Victimology and Victim Studies Research Lab
Victimology and Victim Studies Research Lab
The mission of the Victimology and Victim Studies Research Lab (VVSRL) is to conduct high quality research related to crime victims and crime victimization, inform policy and practice, and help shape prevention and intervention efforts.
The VVSRL draws from undergraduate students engaged in UNO’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice’s (SCCJ) victim studies concentration/minor and SCCJ’s masters and doctoral students and utilizes a structured mentoring model to develop future generations of victimology scholars. VVSRL student and faculty researchers have the opportunity to work across the Lab’s diverse portfolio of funded projects and future grant proposals promoting cross-teaching and learning and cultivating peer-to-peer mentorship.
This project proposes a new partnership between the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, which represents the four tribes of Nebraska: Omaha Tribe, Ponca Tribe, Santee Sioux Tribe, and Winnebago Tribe, as well as other Native persons living on and off tribal lands in Nebraska, the Nebraska State Patrol and researchers at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Investigators are Tara Richards, Ph.D., Emily Wright, Ph.D., and Justin Nix, Ph.D. Two doctoral student research fellows, Alyssa Nystrom and Sheena Gilbert, are also assisting on the project. Read more about this study and view local news coverage.
This project aims to conduct a formative evaluation and evaluability assessment of Project Harmony, a large child advocacy center (CAC) in Omaha, Nebraska, currently serving children who are victims of alleged child abuse. Project Harmony is one of the largest CACs in the nation. The ultimate goal is to lay the foundation for future CAC outcome evaluation efforts. Investigators include Teresa, Kulig, Ph.D., Emily Wright, Ph.D., and Ryan Spohn, Ph.D. with Amber Krushas serving as a doctoral student research assistant. Community partner investigators include Debra Anderson, Ph.D., and Lynn Castrianno, Ph.D. with Project Harmony. Read more about this study.
The project assesses whether supportive services for common psychosocial problems (e.g., unemployment, mental health problems, substance abuse, and parenting issues) provided by community partners on site at a batterer program – Baltimore, Maryland’s House of Ruth’s Gateway Project – can reduce violent and non-violent criminal re-offending in a high-risk urban sample. Investigators include an inter-university and interdisciplinary team from psychology: Christopher Murphy, Ph.D. (UMBC), criminology: Tara Richards, Ph.D. (UNO), and public health: Charvonne Holiday, Ph.D. (JHU). Community Partners from Baltimore, Maryland’s House of Ruth’s Gateway Project include Lisa Nitsch, Ange Manning-Green, and Ann Marie Brokmeier.
Mobile Vulnerable Populations in Omaha
This project involves a collaboration between faculty at UNO in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the Office for Latino/Latin American Studies, Religious Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology to examine the needs of Omaha services providers for refugees, migrants, human trafficking victims, and the homeless. The purpose of this project is to complete a systematic review of research on services for the select populations, and to create a database of Omaha networks that could assist these vulnerable individuals. Then, interviews and surveys will be used to determine the immediate needs of these community agencies to better serve their clients. Recommendations will be created to inform next steps on facilitating these requests. Investigators include Teresa, Kulig, Ph.D., Laura Alexander, Ph.D., Cristián Doña-Reveco, Ph.D., and Allison Schlosser, Ph.D., with Morgan McBride, Sawyer Stender, and Roxana Lara serving as research assistants.
This project involves the exploration of the prevalence, incidence, and prevention of cyber victimization. This includes the use of survey research to measure the prevalence and incidence intimate partner cyber abuse and to identify risk factors for experiencing such abuse. Survey instruments to identify and evaluate bystander intervention strategies for preventing cyber victimization are also under development. The project is in its early stages, but ultimately aims to identify new frontiers in victimization research that will provide numerous opportunities for future grant applications and journal publications.
Alyssa Nystrom, first-year doctoral student
Caralin Branscum, first-year doctoral student
Sheena Gilbert, first-year doctoral student
Amber Krushas, second-year doctoral student
Brian Gildea, first-year doctoral student
Morgan McBride, first-year masters student
Emily Wright, Professor
Tara Richards, Associate Professor
Teresa Kulig, Assistant Professor
Leah Butler, Assistant Professor