Online Courses for Victim Advocates
The following are some of the victim advocate courses found online.
- Victim Advocacy Course: The class provides students with a basic introduction of victim advocacy and victims' rights legislation. Students learn how the legal process works. The course also includes training for community and grief counseling and crisis intervention. Graduates understand the steps to helping victims receive temporary restraining orders and find employment. Specific topics covered in most classes include legal terminology and process, guardianship, domestic violence and child abuse and sexual assault.
- Victimology: This course is a general study of victims, the effect crime has on them and their families and the relationship between criminals and victims.
- Intimate Partner Violence: Students scrutinize victimization issues between people who know each other very well. The course also examines how the court system and law enforcement deal with this type of violence.
- Forensic Psychology Course: In this course, students learn about the relationship between psychology and the law. For victim advocates, an understanding of this field can help them understand the factors that affect the credibility of victims, witnesses and criminal offenders.
- Child Welfare Course: For victim advocates who work with children, this course covers the state laws, federal regulations and ethics standards that underpin child welfare programs. Included in the curriculum are examinations of child protection programs, child abuse laws, family rights and responsibilities, custody considerations, foster care and adoption practices, education legislation and juvenile emancipation rules.
Training programs and courses in victim advocacy teach participants how to help victims deal with the devastating effects that crime has on the lives of individuals and families. In addition, students learn how to provide assistance to victims during and after times of crisis resulting from criminal activity.
Students can earn an online Certificate of Completion in Victim Advocacy, or take online classes as part of a bachelor's or master's degree program in legal studies, criminal justice or social work. Most online victim advocate training programs focus on the same material and present it as a single course. Students can expect to complete training in about seven weeks.
Graduates work as victim advocates in various settings, including domestic violence shelters, crisis centers and with state and county offices that assist victims. Graduates may also pursue careers as probation, parole or peace officers and social workers.
Aspiring victim advocates can take online courses that enable them to explore victimization issues and the role of victims in the criminal justice system. Relevant programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.