We all want to think it’s never going to happen to our family: having a stranger abduct our child. But at least 60,000 times a year, strangers kidnap American boys and girls.
However, there are things we can teach our children to lower the risk of stranger danger, including self-defense training.
The headlines spell out the seriousness of self-defense.
Parent Jennifer LaCognata said, “It’s scary I mean you want your kids to be protected.” That’s why she got her daughter Eme into karate.
“I stood up told them to stop and told an adult,” Eme told Ivanhoe.
Get loud and get going!
6th Degree Black Belt and Retired Sheriff Deputy Lieutenant, Rachel Hughes, teaches kids to scream as loud as they can, yell ‘NO’, then run as fast as they can. She also teaches them to never get into a stranger’s car.
“You don’t want our children to be paranoid, but we want them to be educated,” said Hughes.
Here are a few cold, hard facts about real life threats to our kids. Young girls aged 10 to 14 are taken much more often than boys. These attacks usually take place in the afternoon between 2 and 7pm and 70 percent of the time abductors will be driving cars when they spring the trap on their targets.
Research shows children who are passive and polite get abducted more often.
“If they are taken to a store or a strange place of always bringing attention to themselves,” said Hughes.
Some other self-defense tips: use fingers to the eyes, stomp on feet, palm to the chin or throat, and bite!
“Out in the real world it’s something that can happen,” said Eme.
And it can happen to your family.
Rachel Hughes also suggests parents sit in on the classes. Jennifer LaCognata warns that sometimes schools protect the bully and leave the victim to suffer.
Contributors to this news report include: Emily Maza Gleason, Producer; Katie Campbell, Assistant Producer; Chris Tilley, Videographer; Dave Harrison, Editor.