Statistics show that approximately 300 children are abducted each year. Of those children, 50 to 150 end up dead. And although this statistic is shocking and horrifying, it brings to light a very important task that parents should consider. Making children alert and teaching them what to do in the case of attempted abduction is extremely important if there is any hope to prevent abduction or bring home a child that has been abducted.
Most experts believe that the best line of defense is to teach children how to avoid being seized, how to resist a potential captor and how to escape. Because children are vulnerable and trusting by nature, parents need to consistently remind them of basic safety rules and practice, practice, practice, so that techniques and tips become second nature.
Here are some suggestions recommended by experts:
- Do not leave the presence of your family, school, friends or anything else with anyone other than a parent, or the person who was already arranged to take care of you that day.
- Adults do not need help from a child — not to find a puppy, not for anything. If an adult that you do not know is asking you for help, seek your parents or a trusted adult out immediately.
- Never get into a car with a stranger.
- Know and follow the rules established by parents, they are important for a reason!
- Recognize that abductors are often someone whom the child knows and are sometimes a parent in a custody battle.
- Abductors don’t usually fit the stereotypical profile of a scary, creepy stranger or dirty old man. Abductors often seek to develop a casual relationship with them first to build trust and so the child will feel more comfortable doing what they want.
- Openly communicate with your children on a regular basis. Show them that you are interested in what is going on in their life.
- Teach your child their rights and how to say “no.”
- Help children should know different rules for different situations.
- Let your kids know that they don’t have to always be polite. If someone is invading their space and violating their rights, they need to know it is okay to yell, scream and demand to be let go.
- Sign your children up for a self-defense class or a survival techniques class. Many community centers, police departments and other community resources offer classes or other suggestions on what to teach your kids.
- Help your child develop good self-esteem and the confidence to carry through these possibly life-saving techniques.
- Go to the classes with them and practice these techniques at home or school, with other parents and kids.
The more kids practice, the more they will remember these techniques, and the more secure and confident they will feel fighting back or struggling against an abductor if they need to.
For more tips and suggestions, contact your local police department.
Any and all advice contained herein is intended only to assist parents and families with abduction of children. Nothing suggested in this article should substitute for common sense, police direction or other professional advice.
About The National Academy for Child Abduction Prevention Associates, LLC:
Founded in 2013 by Roy M. Doppelt, Esq., the National Academy for Child Abduction and Prevention Associates, LLC is an Academy of family law attorneys advocating prevention of child abduction through public education and professional collaboration. We believe that educating the public about kidnapping and its prevention is a paramount duty of attorneys who represent family law clients.