Tilburg Law School and Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences of Tilburg University have launched an international and multidisciplinary research institute for Victimology: The International Victimology Institute Tilburg, abbreviated as INTERVICT.
Victimology, or the academic study of victims and victimization, is a relatively young branch of academic research. Its objective is to gain knowledge on victims of crime, abuse of power, and disasters. Victimologists try to find out the underlying causes and why these people became victims. Other topics include the rights of victims, the psychological effects of victimization, the help provided to victims, and the social reactions to victims. Victimology also studies traffic accident victims, environmental criminality, and compensation for damage.
INTERVICT carries out research projects commissioned by third parties. We mention:
Research and Documentation Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Justice
- Stichting Achmea Slachtoffer en Samenleving
- Council of Europe, Human Rights and Legal Affairs
- Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen
Dutch prison authority
- Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
Academic Collaborative Centers
INTERVICT aims to set up long-term collaborations with organizations in the field of victimology. Through intensive and effective cooperation the knowledge of the organization will be deepened related to and with added value for practice, policy and mission. With the scientific insights INTERVICT and the organizations will work on innovations and exchange of knowledge. The research topics are of mutual interest to both parties.
In December 2016, the first INTERVICT Academic Collaborative Center was established together with Victim Support the Netherlands (SHN): Victim Support 2020. Relevant problems and questions in the field of victim assistance are turned into scientific research questions and the results are transformed into practical products, services and facilities.
Practitioner Dr. Sonja Leferink (SHN) supervises PhD Pien van de Ven whilst conducting research on the topic of peer support as part of the Academic Collaborative Center. Victims and their bereaved value peer support as important and effective. Systematic research into the different forms of peer support aims to find scientific evidence for these positive experiences.
Getting involved in an Academic Collaborative Center?
There is no fixed scheme to set up a structural collaboration. The multidisciplinary character and joint appointments of staff working in an Academic Center are two unique aspects that will be responsible for its success. To improve long-term quality of the relation between practice and the field of victimology, an infrastructure is necessary in which scientists and practitioners can jointly work to develop, implement and test innovative approaches on (assistance to) victims. Organizations interested in collaborating with INTERVICT can contact director Antony Pemberton to discuss the possibilities of a sustainable relationship.