“What I especially like about the book is that it integrates hot topics with cutting edge research making it more palatable for students,” said Dr. Muftić, who collaborated with Dr. Leah E. Daigle of Georgia State University on the textbook. “Within each chapter we incorporated issues that made recent headlines with a focus on research. It’s not so much about telling stories, but about using science, and the scientific method, to expand on our understanding of victims and victimization.”
Victimology introduces students to the causes and consequences of victimization; how the criminal justice system accommodates and assists victims; and how other elements of society, such as the media, deal with crime victims. The book examines the extent of victimization in society and the theories involved in the study of victimology.
In addition to examining victims’ rights and remedies, the book explores various types of victimization, including homicide, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and special populations, such as people with mental illness. It also looks at emerging topics in victimization, including terrorism, hate crimes, human trafficking, and the overlap between victims and offenders.
Because of Dr. Muftić’s extensive experience conducting research abroad, a chapter on comparative victimology is included. Furthermore, each chapter highlights an international issue giving students the experience of exploring the issues and challenges victims face in other countries.
The book also highlights stories and studies from Sam Houston State University. A chapter on homicide victimization highlights the story of Justin Lopez, a SHSU kinesiology student whose mother was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in a domestic violence incident. Justin Lopez and his sister, Porsha, who witnessed the shooting, founded Angie’s Awareness Angels, an advocacy group against domestic violence.
The book also profiles research by Drs. Leana Bouffard, a faculty member at the College, and Maria Koeppel, a Ph.D. graduate, on the short and long term health effects of repeated bullying on victims. The study found that those who experience chronic bullying before age 12 were likely to suffer from mental health issues, including homelessness, or to be in poor or fair health as they become young adults. That study was published by Justice Quarterly in 2014.
Finally, Dr. Muftić acknowledges several Sam Houston State University students who provided assistance with the book, including Dr. Jonathon Grubb (Ph.D. graduate), Molly Smith, Ashley Boillot-Fansher, Michael Candler, Susan Hoppe and Laura Taylor.
“Daigle and Muftić have crafted an excellent resource for students and professionals alike to learn about the ‘big picture’ as well as the more detailed problems and solutions surrounding victimology,” said Dr. Kate Fox, a former SHSU faculty member who is a professor at Arizona State University. “This book is approachable, digestible and leaves the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the state of victimology—and the key areas that will increasingly become important in the future.”
Victimology is available from Sage Publications.