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In honor of those who have fallen victim to crime. In memory of those whose lives have ended too soon.
Dedicated to those who work to make the world a better place.

About This Course

Participants will be prepared to work in victim advocacy arenas, such as domestic violence shelters, crisis centers, crisis hotlines, and with state and county governments to assist crime victims in progressing through the criminal justice system and toward successful recovery. Course topics include legal terminology, legal process, legislation regarding victims rights, jurisdiction and venue, ethics, effects of victimization on the victim, victim advocate skills, guardianships and crisis intervention. It also covers counseling skills for victims of assault, battery, robbery, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, murder and homicide.

Session 1: This first session focuses on legal terminology and the legal process, theories of victimization, effects of crime on victims and guidelines for responding to victims of crime and trauma. Crime victim statutes will also be discussed.

Session 2: This session covers crisis theories and the role of the crisis interventionist. Students will learn how to respond to crisis situations, understand the actual nature of the crisis, assess the victim’s situation, and implement effective listening skills to determine the best support system for the victim.

Session 3: During this session students will learn the facts and myths regarding domestic violence, crimes against children, sexual assault, and related crimes. Discussions will include restraining orders, basic police procedures, guidelines for assisting those dealing with the death of a loved one, and the role of the victim advocate. Job search strategies and placement possibilities will also be discussed.

National Advocate Credentialing Program National Organization for Victim Assistance

Successful graduates of our training program will be eligible at minimum for the NACP Provisional Credential and possibly for the Basic, Intermediate or Advanced Credential based upon their experience in the field. Please refer to the NACP link for additional information:

Course Objectives

  • Define the rights and responsibilities of a victim advocate
  • Summarize the relevant legislation regarding victim advocacy and background of victim advocacy
  • Summarize the American legal system and the American system of government
  • Discuss both the civil and criminal litigation processes
  • Discuss how crime affects victims
  • Identify the elements of the grief process and PTSD
  • Explain how to work with the victim’s family and the media definitions of racism, sexism, and heterosexism
  • Define classism, ageism, and ableism
  • Demonstrate how to respond to victims of hate crimes
  • Explain guidelines for death notification and for providing support after death notification
  • Identify victim advocacy skills for working with surviving family members of a homicide victim
  • Identify suicide behavioral distress signals
  • Demonstrate techniques for assisting suicidal persons and tools for suicide prevention
  • Identify patterns of domestic violence
  • List characteristics of abusers and victims
  • Explain how to counsel victims of domestic violence
  • Discuss how to recognize signs of child abuse
  • Identify common Myths Regarding Rape
  • Describe the effects of sexual assault and rape
  • Demonstrate how to respond to victims of sexual assault and rape
  • Identify the elements of sexual abuse, child neglect, physical abuse, and emotional abuse
  • Identify techniques for intervention and support in child abuse situations


There are no prerequisites, but students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework and pass two exams.


Students will be expected to spend an average of at least 12 hours per lesson reading and completing writing assignments. Please note that, extensions will not be granted for this course. This course is the equivalent of at least 50 course contact hours. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.

Course Books

Required textbooks for this course:

  • Victim Advocacy Manual, available from The Center for Legal Studies Online Store.

For more information, call The Center for Legal Studies at 888-238-5204, or visit our Online Store to order.

Reading Assignments for Lesson Topics:

Lesson One: Introduction Victim Advocacy and Legislation regarding Victim Right
Read Chapters 1 & 2 in Victim Advocacy Manual (Manual)

Lesson Two: Introduction to the Legal Process and Effects of Victimization on the Victim
Read Chapters 3 & 4 in Manual

Lesson Three: Victim Advocate Skills and “ISMs” (a look at bias in victim advocacy)Read Chapters 5 & 6 in Manual

Lesson Four: Assault, Battery, and Robbery and Homicide & Suicide
Read Chapters 7 & 8 in Manual

Lesson Five: Domestic Violence
Read Chapter 9 in Manual

Lesson Six: Sexual Assault/Rape and Child Abuse
Read Chapters 10 & 11 in Manual

Lesson Seven: Job Hunting Techniques
Read Chapter 12 in Manual


For the first six lesson’s topic you will submit a 50-point short answer/essay assignment covering the topics in your lesson’s reading. There is no assignment for Lesson Seven.


You will complete two exams. Each is worth 100 points. The first exam is due with your Lesson Four Assignments; the last exam is due with your Lesson Six Assignments.

Reflections Assignments:

You will also post your responses to 11 reflection assignments. These assignments will be submitted with your lesson assignments and make up your class participation grade. All lesson objectives, assignments, and tests can be found in the Lesson Material packet and/or your required text.


Your grade will be based on your completion of six writing assignments, two exams, and class participation.

Your final grade will be figured as follows:

  • The six assignments are worth 50 points each and comprise 40% of your grade.
  • The two exams are worth 100 points and comprise 40% of your grade.
  • Your participation in class participation assignments comprises 20% of your grade.

Refund Policy

  • Students have 30 days from the date they register for the DVD format of the course to return all course materials and drop the class to receive a refund less a $50 non-refundable administrative fee. Materials including all printed packets, handouts, and DVDs, must be received by CLS in new condition no less then 30 days from the date of purchase. No items will be accepted after 30 days.
  • If students drop after 30 days from their registration date no refund will be issued.