In the last month, there have been two well-publicized attempted child abductions in Georgia. In the first, a viral video showed the young Brittany Baxter fight off and escape her abductor in a Wal-Mart in Bremen (1). Today, after a 10 year-old girl ran away from an inquisitive stranger in a minivan, Dunwoody neighborhoods have been alerted that an attempted kidnapper is prowling their streets (2).
Crime Stoppers applauds these girls’ quick-thinking and urges parents to ensure that their own children know what to do in similar situations. Here are some safety tips:
- Empower your community through the Neighborhood Watch. Keep an eye out for the safety of your neighbors and their children. Especially look out for suspicious people on your streets (3).
- Although it is important to teach your children not to trust strangers—especially unknown people in cars—remember that most abductions and abuse comes from relatives and acquaintances.
- Children aren’t only in danger outside. Many child predators hunt for victims using social media and the internet. Monitor your children and teach them how to stay safe online.
- Identify times and activities where your children are most vulnerable and teach them about the dangers. For example, when they walk to school or wait for the bus. Click here for ideas: “Safety Tips While Walking.”
- Check out these links for how to teach children to recognize and avoid abduction and abuse: “Wal-Mart Kidnapping: How Can I Keep My Child Safe from Unkind Strangers?” and “Safety Tips for Children Grades K-5.”
- Make a note of Amber Alerts. Over 554 children in the U.S.have been saved by this program that empowers communities to work with law enforcement.
Over 2,185 children go missing each day (4). The best way to prevent these abductions is to educate yourself and your children.