Victimology Across the Americas The 3rd American Symposium on Victimology Meets at Fresno State April 27-30

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Victimology Across the Americas The 3rd American Symposium on Victimology Meets at Fresno State April 27-30

EDITORS: See schedule at

The American Society of Victimology will meet at California State University, Fresno April 27 through 30 during the 25th anniversary of Victim Rights Week.

The 3rd American Symposium on Victimology will be in at the University Center, Room 200 beginning Wednesday evening, all day Thursday and Friday, and concludes early Saturday afternoon.

Featuring some of the most distinguished academicians and practitioners in the field of victimology in America, the symposium will focus on victim rights, victim services and theoretical developments in the Americas.

It will bring the largest gathering of the field of victim services/victimology ever to Fresno State, organizers said.

The keynote speaker on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. when the symposium begins, will be James Rowland, former chief probation officer for Fresno County and former Director of California Youth Authority and the California Department of Corrections.

Rowland created the first Victim Impact Statement in the U.S. and was a founding board member of the National Organization of Victim Assistance (NOVA), the oldest victims’ organization in the world.

Plenary sessions on Thursday and Friday morning will feature Dr. Murray Straus, a leading researcher in domestic violence for more than 30 years, and Dr. Jane Sigmon, the first director of the Office for the Victims of Crime.

The symposium also will include workshops, round tables, poster presentations and an awards dinner on Friday night.

The event ends at 11 a.m. Saturday after plenary reports and a summary presentation. An AVP membership meeting follows from noon to 12:45 p.m.

The Fresno State campus was chosen for this year’s symposium due to the Criminology Department’s preeminent reputation in the field of victimology, said Dr. Mario Gaboury associate professor of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven.

The first Victim Certificate Program, the first Victim Services Summer Institute and the first Victimology Major were all created by the Fresno State Criminology Department. Upon completion, students receive a Victim Services Certificate which has been offered by the Criminology Department at Fresno State since 1985. The certificate is for those working with the victims of violent crime in agencies such as rape counseling programs, domestic violence programs, victim/witness programs, etc.

“The Victimology Program at California State University, Fresno set the standard for the creation of academic programs in the U.S,” Gaboury said.

Dr. Steven D. Walker, chair of the Criminology Department, is vice president of ASV, and Dr. John Dussich, associate professor and founder of NOVA, has an honorary ASV award and an honorary NOVA award named after him.

Walker said this symposium will bring together students, academicians, practitioners, and researchers in victimology and will offer many sessions in Spanish.

“Even though Fresno has been the site of many important events in the history of the Victims Movement, this event will bring the largest gathering of the field of Victim Services/Victimology ever to Fresno State,” he said. “It will provide a unique experience for our 200 Victimology majors to interact with advocates from the field.”

For more details, visit the ASV website at or call: Dussich at (559)278-6046 or 278-2305, email:


Since its foundation in 2003, the American Society of Victimology has sponsored symposiums that encourage a balance of participation between practitioners, educators and researchers. The networking between these groups enhances their effort, as they strive toward the common goal of increased understanding and better service. This partnership must be encouraged across the United States as well as our neighbors throughout the Americas. Thus the theme of the third symposium, Victimology Across the Americas. The ASV board of directors consists of victimology professionals from throughout the world. The first two symposiums were held at Kansas City in 2003 and Topeka, Kansas in 2004.