However, regardless of the number, a child abducted is one too many. That is why it is imperative for parents to take every precaution to keep their children safe. Given that seven out of 10 kids will still walk away with a stranger even after being told not to, it’s important that parents provide redundant levels of protection.
Martial Arts Training
Contrary to belief, not a single kind of martial arts was ever designed for street fighting. It is a discipline which teaches people how to respect themselves, respect others, live their life with dignity and safely. One of the most valuable things children will learn in martial arts that can spell the difference in defending themselves is boundaries. They will know when someone is invading their personal space and what to do when that happens.
They will also learn simple ways on how to spot dangers and how to get away from it. They will also learn confidence and the value of privacy and being left alone. All these will help in making children more aware of how to avoid danger and what to do when they are in the face of it.
More importantly, it will teach them how to be alert and have presence of mind. Children are prone to stress especially when they are put in a situation that is strange to them. When they are abducted and don't know what is happening, their tendency is to withdraw instead of fight. Martial arts will give them the confidence and know how to do something about it.
A GPS Tracking Device
Many parents laugh at the prospect of having to track their children. Many claim they know where their children are all the time and maybe they do but that doesn’t stop abductors from going to where the children are and 2,000 of them succeed every day.
There are devices that maybe activated remotely. Remember that almost 90 percent of kids that are abducted are killed within an hour of abduction. The minute you know your kid isn’t home yet when he or she should be, you can activate the device and know exactly where your child is.
There are also GPS tracking devices that can alarm you and the police with a single push of a button.
You may also look for GPS tracking devices that will send an alarm the minute the person carrying it go out of a range that you set.
Many will argue that cellphones have the same capability but cellphone GPS is not designed to thwart abduction, it's designed to show people where to go. It's a mapping function not a security one.
Another disadvantage of having to rely on cellphones is the fact that abductors will most likely throw the phone away the minute they see. There is also the fact that children are not as protective of their phone as adults are. They can lose it and it can be easily taken away from them.
Knowing your neighbourhood
It is sad to not feel safe in your own neighborhood but it is a reality. There are things you should know and do something about:
- A child is usually abducted within a half a mile of the child’s home. Just because your child is nearby doesn’t’ mean he or she is safe
- 7-year-old Megan Kanka in New Jersey was abducted, raped and murdered by an identified child molester who lived across the street so be vigilant on who are the people living in your community
- 76 percent of kidnappings are committed by a family member or someone the family knows very well
Educate the child
- Let them know. As ugly as it may seem, children need to be aware of what people are capable of doing. The more they are aware of how child abductors choose their victims and what happens to these kids, the more they will be willing to learn things that could avoid it. You don’t need to go into gross details of what child abductors do to the kids of course, but you need to give them an idea.
- Code words. Teach your kids code words so that when they are abducted and they get a chance to talk with you but can’t talk, they can still send you the message.
- Teach your child to fight. Teach them to kick and scream if they are in an uncomfortable situation or if someone is trying to grab them. Don’t let them be shy.
Child abduction is real and as difficult as it may be for us to hear, your child could very well be the next victim. Don’t fully rely on what the police can do. Do what you can and exhaust all possibilities.