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Shannon Vettor, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Shannon Vettor, PhD Shannon Vettor, PhD

Lecturer, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Examining offender characteristics and behaviours to aid in criminal investigations and reduce victimization



Restorative justice is a philosophy that encourages meaningful communication between victims and offenders; and promotes offender accountability, while creating safer and healthier communities. Shannon Vettor, PhD, Lecturer in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, largely bases her teaching and research on this collaborative approach aimed at reducing victimization in Canada, and other parts of the world. Understanding the characteristics and behaviours that lead to violent and sexual offending can help the criminal justice system provide better support and rehabilitation to prevent reoffending and further potential victimization.

Fascinated by human beings’ darker behaviours such as violent offending and abnormal psychology, Dr. Vettor earned her Honours Bachelor of Science with a Double Major in Psychology, and Crime and Deviance from the University of Toronto. An opportunity to learn from one of the world’s leading psychology experts spurred her move to England to complete her Master of Science in Psychology and Investigation at the University of Liverpool. She received her Doctorate in Forensic Psychology from the University of Birmingham. Her doctoral research examined ways to analyze the criminal behaviours of sexual offenders, rapists and sexual murderers. She joined UOIT in 2013 and continues to focus on offender profiling to determine whether a perpetrated crime can uncover specific characteristics or behaviours that could assist law enforcement investigations in soliciting a suspect or suspect prioritization.

During her doctoral studies, Dr. Vettor also worked with the group Circles of Support and Accountability to help reintegrate sex offenders who had completed time served in prison to reintegrate and become contributing members of society. Her research aimed to understand what might lead them to reoffend, and hold them accountable for dangerous behaviours.

A global advocate for the prevention of child maltreatment, Dr. Vettor previously collaborated with the World Health Organization to develop training and information materials for individuals who work in the area of child and family psychology to help reduce physical and sexual abuse of children. European institutions have adopted these materials as part of their education programs.

At UOIT, she brings her real-world experience to the classroom, challenging students’ critical-thinking skills, and encouraging opposite viewpoint discussion and debate.

Industry Expertise (4)



Law Enforcement

Public Safety

Areas of Expertise (4)

Forensic Psychology

Offender Profiling

Restorative Justice

Sexual Victimization

Education (3)

University of Birmingham: PhD, Forensic Psychology 2012

University of Liverpool: MSc, Psychology and Investigation 2005

University of Toronto: Honours BSc, Double Major in Psychology, and Crime and Deviance 2003

Affiliations (1)

  • University of Toronto Department of Medicine

Event Appearances (2)

Rapists and Sexual Murderers: Combined Pathways to Offending

2011 Annual Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society/4th International Congress on Psychology and Law  Miami, Florida


Routine Activities and Rational Choice: Towards an Integrated Theory of Offender Profiling

Poster Presentation, 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society/4th International Congress on Psychology and Law  Miami, Florida


Courses (8)

Introduction to Psychology

PSYC1000U, 1st Year Undergraduate Course

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Developmental Psychology

PSYC 2010U, 2nd Year Undergraduate Course

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Social Psychology

PSYC 2020U, 2nd Year Undergraduate Course

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Personality Psychology

PSYC 3060U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

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Investigative Psychology

PSYC 3400U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

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Eyewitness Psychology

PSYC 3320U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

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Psychology of Criminal Behaviours - Special Topics

PSYC 3999U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

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Offending Profiling - Special Topics

PSYC 4999U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Articles (4)

Is the Sexual Murderer a Unique Type of Offender? A Typology of Violent Sexual Offenders Using Crime Scene Behaviours Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment


The empirical literature on sexual homicide has posited the sexual murderer as a unique type of offender who is qualitatively different from other types of offenders. However, recent research has suggested that sexual homicide is a dynamic crime and that sexual assaults can escalate to homicide when specific situational factors are present. This study simultaneously explored the utility of the sexual murderer as a unique type of offender hypothesis and sexual homicide as a differential outcome of sexual assaults hypothesis. This study is based on a sample of 342 males who were convicted of committing a violent sexual offense, which resulted in either physical injury or death of the victim.

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Book Chapter: Rapists and Sexual Murderers: Combined Pathways to Offending, Pathways to Sexual Aggression Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group


The authors of this book review theoretical and empirical models of the processes that lead men to sexually assault children or women, whilst also presenting new results and models on this topic. In particular, this book focuses on empirical analyses of the pathways of six types of sexual aggressors, three of which (marital rapists, hebephilic sexual aggressors, and polymorphic sexual aggressors) have never been investigated before.

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Book Chapter: Offender Profiling: A Review and Critique of the Approaches and Major Assumptions, Crime: International Perspectives, Socioeconomic Factors and Psychological Implications Nova Science Publishers


In this book, the authors discuss crime issues from an international perspective, with a focus on socioeconomic factors and psychological implications. Topics include a qualitative analysis of contemporary Australian prison exit issues including prisoner re-entry and prisoner reintegration; offender profiling; hate crime in the U.S. and its relevant factors; stories of rape victims struggles and survival; a European examination of youth sexual aggression and victimization; positive psychology, offender rehabilitation and restorative justice; the effects of crime on marriages, divorce and births to single mothers in bordering states of Mexico; a comparison of geospatial data concerning crime in China and in the U.S.; prosecution of while collar criminals; and the question of whether stigmatized minorities are over-represented in delinquency in France.

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Predicting Sexual Reoffending in a UK Sample of Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities Journal of Sexual Aggression


The current study aimed to address the paucity of research and assessment tools for adolescent males with intellectual disabilities who have sexually harmed, by comparing the predictive accuracy of the AIM2 assessment, developed with populations without intellectual disabilities, and the adapted AIM assessment, designed for this group.

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