American Society of Victimology

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Research and Practice in Victim Services:

Perspectives from Education and Research
Ann Wolbert Burgess

Boston College


Over the past several decades our awareness of the magnitude and the trauma of crime victimization has increased considerably. The costs incurred by society include medical and psychological services to aid victim recovery, the apprehension and disposition of offenders, and the invisible climate of fear that makes safety a paramount consideration in scheduling normal daily activities. In addition to the monetary costs associated with sexual victimization (see Prentky & Burgess, 1990; 2001), the impact of such abuse on the victim has been well-documented (Crowell & Burgess, 1996).
This presentation takes a historical perspective and review of the intersection between research and practice in victim services, particularly in the area of child sexual exploitation and abuse and the crisis in the Catholic Church of clergy abuse, among other areas. It will review rape victimization and victim services and some of the major contributions of researchers and practitioners in the understanding of the aftermath of victimization.

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