We are told by statistics “most abductions are by people the family knows and trusts.” We let our guard down. After all, if it will be someone we know that takes our child, then why worry? We hear it again and again. We feel confident that our kids will never fall prey to the scary things that bump in the night. They are never out of our sight how could they? The closest to being alone my kids get in playing in another room of the house. There is a reason for this and this weekend we witnessed first-hand that even being near to means nothing.
Stranger Danger, Kidnapping, and Human Trafficking it can happen to anyone.
We were the lucky ones. I am forever grateful that my little sister can be trusted, thinks on her feet, and loves my babies as much as I do. I don’t trust many people with my kids. Even for just a few moments. I know I can trust her and she proved it. My sister took my oldest Monkey out with her to pay a bill at the phone company. A man approached them offering a free promotion for kids of all ages to see the Easter Bunny.
Something a child alone would jump on. My sister told him no and sent him on his way. The man RAN. Concerned he would get into trouble as they went to the store he claimed the promotion was for. Sadly in the same neighborhood, there were several kids my child’s age walking together to the shop.
We have been extra careful as of late. Our Facebook news feeds are packed with reports of things like this happening locally. My sister has seen a friend’s report of someone trying to grab her at a local Wal-mart my sister used to work at. It is all hitting so close to home. Just the other day I banned the children from leaving the gate due to a strange van going down the street repeatedly. This summer won’t be as fun as we would like. I can see that now.
What you need to know about Stranger Danger, Kidnapping, and Human Trafficking
While statistics have shown most kidnappings are by people you know and trust, Times are changing, and your child and even you are worth money to someone. I’d love to jump on the free-range kid’s movement and give my kids the freedom I had as a child but, the world has changed, and criminals are willing to grab a child right from a shopping cart or even a mother’s loving arms.
Why are these occurrences happening? The key to these issues is money. Human trafficking for labor and sex trade is big business. The most well known reason for human trafficking is for the sex trade, but that is not the only reason. Thousands of victims are trafficked for forced labor, domestic servitude, child begging or the removal of organs. Anyone can become a victim.
How can I protect myself and my family and myself? I wish I knew all the answers to this. A cure to keep you from falling prey. I can’t give you a magic formula, but I do have some safety tips every parent needs to know.
- Do not let children go out without an adult. Older children and teens should only go out in groups, never alone.
- Cary a weapon. While a gun is your best defense, anyone can pick up mace at the local auto parts store.
- If out with a young child or infant use a baby carrier that attaches your child to your body, so there is no way for anyone to grab your child and run.
- When going out in groups be sure to set kids up with the buddy system and keep the adult to child ratio as high as you can.
- Train your child to course instead of yell for help to draw more attention.
- Remind your children not to talk to strangers even if they have a child or animal with them or are offering a treat.
- Put your phone down out in public. While distracted you can miss a signal in your environment.
For more information on human trafficking
Check out the National Human Trafficking Resource Center