National Institute for Victim Studies promotes awareness and preparation

16 years ago Comments Off on National Institute for Victim Studies promotes awareness and preparation

With violence and natural disasters becoming a more frequent occurrence, the services provided by the National Institute for Victim Studies at Sam have been utilized even more.The purpose of the National Institute for Victim Studies program, here at SHSU is, “To promote national public awareness of victim issues and prepare victim service professionals through academic programs, continued education, and scholarly research.” said Stephanie Frogge who is the programs Director of Professional Education and Training. The academic aspect comes into play heavily at Sam Houston since it is the only school in the United States that offers a bachelor degree of arts in Victim Studies.There are well over 20,000 victim service programs in the United States.” said Frogge. “Our program is geared toward training people who would be directors of those programs.”Victim Services representatives are located in police stations and attorney offices as well as specialized places including rape centers, and organizations such as M.A.D.D. Recently NIVS received a $20,000 grant from the Office of Victims of Crime in Washington DC that will be used to study the incidences of Fraud amongst the elderly victims of Tropical Storm Alison. The study will include a phone survey that will collect data from 12,000 victims.NIVS is also collaborating with the National Judicial College in Reno Nevada on a program to educate seventh and eighth graders on the dangers and penalties of underage drinking. So far the program is being implemented at schools in El Paso, Victoria, and Louisiana.”We want to educate kids while they are young on the consequences of drinking underage such as fines and losing drivers license privileges.” Said Dr. Jim Marqaurt who is the director of Victim Studies at SHSU.NIVS is also involved in evaluating a child assessment center in Plano. The center provides housing to victims of child abuse in a place that contains police, doctors, forensic scientist, and psychologists. “It’s set up so the kids don’t have to be shuffled around from place to place.” said Marquart.Upcoming events sponsored by NIVS include “Survival Spanish” which is to take place this weekend and will be taught by SHSU professors: Andre Bacorn and Joaquin Rodriguez-Barbera. The purpose of this program is to teach those in attendance the basic Spanish they would need when dealing with non-English speaking victims. The Institute also recently received a book contract with Haworth Publishing to compile a book on the growing trends and issues in child miss-treatment. Information for the book was put together by Jim Marquart and Janet Cummings, and will deal with topics such as child abuse, legal issues, recent issues with the clergy and Internet crime. The book is slated to come out sometime next year.NIVS is also seeking funding from the Justice Department to begin a national program for victims of child abduction.