Lies used to lure children away.
PLEASE TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. The knowledge they gain may just save their life or prevent them from being harmed. #childrenlivesmatter.
We know most children who are abused, are abused by someone they know, but if your child is the one abducted and abused by a stranger, it doesn’t matter what the statistics say.
So yes, there are horrible predators out there who would hurt kids, who would take them away and do unspeakable things to them.
The more we know about these monsters the better armed we are to defend ourselves against them.
Firstly, it helps to explain to children the best people to approach if they need help. Most people will help a child in trouble but unfortunately it’s very difficult to tell the good people from those who will take advantage of a child alone.
Police officers, Ambulance officers and Fire fighters all usually work in pairs or groups, it is safer to teach children to approach them than just someone on the street. However, if there are no officers around go into a shop where there are likely to be customers and staff to help and lots of people to witness what is happening. Even if there is an opportunistic predator there they will be less likely to try anything with others around.
Staying where there are people is always safer than wandering off alone or going with someone you don’t know. The fact is predators lie and will say whatever it takes to get a child to leave with them.
Remember the point at which the kidnapper initially connects with his or her target is the single best chance that child has of survival.
Teach your child to never go with them to a second location, do whatever it takes to get away… things will only get worse at a second, more secluded location.
So here are some of the most common lies told by kidnappers to lure children away-
“Your mum/dad is sick or has been in an accident you have to come with me” – All too common, especially from schools.
You MUST make sure your kids understand that you would never, under any circumstances, send someone they don’t know to get them. Some parents use a family safe word something simple for the kids to remember like “Purple” or ‘avocado,’ something easy for the child to remember.
That way the kids know they can trust the person who knows the word. Make sure it’s not written down and something your kids won’t easily forget.
“Can you help me find my puppy” – Usually used in a park or neighbourhood setting . The abuser will often have a dog lead and a picture of a puppy with them. The best response to this is –
“I’ll get my mum or dad to help you they are just over there” and tell your child to run home or somewhere safe fast ! Usually the abuser will use the puppy ruse to lure the victim to a secluded area.
Talk to your children tell them, no matter what, never go with anyone, even if it’s for a puppy.
“You have to come with me it’s an emergency” – the child is often rushed, given no explanation and never gets a chance to think. This is a tactic used in kidnappings as the child is whisked into a car quickly and doesn’t get a chance to react.
Children are taught to be compliant when asked to do something by an authority figure and sadly this means they will go with someone saying it is an emergency and that they must leave.
The way to combat this is to talk to them and tell them that in an emergency only someone with the family codeword will be sent. Never go with anyone without the codeword, and without letting someone, like a teacher, know so they can verify who it is and if necessary call to confirm the emergency.
There will never be an emergency that can’t wait for you to tell someone you are going.
“I have all this ice cream…. I can’t eat, all these awesome lollies…. I can’t eat all this chocolate and it will go to waste” – This is an ‘old school’ one that is still utilized today, usually done in a shopping mall or somewhere that children are being denied.
The attacker will watch the child and wait until the parent says no and then go in with whatever it is.
Once again the key to beating this one is to tell your kids no matter what happens, never take anything from strangers, because it could be poisoned/drugged.
For some reason this seems to resonate with children. All the kids I speak to, sit there and shudder at the thought of poison. So that’s how this one gets defeated easily.
“Mum/Dad couldn’t make it today so I’ve come to collect you for them.” As with the first one, usually used in a school setting but can be done anywhere kids get dropped off. This one is less scary for kids than, “Mum or dad are hurt/sick,” so it can be more effective with kids that are more compliant.
As with the first example the best defence is preparation. We recommend the safety word used in this case, as it has been proven effective before.
As with any weapon an abuser may use, the best defence is preparation. Speak to your kids let them know that you will always make sure someone they know is there to pick them up, and never leave them in the lurch.
Also let them know to never, under any circumstances, go with strangers, not for a puppy, or for ice cream, not for any reason.
Most importantly, teach your children to trust their instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, leave quickly, run to a safe place and tell what has happened immediately.
Teach them it is ok to say no to an adult, when it comes to their body, and their safety, it is ok to say NO.