tara Richards, Ph.D.

Crime often dominates the news cycle, but the needs of victims are often overlooked. Most affected people tend to fill their stories and silence their voices.

Returning focus to the victims of crime ensures that these individuals are considered and prevents unilateral talk. This is called victimology. A scientific study of the physical, emotional, and financial harm that people suffer from criminal activity.

UNO criminologist Tara Richards leads the New Victimology and Victim Research Institute, which conducts research related to crime victims and crime victims. The work of the lab informs policies and practices and helps shape preventative and interventional efforts.

Richards focuses on gender-based violence. According to country data 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience violence from their partners Throughout their lives. “It’s all our responsibility to keep the community safe,” Richards said. “We are all connected. If you are not the victim of domestic or sexual assault, you know the victim. Statistics show that everyone is affected. Because to be completely intact, you will live in a bubble. “

Fostering the next generation of victim scholars

Richards has many mentors throughout her academic and professional career, helping to foster her passion and shape her research. Along with her passion for helping victims of crime, she has a passion for mentorship and collaboration. The Victimology and Victim Studies Research Lab is a collection of UNO criminal justice and criminal justice victim research intensive / minor undergraduate students, as well as master’s and doctoral students in criminal justice.

The lab uses a structured mentoring model to train the next generation of victim scholars. Students and faculty researchers have the opportunity to collaborate across a diverse portfolio of funded projects and future grant proposals. This facilitates cross-teaching and learning and fosters peer-to-peer mentorship.

Research projects carried out by Richards and her team are influencing local institutions and practitioners in Nebraska. In a recent project, Richards and other UNO researchers worked with law enforcement agencies and the Nebraska Indian Affairs Commission. Fill the gap in the report For Native American women and children who went missing and were killed in Nebraska.

The work of the laboratory resonates nationwide. Richards was recently elected to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. So she put together a panel that included Ruth Glen, chairman and chief executive officer of the National Union to end domestic violence, and discussed how to deal with domestic violence during COVID-19. ..

This is not surprising — UNO’s criminology program was recent Ranked as one of the best in the country According to US News and World Report. It ranks among the top 15 in the country in the same league as schools such as Northeastern University, Rutgers Newark University, and Michigan State University.

Intervention and prevention

Richards believes there is an interrelationship between domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. One of her mentors was an expert in social learning theory who explored the effects of learning and modeling and tackled the familial nature of violence. “If you are in a house with partner violence, you are at high risk of doing it or experiencing it as a victim,” she explained. “You have seen the violence modeled, and you have seen support for that kind of behavior in terms of relationships, communication styles and getting what you want. “

Still, Richards’ work does not show determinism. While coming from a home with violence by a partner can put someone at greater risk, many people grow up in violent homes and never commit violence or become victims. In fact, many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault claim on behalf of others and use their experience to make a difference.

“I’m interested in the cyclical nature of violence and what prevents it,” Richard said. “Those that work from the perspective of intervention and those that work from the perspective of prevention.”

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