Learning Objectives: This session looks at the victims behind the national crime statistics, focusing on the effects of crime . . .
This session looks at the victims behind the national crime statistics, focusing on the effects of crime on individuals and communities. Teens will learn that they are the most frequent victims of crime. They will practice how they might respond if a friend becomes a crime victim.
Tips to Enhance Session 3:
- Integrate the victimization statistics presented in Session 2 (in conjunction with Step A and B).
- Add an alternate case study to Step B. The Case Study of Betty Jane Spencer (PDF) tells a story of victimization with follow-up comprehension questions for youth.
- Use the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization findings for the most recent, user-friendly victimization statistics (to supplement the statistics presented in Step C).
Questions for Youth:
Ask students these questions to facilitate further discussion:
- If you were the victim of a robbery, what concern would be the most important to you? How would your feelings differ if the crime were vandalism?
- Do the police or the courts ever add to the problems of victims? In what ways can police help victims? In what ways can the legal system help victims?
- Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization: This resources offers the latest summary findings of victimization in American schools and households. You can also view information on characteristics of victims and crimes.
- Office for Victims of Crime: This resource provides statistics, resources, and names of agencies that can help victims of specific crimes.
- The National Center for Victims of Crime: This site offers resources for crime victims, as well as downloadable fact sheets that you can share with your students.
Community Resource People:
- Victim service provider: Can share local statistics, aspects of victimization, and how students can find help if they become victims of crime. A victim service provider can also help youth understand and feel empathy, which can prevent youth from engaging in delinquent and harmful behaviors.
Remember to give the community resource person the session materials at least one week before he or she is to participate in your class.
Service-Learning Project Ideas:
- Short Project: Students can develop crime prevention tips to read over the school’s public address system. These tips can address victimization statistics as well as suggest ways youth can keep themselves safe.
- Medium-Length Project: Students can raise money and provide other resources to support a family that was victimized by crime.
- Long Project: Students can conduct a public awareness campaign about victimization regarding specific crimes committed against specific segments of the population. This project will require a commitment by the students to conduct light research, create awareness-raising materials, or even hold rallies that garner news media attention. Students may even want to collect donations in order to give money/resources to victim service providers.