Victim support entails empathic, person-centred assistance rendered by an organisation or individual following an incident of victimisation. The output to be achieved by the goverment’s NCPS (National Crime Prevention Strategy) Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) is a comprehensive model accommodating integrated service delivery for victims of crime and violence according to national standards. The University of South Africa, answering to its function of community service, supports these national initiatives and endeavours to contribute to the development of people working with victims of crime and traumatised employees.
The Short Course in Victim Empowerment and Support, aimed at enhancing skills in trauma intervention and management, has been running since 1998 and is the only of its kind presented by a tertiary institution in South Africa.
The course consists of:

Module 1: Theory of victim empowerment and support in the South African context

This includes:
  • a comprehensive theoretical overview of the relatively new field of Victim Empowerment and Support, including both international and South African-specific perspectives
  • a ‘how to’ model of setting up a new victim empowerment initiative at a local level, including the international award winning South African research into best practices on how to translate the VEP into practice in order to ensure the success of this initiative
  • an understanding of what the impact of a traumatic experience is on the victim of, among others, crime and violence, and of the basic tasks and skills required to render empowerment and support services to victims
  • an overview of how to manage different categories of victims from a counselling perspective
  • an understanding of the different ways of prevention of victimisation in general, in the home, in public, the office, and elsewhere.

Module 2: Workshop in victim empowerment and support in the South African context
The workshop firstly aims to consolidate learning with regard to the theory covered in Module 1. Secondly, the workshop offers opportunities to develop:
  • general skills in the empowerment and support of victims; and
  • specialised skills in the empowerment and support of victims, with emphasis on the technique of debriefing as a crisis intervention technique.
At the end of the workshop learners will be better equipped to effectively intervene in trauma and crisis situations.

DurationThis is a three month distance education course with a compulsory four-day workshop at the beginning of the second month. The workshops are held at the Unisa Main Campus, Pretoria.

Admission requirementsThe information and skills contained herein aims at addressing the training needs of those who deal with supporting and managing victims of crime, traumatised employees and victims of disaster. Criminal justice officials, mental health workers, lay counsellors, human resources practitioners and mental health professionals (eg: psychologists/social workers). In short, this course is for people who desire the knowledge, skills and attitude to contribute to crime- and violence prevention.
For more information please click here 
The Centre Manager

Unisa Centre for Applied Psychology
Tel: +27 (0)12 429 8544/3794
Fax: +27 (0)12 429 6853
If you would like more information about what is happening with the Victim Empowerment Programme with the Centre, please click on the following link, page 10: