Preventing Victimization: Strategies for Personal Safety

Author: Kim Baker

Subject: Physical Education

Teacher: Kim Baker, Physical Education Department
Wayne Central High School, Ontario Center, NY

Grade Level : 9 – 12 high school

Learning Strategy: Round Table, Group Work

Objective: The objective of this lesson is to teach students to identify strategies to successfully prevent themselves from being a victim of a physical attack.

Big6 Objectives

Task Definition: Understanding verbal directions
Use of Information: Listening for information from a story
Synthesis: Sharing and organizing information on a response sheet
Evaluation: Judging the quality of the responses to the problem-solving situation


• 5 copies of “Jodie Robertson’s Story”
• 5 large sheets of paper
• 5 marking pens / masking tape


1. Introduce the activity and the lesson objective.
- Prompt for active listening.
- Talk about key words in assignments related to Task Definition.

2. Group students and hand out materials.
- 5 students per group / 1 piece of paper / 1 pen / 1 story

3. Have one student from each group read the story out loud to their group.
- Discuss use of information strategies – listening and note-taking.

4. All groups must answer the following question: 
- “What are some things Jodie Robertson could have done to prevent this violent attack?”

5. One student in the group writes a response and shares it out loud with the group.

6. The response paper is passed to the right, and the second student writes her response, etc.

7. If students don’t have an answer, they may “pass”.

8. Each group has 10 – 15 minutes to complete the exercise, writing as many responses as the group can generate.

9. Once time is called, all groups meet together to share their ideas.

10. Students justify their responses and determine the best strategies.

11. Teacher compiles a master list of the best strategies for personal safety given this situation.


1. Content Side: Review and discuss with students the importance of:
- being alert to their surroundings
- trusting their “safety” instincts
- using personal safety strategies.

2. Big6 Side: Review and discuss Synthesis with students
- generating as many ideas as possible
- building on the ideas of others
- combining ideas and summarizing

3. Big6 Side: Review and discuss Evaluation with students
- listening skills
- quality of responses
- working in groups.


Jodie Robertson’s Story
From: Home Journal, February 1997, p66.

I was thirty-four years old and on vacation at my brother’s in California. I was driving back to his apartment at about 11 p.m. when I stopped at a light. A sports car pulled up and drove slowly past me. The same car then pulled into the parking lot at my brother’s building. The driver got out, leaving the motor running, and walked past me, then grabbed me and put a knife to my throat, almost before I could blink. “You’re going with me,” he said.

He shoved me into his car and drove me to a house outside of town, where he tied my hands with a rope that was waiting, neatly coiled on the bed. Then he laid me down on the bed and raped me. Afterward, he drove to a deserted place and walked me into the bushes. He grabbed my hair, pulled my head back and slashed my throat from ear to ear. At this point I couldn’t focus at all. Then he took a rock and slammed it into my skull. Two women out for their morning walk found me at about seven a.m.