Working group reports: ESC Victimology Working Group

Beatrice Coscas Williams

Beatrice Coscas Williams

ESC Victimology Working Group



The WG is composed by the following team:

- Chair of the ESC Victimology Working Group: Dr. Beatrice Coscas-Williams (researcher and lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College, Israel) (since September 2019)

- Executive secretary of the ESC Victimology Working Group: Dr. Polina Smirigina-Ingelström (researcher and lecturer at DIS Stockholm and affiliated researcher at Lund University, Sweden) (since September 2022)

- Postgraduate representative of the ESC Victimology Working Group: Victoria Wozniak-Cole (Ph.D. researcher at KU Leuven, Belgium) (since March 2023)

About 50 participants attended our last annual meeting in Florence. We are in the process of updating the list of participants.

The working group's objectives encompass promoting networking, facilitating the exchange of ideas, and encouraging research cooperation while advancing theoretical knowledge about victims and victimology and engaging in critical analyses of victim-related issues. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has remained highly active.

Quarterly Meetings

Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, our group has been meeting online twice yearly, in February and June. These meetings, led by the chair, are intended to share updates and discuss topics of victimology and victims’ rights. Additionally, our meetings foster discussions about the challenges researchers encounter in their research. Our meetings follow this structure: (1) Introduction of participants and their research, (2) two presentations (one presenter is a postgraduate member) and Q&A, (3) concluding remarks and a brief discussion of upcoming meetings. (the list of presentations is available upon request).

Annual Meetings

Since 2019, two annual meetings, led by the chair, were held during the ESC conferences in Malaga (2022) and Florence (2023). Previously, two others had to be conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These meetings facilitate in-person exchanges, seek feedback, and invite researchers to join our group.


Our group issues three newsletters annually. The aim is to share information and knowledge within the ESC victimology research community. We disseminate information on upcoming events, the latest research findings and publications, insights, and developments in the field, fostering collaboration, awareness, and the exchange of ideas among the members. We also aim to promote victim-centered research, elevate awareness of victimology issues, and foster a sense of community and support among researchers, scholars, and practitioners dedicated to advancing the field of victimology in Europe (and beyond). The newsletter is a collaborative effort curated by Dr. Smiragina-Ingelström, with valuable contributions from our team and the working group members.

Promotion of Postgraduate Work

The aim is to actively involve junior scholars in the working group and seek to present, publish, and collaborate. We have successfully integrated junior scholars into the working group, actively promoting participation during the meetings and allowing them to present their work. In addition, junior scholars are encouraged to join panels/roundtables at the ESC and to publish what has been presented. The organization of panels and roundtables at the ESC 2023 included a Panel on Victim Vulnerability from a Comparative Perspective and a roundtable on The Universality of Victims’ Need for Recognition. Victoria Wozniak-Cole is responsible for curating the postgraduate representation within the working group.


Our group actively promotes collaboration with other research working groups and academic societies. In February 2024, we will host a quarterly meeting in collaboration with the COST program to advance research in conflict victimology. Another example is the preparation of a presentation on the archive of the father of victimology, L. Benjamin Mendelsohn, in September 2024 during the ESC Conference of Criminology in Bucharest.

Social media presence

The group maintains a presence on social media platforms, including LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter), where we share updates about our meetings and ongoing work.