Guest Author - Donna Johnson
Teaching children to stay away from strangers is an important step in keeping them safe. However, it is also vital that children know what to do to prevent a stranger from physically grabbing them or to get away if one already has. Most kidnappers want to grab the child and flee with as little trouble and attention from others as possible. Your child can escape by thwarting that plan.
Your child can avoid being taken if he pays enough attention to his surroundings. This can allow him to spot a stranger approaching and give him time to put more distance between himself and the unknown person. He should also look ahead on his planned route for things like strangers hanging around, unfamiliar cars with people sitting in them for no apparent reason. Your child can alter his route to put himself as far away from these people as he can.
If a stranger does grab your child, the biggest weapon she has is her voice. We all know exactly how loud a child can be if she chooses to. But she must be taught what to say if someone tries to kidnap her. Simply screaming or shouting, “No” or, “Let me go” won’t do-this behavior can appear to be a child throwing a tantrum or not wanting to go somewhere. Bystanders may ignore a child acting in this way. Instead, she should yell things like, “I don’t know you” or, “This isn’t my dad/mom” or, “This is a stranger.” By doing so, she alerts those nearby that the situation is more than just a cranky kid having a disagreement with her parent.
Teach your child that, along with shouting, he must do anything and everything else he can to get away from someone who is trying to kidnap him. His chances of survival drop dramatically once the abductor removes him from the public eye. Kicking the groin is most effective against a male kidnapper, but kicks anywhere else to the body or just kicking out into the air will slow the abductor down as well. He should wriggle and kick out as much as possible, even slip out of his jacket or other clothing that the kidnapper may have in his hands. He can also bite, gouge the person’s eyes or stab him with a pencil or keys, scratch or pinch-anything that will inflict physical pain on the kidnapper is fair game.
As a last resort, your child can resort to surprising or disgusting the kidnapper with bodily functions. Urinating, defecating or vomiting will not only call further attention to the scene, but also leave your child extremely messy. This may not only disgust the person enough to give up or to loosen his grip long enough for your child to escape, but can also lead to the process of snatching your child being more trouble than the kidnapper is willing to go to.