Everyday, thousands of children go missing from all over the world. These children may, or may not return to their homes.
They may have been kidnapped, raped and murdered, or abducted by a stranger or strangers for devious purposes.
Although we all find our hearts breaking at hearing these stories, we know that we cannot do anything for them.
However, we can and must take action right now, in our own homes, by teaching our children how to face an abductor when he appears.
In the past, our parents had it easier, because they could give the ‘stranger danger’ speech and believe that we would stay safe. Today, however, the picture is different.
It is those people the child is familiar with that commit these crimes more often than not, and although it is tragic, it is unavoidable, and we must arm our children to face these dangers.
Here are some tips to teach your child about abduction:
- You must tell your child that even if she is familiar with the person, she must still seek your permission before she interacts with him. For example, you may be friendly with the courier boy, and even offered him tea. This may make the child assume that he is a friend, and she may be wrong. Teach her to tell you if he invites her out, and to seek your permission whenever necessary.
- Teach her that adults normally don’t ask a child for directions to go to the supermarket, and that a person who does this is not a ‘good stranger’, and that she must avoid him at all costs.
- Teach your child to run in the opposite direction when she thinks a car is following her.
- Teach your teen to never go out with a stranger, especially if he has come to the school saying that you have sent him. Arrange a code word that only she and you know, and ask her to wait for it. If he doesn’t say the word, it means that he is a stranger, and that she must call for help immediately.
- Teach your child the small techniques prescribed by authorities, which will help her being abducted. For example, she can scream out loudly for help, or even hold on tightly to the nearest stranger, so that the stranger will be forced to help, no matter what. Also, teach her to rotate her arm quickly, so that the stranger cannot grab it. If she is riding a bicycle, she can hold on to it so tightly that he will find it impossible to get a good grip. Who knows, these little gaps in time could save her from the abductor.
- Teach your child to attract as much attention as possible immediately after she has been abducted, God forbid. The idea is that the abductor will try to get her away to a safer place before he uses her, so she can prevent this by not letting him get to that safe place.
- She can try putting something, even her bubble gum, into the ignition cylinder. The abductor will not be able to get his key into it, and the crime would have been stopped even before it began.
No matter what the technique may be, teach your child to keep her head about her, and use her common sense and reasoning power to escape being abducted, and if it has happened, to get away as quickly as humanly possible using the methods you have taught her, making use of the small windows of opportunity that present themselves in any crime.