As a society, things are becoming more violent and crimes against children are continually increasing. In our efforts to prevent theses crimes we are not keeping up with the violence, abductions, and rapes being done to our children. This section of the home page will not reach as many of the parents and children that I would like it to, but if it helps at least one child so as not to become a statistic it will have done its job.
- Approximately 4,600 children are abducted by strangers (non family members) each year in the United States.
- There are approximately 120,000 attempted abductions per year.
- There are 300 long term abductions per year where the children are either murdered, never found, or returned to their families months or even years later.
- There are 354,000 children abducted by family members.
- There are 450,700 children who ran away
- There are 127,100 children who were thrown away
- There are 438,200 children who were lost, injured, or otherwise missing
Prevention and Awareness
Don’t let it Happen
In Maryland, a intruder went into a home through an unlocked back door, took a 2 1/2 year old girl out of her crib, abused her in the backyard, and ran off. After the attack, the girl walked back to her house, where her mother found her crying in the early morning.
A video tape shows a playground, children are playing, the camera zooms into a little girl playing then zooms out and then back into a little boy. A voice comes across the video it says: Some people go to shopping malls to find what they need, Not me, this is where I shop, this is where I hunt, this is where I find my boys. This was a pornographic video tape that was confiscated by police officials during an investigation from an apartment of a known child molester. The two producers of this terrifying video had planned to kidnap a young boy from a playground, film him being sexually and physically abused. The actual script had called for the young boy to be KILLED right on film. This plot was foiled by the police and the two individuals are in prison.
A young boy was picked up by a church going and close friend of the family to go fishing. When he was taken to the fishing sight the friend of the family started to fondle the boy and then asked him to go into the bushes with him and started to pull him towards the bushes. As the boy got closer to the bushes he kept telling him he didn’t want to go. The boy not being able to think of anything else told the man that there was poison ivy in the bushes and that he was allergic to the poison ivy and kept saying it louder and louder. This so called friend of the family afraid the other people fishing in the area would here this young boy and see that the boy was crying gave up and stopped trying. The young boy was finally taken home and fortunately this did not have a terrible ending.
What to do?
So what can we do? Should we constantly live in fear? No!
- Talk to your children frankly about the abductions.
- Teach them about avoidance, awareness and self defense.
- Don’t hide what’s out there from your children.
- Make them aware of how these Abductors and molesters work and the techniques they use to get their victims.
- Start early and continue to teach them!
- If you keep them always aware and street smart, you keep them safe!
If your child knows how the abductor works your child can better handle any situation that may arise.
- Parents MUST know the families of their children’s friends.
- Children should use the buddy system – NEVER walk or ride bikes alone, at night or even during the day. When walking always walk toward traffic so that an Abductor can not drive up behind and pull the child into their vehicle.
- NEVER hitchhike or take rides from friends unless parents have given permission.
- Always tell a family member or other adult in charge where you will be at all times and when you will be home. To include a friends house close by.
- Have a Secret Word known ONLY to family members in the event of an emergency. (Do Not use birth dates, Super Heroes, etc.).
- Don’t put your child’s name on their lunch box or where any one can see it. Abductors will see the name and then call the child by name to make the initial contact they need to abduct the child. Explain to your child that even if a stranger knows your name he still could be an abductor.
- If someone tries to pick you up they Must know the secret word. If they do not know the word then don’t ride with them.
- If a strange vehicle or person tries to approach, DO NOT GO NEAR THE VEHICLE!! Keep walking or run if necessary!
- Bus stops are common areas for abductors to use. Telling them that the bus broke down and they are there to pick up the kids. Or when it is raining or snowing offering them rides to get them out of the elements.
- Teach your child at a young age how and when to use 911. Disconnect the phone and let you pretend your the dispatcher and he is calling. Make sure he knows his full name and yours, the complete address to your house, and your phone number.
- Let your children know that if someone touches them in there private areas that they should let you know. That includes people they know or you know; Friends of the family, uncles, aunts, godfathers, or anyone.
How to Identity a Strange Vehicle or Person
The key to helping the police to quick apprehension of the stranger that abducts a child and getting the child back is to ensure that you get good identification of the stranger.
If you see a child pulled into a vehicle, or vehicles which may be “driving back and forth” or are unfamiliar to the neighborhood. Remember the following and write it down if possible.
- Color or colors of vehicle
- Type of vehicles (Ford, Toyota,)
- License plate numbers and state the license plate is from.
- Window tint, dents, rust, or anything else that might be used to distinguish the vehicle.
Driver / Strangers identification
- Race/Nationality (White, Black, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, etc.)
- Sex (Male/Female)
- Hair: Color and length, mustache, beard, scars, balding, receding hairline, etc.
- Clothes (color of shirt, jacket/coat, hat, glasses, etc.)
- Other passengers, or if he has animals in the vehicle,
Remember DON’T put yourself in any danger getting this information. Do it from a good distance away.
What do I do if someone tries to get me?
- Remember the word SKY which stands for Scream – Kick – Yell. These three things will draw attention to you and COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!
- Look for a person you know or a “Safe Place“, run to it and ask for help.
- STAY NEAR PEOPLE if at all possible. Do Not run into an open field or wooded area.
The other thing to remember is the 4 R’s. React, Release, Retaliate, Run
- React: Don’t wait; the minute someone grabs you do something.
- Release: Get away by using SKY.
- Retaliate: Hit, kick or punch.
- Run: Get out of the area as fast as you can.
Children and Parent Guidelines
Information for the Child and the Parent!
- This page has great animated gifs and music with tips for children to remember.
- Don’t *go* with strangers! Talking to strangers when with someone you know and trust is fine in most cases
- Don’t accept gifts from anyone not specifically OK’d by your parents.
- Don’t accept rides from strangers, or even someone you know. Unless your parents have specially said it’s OK to go in a car with that person.
- Don’t talk to strange people on the other side of schoolyard fence. Go and tell a teacher that a stranger is talking to you, especially if they are asking *any* questions.
- Listen to your parents, because they’re teaching you self-defense daily, when they tell you:
- where you should be
- what time to be home,
- and to go directly home. Remember parents do and tell you these things out of love for you and to protect you.
- Listen to your teachers when they tell you where to go and what to do around school grounds, because that’s self-defense, too.
- If you have to walk on the public streets, walk in the *middle* of the sidewalk, away from doorways and alley ways. Face traffic so someone can’t drive up from behind and grab you, and always watch for strangers when they approach.
- Don’t take *unsafe shortcuts* across parks, etc.
- Get immediate attention of anyone nearby if you feel threatened.
- Yell “FIRE! FIRE!” and NOT “HELP!” because there are many tragic instances where people have
run away from those yelling “Help!” but fire is such a threat to everyone that they generally come to at least
see what’s happening.
- Even break a window, if necessary, don’t be afraid to draw attention to yourself! “The window can be replaced, but you cannot be replaced!!
How do I know if my Child has been molested?
As parents and protectors of our children we need to be able to tell if our children have been molested. The following is some signs to look for.
- Fear of certain places, people, activities, or if they do not want to be alone with certain people. A child should never be forced to give affection to other people if they do not want to. This avoidance may indicate a problem.
- Afraid to go to bed, constant nightmares, or other related sleep problems.
- Changes in the child’s behavior, sudden mood swings, fearfulness, withdrawal from things around them, and excessive crying.
- Having an unusual interest in sexual matters or acting out sexual acts.
- Rebellious or aggressive behavior.
- Regression to infantile behavior.
- Pain, itching, bleeding, or rawness in the private areas.
- Street Sense for Parents by Louis R. Mizell, Jr.
- ISBN 0-425-14947-1