The reality of child abductions
- Kids and teens that are abducted are mostly taken by a family member or acquaintance, 25% are taken by strangers.
- Most kids who are reported missing have run away or there has been a misunderstanding with parents about where they are supposed to be.
- Almost all stranger abductors are male and 2/3 of stranger abductions involve female children.
- Most abducted kids are in their tenes.
Strategies for preventing abductions
- If your children live in separated homes, make sure you have your custody documents in order and readily accessible
- Have ID- like photos taken every 6 months and again have them readily accessible.
- Online safety is a big priority, make sure you do not have any identifying information of your child in the photos. Examples – School mascots, sports team names, child’s name.
- Supervise children in all public places
- Never leave children alone in vehicles
- Do not put your child’s name on clothing, backpacks, your vehicles. Children are likely torespond to them when they call them by name. Abductors have been known to spot vehicles with children’s names and wait till opportunity strikes.
- Create a safe word with your children for emergency only your family should know this word incase of an emergency another trusted adult can come in contact with the children and use your safe word.
Talk to your kids
- About stranger
- What to do if they get separated from you in the store. Go to a cashier, never go out into theparking lot.
- Make sure your kids know all their contact information address, phone number, names.
If your child is abducted…
The first few hours are critical
- Notify law enforcement immediately
- Get all your child’s identifying information out and ready to give the proper authorities.
- Request your child be entered into the National Crime and Information Center.
Information about Run Away Children:
Kids run away from problems they cannot handle.
Reasons Kids Run Away
- Poor problem solving skills
- Most often- Drug and/or alcohol problem
- Emotions of fear, anger, or failure
- Idealize or Fanaticize running away
Ways to Prevent Running Away
- Teach problem solving skills
- Create an atmosphere of acceptance – Unconditional Love
- Check in with your child
- Talk to your child about running away if they have thought of running away before.
Things to do if your child threatens to run away
- Never tell your child “ Go ahead and leave, I don’t care”.
- Let them know that running away will not solve their problems, that they will have takeresponsibility for their actions once they get back home if they do run away.
- You can let them know, You can’t stop them from running away but it’s dangerous out there andI will not be able to protect you
- Meet constant threats with “ If you run, you run. But these are still our family rules”. Giving in isnot positive for the child and is not effective or healthy for the child or family.
Things to do in the moment
- Try to get them to calm down
- Ask “What’s going on?” not “How are you feeling?” – You need to know the reason why and kidsoften argue their feelings.
- Use persuasive language. Example- “ What’s so bad about the situation you can’t handle it?” or“ You have handled stuff like this before”, “ So you screwed up, face what you have to face and let’s get on with life”.