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Child Safety / Abduction Prevention

Prevention Tips for Abduction
Most children that are abducted occur by someone that they know for a short period of time, they are abused and then released. There are only a few hundred stranger abductions every year in the United States and usually fewer than 100 every year in Canada. Abduction by a family member in custody battles accounts for over 90% of all child abduction cases

  • Never assume your child will not be abducted - always act as though it could happen.

  • Establish solid communication with your child. Develop open dialogue so he/she can confide in you in case of trouble.

  • Never leave young children unattended (at home, in a parked car, shopping cart or in a public restroom).

  • Make certain your child knows his/her full name, your name, address and telephone number, including area code. Teach him/her to use the telephone. Help may be available by dialing 911 or "O"

  • Have pictures taken yearly. For preschoolers, pictures should be updated quarterly.

  • Keep records of fingerprints, footprints, dental and doctor information, birthmarks and birth certificates. You should keep copies of x-rays as hospitals do not keep such records for more than a few years.

  • Tell baby-sitters or friends caring for the child not to let your child go with anyone but you.

  • Teach your child to avoid people they don't know.

  • Explain to your child that a stranger is someone they do not know, nor do you.

  • Teach your child that adults usually do not ask children for help or directions. If someone should stop in a car asking directions, tell your child not to go to the car.

  • Have your child practice the buddy system until old enough that this system is not necessary.

  • Caution your child not to play in deserted places. There is safety in numbers.

  • Teach your child the facts of abduction early. If handled simply as another fact of life - another coping skill - children need not be inordinately frightened by the idea of abduction.

  • Establish strict procedures regarding who will pick up your child from school and be meticulously consistent.

  • Have your school establish a "School Call Back Program" and visitor check-in policies.

  • Teach your child never to go anywhere with anyone who doesn't know a family "Code" word.

  • Make sure that your child does not have his/her name on a visible place such as clothing or belongings. It makes it harder for strangers to be on a first name basis with your child.

  • Know as much as possible about your ex-spouse and his/her friends and relatives. Pay attention to threats of stealing the child. Watch for attitude changes and/or unstable behavior in your ex-spouse. Be aware of how a life-style change by you or your spouse might affect him/her.

  • Explain to your child that if they are home alone not to open the door for anyone except previously designated persons. This includes a salesperson or delivery person.

  • Teach your child never to answer the telephone and tell anyone that he/she is home alone. If someone should call, instruct your child to make a prepared statement such as, "Daddy/Mommy cannot come to the phone right now... can I take a message."

  • Teach older children to come home at dark.

  • Remind older children to phone home.

  • Know whom your child's friends are, where they live, and their telephone numbers.

  • Beware of any adult that showers your child with an inordinate amount of attention and/or presents. No one should care more about your child than you.

  • Teach your child that if they are being followed not to hide behind bushes, but to go where there are people or to a safe house.

  • Understand that "bad" touches can feel "good." Your child needs to know that sexual abuse does not simply mean that they will feel physical pain.

  • Report a missing child immediately after checking the immediate environment. Do not wait any length of time. The first 24 hours are crucial for search workers

Teach your child that it is appropriate to "make a scene" if he/she senses danger from an adult. Teach him/her to yell "HELP!", or "I DON'T KNOW YOU!", not just scream.

Common lures

Asking for help - CASE FILE - William J
William was arrested for sexually molesting an 11-year-old girl at knifepoint. He was watching a girl's house for a couple of days and learned that the she was usually home alone for a two hour period in the afternoon. One day he rang her doorbell and asked if could use the phone to call for an ambulance since there was a terrible accident that just happened down the road. Once inside he threw the child to the ground and raped her. Once he began his assault he lost track of the time and actually walked down the driveway while the girl's parents were returning home. Sensing something was not right, the father dropped of the mother to check on the girl and followed William. William began to run of road down a hill and was soon apprehended by a group of construction workers and held for the police. William showed no remorse for his actions and was very matter of fact about what he had done to the girl. Although this was William's second offence at the age of 25 he has victimized well over 10 girls.
Other forms of this Lure:
Can you help me find my lost dog (props like a dog leash and a photo of a dog may be part of the lure)
Can you help me put these bags in my car (money might be offered)
Can you mail this letter for me (person may be on crutches or have arm in a sling)

Authority / Emergency - CASE FILE - JAMES L
James had a fake police badge and would accuse young girls of shoplifting. He would always single out children that were alone and order them to come with him

This is a dangerous one because so many children have blind faith in authority figures in their life - teachers, coaches anyone in a uniform. Tell your child that they should not go anywhere with anyone that they do not know well. They should tell another adult who is nearby that they are scared and ask them for help. Brining in a third persona will often scare of an aggressor

Name recognition
Is your name Cindy, I am not a stranger I know your name. Your mom sent me to pick you up because she had to work late.

It is important to remember that the lures can be coupled together. When this happens it becomes increasingly more difficult for a child to process. For instance, Hi Jimmy, my name is officer Lewis and your mommy sent me to get you

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Last modified: April 5,2013