January 24, 2007

Kidnapped Part 3 (revised because the previous article was incomplete!)

The Best Protection

Please let me go on record here as stating that I believe that the best protection against kidnapping lies in the heads of your children! The best protection lies in teaching your children to protect themselves because it is pretty certain that if your child is going to be kidnapped, the perpetrator will make sure that you are nowhere around when they commit the act. Your children must be able to protect themselves!

In a recent article By Wendy Koch, in USA TODAY, she noted, “according to a study released today by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the typical victim is a teenage girl on her way to or from school.
The study, released as a new school year gets underway, examined 403 attempted kidnappings by strangers or slight acquaintances that were reported by police or news media in 45 states from February 2005 to July 2006. It was conducted to learn how such attempts are foiled. The study did not look at successful abductions.

Six in 10 victims fought back and escaped, according to the ongoing study's initial findings. Three in 10 ran away before any physical contact, and about 10% were saved when an adult nearby intervened.

‘It is more important than ever for parents to empower their kids,' says Ernie Allen, the center's president. He says he doesn't want to scare children, but they need to learn to recognize danger and, if attacked, draw attention by screaming, kicking and running away.”

Parental Action

All of that being said, it is still necessary for parents to educate themselves in order to be able to effectively teach their children! There are also lots common sense types of things that parents can do to simply avoid putting children in situations that will make them vulnerable to kidnapping.
Things like never allowing children to used public restrooms unattended, or never allowing children to be out of their sight in crowded places like malls, stadiums, or theaters. (the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, that I will mention further down, will give you many helpful suggestions for protecting your children.)
One of the newest tools used by child predators is the Internet. Predators use the internet to attempt to establish relationships with targeted children. Parents absolutely must instruct their children about Internet safety. One great resource for information about Internet safety is our Parenting with Dignity Warning Signs webpage.

Rather that rewrite what has already been written elsewhere I will simply give you the recommendation for a couple of sights that you ought to visit to become well informed about how to protect your children from abduction.

I personally believe that the best source of sound parental advice about child abductions is the site of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Their site is comprehensive and informative without being alarming.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is also the recommended parental help organization of the FBI, who has jurisdiction over all kidnapping in America. I think that speaks loudly of their qualification to offer you help. While you are at it, I would strongly recommend that you visit the FBI site and look over their information on crimes against children. (If you do visit the FBI site please be forewarned to guard yourself against becoming unnecessarily alarmed. Some of the information you find there will alarm just about anyone.) While reading their information please use it to motivate you to keep you children safe!

Guarding children against abduction and kidnapping requires education, careful instruction, common sense, and well practiced, and safe actions from parents!

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