This module is a resource for lecturers  


Possible class structure


This section contains recommendations for a teaching sequence and timing intended to achieve learning outcomes through a three-hour class.

Introduction to the Module and recommendations

At the outset of the lecture, lecturers should be mindful of the fact that students themselves might have been victimized or know someone closed to them who has been victimized. It is important that lecturers are sensitive to this possibility, to guarantee the mental, physical, and general well-being of students. The following recommendations are designed to safeguard students: the lecturer should acknowledge that crime exists and that many people are affected by it, noting that crime may have impacted on students in the class. The lecturer should also stress that parts of the topic dealt with in the Module could be stressful for some students. Students should be reassured that as this is plausible, students should feel free to walk out of the class if is she/he prefers and this will not affect their assessment. The lecturer should stress that the scope of the Module is not to address personal needs and provide individualized support. The lecturer could, however, inform students that he or she is able and willing to provide contact information for victims' services. Students should be told that they can approach the lecturer also after class. [ 10 minutes].

Pre-class warm-up activity

Select a significant clip from a video that features the work of a victims' service, or a TED talk, a TV series, web series, or a news article which focuses on the impacts of crime on victim(s) (several are listed below). The video or the newspaper article should provide relevant information about the experiences of victims in the aftermath of the crime, as well as victims' needs, the role of the criminal justice system and/or informal networks (friends, work place, and relatives) [ 15 minutes].

Warm-up exercise

Lecturers are invited to compose open-ended questions that relate to the core elements of the Module, and that are addressed in the video clip, and/or news article. These are questions to stimulate students' understanding of concepts relevant to justice for victims. A plenary discussion would be appropriate here, to ensure that students can contribute their ideas [15 minutes].

Brief summary lecture

Lecturers are invited to deliver a brief lecture on the key concepts covered by the Module, making use of the PowerPoint presentation provided [30minutes].

Exercise two

Students should be assigned to groups of 3-4, and assigned topics for discussion. (Please see exercise 2, for the list of discussion questions). Ask students to assign a rapporteur to feedback to the plenary, to stimulate discussion of cross-cutting issues [30 minutes].

Interactive topic presentation

The topic of victims' needs, rights and the impact of crime will be addressed in more detail, to stimulate debate on the importance of this topic within the overall scope of justice for victims. Lecturers may choose a case from the materials presented under Case Studies. During the presentation of the case, the lecturer will emphasize the impact of crime and the needs deriving from such crime.Through a combination of lecture and class discussion, the session should provide an overview and summary of the most relevant aspects of justice for victims, with attention to the possible consequences when victims' needs are not met [30 minutes].

Discussion in small groups

Following the presentation of the case, students will be asked to split into smaller groups to address key questions related to the case. All groups will have a set of questions to discuss in small groups of approx. 5-6 students each. Lecturers are invited to ask students to discuss the questions and the answers provided and the reason of the answer. This activity is expected to help students focus on what implies becoming a victim of crime, who can become a victim, what are the impacts, and the subsequent needs of the victims. The lecturer should again underline the issue of the impact on students and professionals in dealing with victim issues and how this might affect students, students' capacity and willingness to discuss and address victim related issues. This activity can help participants address stereotypes, develop a critical awareness of the mistakes people make when dealing with of victims of crime, such as victim blaming, secondary victimization, and the attribution of responsibility. Lectures should underline the importance of addressing the issue of victims' needs and impact of crime, within the UNODC standards and norms adopting a multidisciplinary approach. This smaller group setting enables students to learn from interacting with each other - an approach which allows for considerable freedom of expression. The second phase of this activity involves a whole class discussion, with the lecturer asking each group to list the set of issues that emerged during the previous discussing. General feedback is provided by the lecturer and when needed debriefing [40 minutes].

Closing and debriefing

The lecturer should allow at least ten minutes for the final part of this Module. This debriefing is essential due to the nature of the topics addressed: it should not be replaced by a generic closing summary. While lecturers may choose to adapt their approach to suit the context (and what has happened during the class), it is important to allow time for questions, and for the acknowledgement of students' emotions (whether anger, sadness, anxiety). The debriefing should pursue a positive and constructive outcome by acknowledging that while justice is not always achieved, for victims, and the impacts of crime can be profound, there is much work being done at the international level to ensure that timely, effective and sensitive responses are in place for victims. Moreover, it is important that students understand that efforts to ensure justice for victims occur within a broader crime prevention framework. Conceptualizing justice for victims in relational terms, in this way, is a means of both instilling hope, and empowering students to recognize the connection between the rule of law, and mitigating harm at the human level. Finally, lecturers might choose to end the class on an empowering note, by identifying that there are actions that students can take that assist in achieving justice for victims. Examples include: challenging gender stereotypes that blame women for gender-based violence; or implementing the information and knowledge shared during the Module [10 minutes].

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