By: Gloria Marcott, Soul Punch Self-Defense
2017 Statistics identify that the number of children abducted or that go missing every day in the United States is 2,160. That is enough kids to fill an entire large population size school that do not return home every day.
The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrown Away Children (NISMART) has found that 41% of abductions occur during the summer months of June, July and August. 74% of non-family child abduction victims are girls and 80% of child abductions by a stranger occur within a quarter mile of the child’s home.
When kids are out of school they spend more time playing outside, going to the park or pool with friends, and are more likely to spend time away from parental supervision. But, even if you were there watching and someone tried to grab your child off a swing at the park would you know how to respond? And would your child, tween or teen know what to do in the heat of the moment if you were not around and a kidnapping was attempted?
Here are a few ways you can help mitigate your child’s risk of being a victim of kidnapping this summer.
- BE PROACTIVE – You have to take an active part in your own and your kid’s personal safety. Teach your kids about “strangers” and talk to them about how to react when a stranger gets close to them, tries to talk to them, or take them somewhere. NEVER leave your kids alone! You are their first line of defense for a stranger turned kidnapper.
- HAVE A PLAN AND BE PREPARED – Your situational awareness and having a plan matters. Practicing possible scenarios mentally and with your kids will help you to react immediately to what is happening. If possible have a tool like the Defense Alert Device (D.A.D.). Not only is it a military grade pepper spray, but with the press of a button, it alerts anyone within a one-mile radius (who has the free app installed on their phone) that you are in danger and shows your coordinates on a map. That’s huge considering the statistics of proximity to others when kidnappings happen. Children can also use this device with the inert canister loaded so that they have a notification system to alert others if they ever find themselves in a dangerous situation.
- FIGHT BACK – You and your kids have to FIGHT BACK. You have got to be the biggest loudest problem for the kidnapper. Gouge eyes, kick and punch fiercely, grab objects or people within your reach, and most importantly make a scene using your voice by yelling as loud as possible to draw attention.
Hopefully this will never be a situation you or your kids have to encounter, but better safe than sorry. Make it a point to talk to your kids about how to avoid kidnapping. It could save their life.
Gloria Marcott began her self defense business in 1992 focusing on helping young girls and women. She has over 20 years of self- defense classes and seminars experience. She is the creator and Master Trainer of the Level 1 Certification Program for Tigerlight, Inc. – makers of the Defense Alert Device (D.A.D.).