Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Judy Eaton

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Victimization creates harms that can take an emotional and financial toll on victims and their communities. As a result of the trauma, many victims will have physiological, safety, and emotional needs that require support. All community members benefit when victims can receive support that meets the needs generated by the harms of a victimization. This mixed-methods study using Canadian data examines what factors contribute to victims engaging in behavioural changes to meet their safety needs, and explores how Victim Service workers view their role in assisting victims to meet their needs. Using data from the 2014 General Social Survey, Study 1 explores the factors that predict the extent to which victims will utilize crime prevention strategies to increase their personal safety. Two multiple regression analyses, one for victims of violent crimes and one for victims of non-violent crimes, found that age, gender, family income, greater number of victimizations, long-term emotional impact of the victimization, and personal satisfaction with safety from crime are the strongest predictors of victims undertaking crime prevention strategies to meet their security needs. When victims’ needs exceed their own coping strategies, victims might seek assistance from social supports. To learn more about social supports available to victims, Study 2 was conducted to examine how professional practices impact access to Victim Services, how the process of providing support reflects the definition of victim being used, and the best practices for providing support to victims of crime. Through in-depth interviews with eight Victim Service workers, several barriers emerged that demonstrated that victims experience unequal access to support. In addition, when Victim Services provide support that does not acknowledge the victim’s previous victimizations and experience of trauma, Victim Service workers experience greater challenges in helping victims meet their needs. Based on the findings from both studies, directions for future research and policy recommendations to create a better match between victims and their ability to receive support are proposed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season