Abduction: Don’t Let Your Child Be a Target
Premier Martial Arts provides and arms our child students with anti-abduction information though our Kid Safe program that is taught in our kids karate programs. The following is a great article on child abduction by author Samantha Wilson, founder of Kid Proof Canada.
Child abduction is every parent’s ultimate nightmare. Many books and movies such as Ransom (1996) or Flight Plan (2005) illustrate our need to feel we can protect our children. These feelings can be positive as it raises awareness on how to keep our children safe. In her book ‘Safe Kids Safe Families’, Canadian author Samantha Wilson (founder of Kid-proof Canada) acknowledges that many factors such as environment, location, opportunity and motivation influence a predator in selecting their victim. Although any child can be a target, a predator does not want to get caught. They will seek a particular profile of a child that is easy to persuade, needy or fearful and most importantly will make a terrible witness if caught. The following child target profile is adapted from Wilson’s book:
Strong desire for attention
All kids want to be loved, but some have an above-average need for adult approval, attention, and affection. They are more likely to allow an adult to become too close to them and potentially allow access by a predator in exchange for attention.
Lack of self-confidence
A child who has poor self-esteem or exhibits timid behaviors is a much safer target as he or she is less likely to scream and more likely to obey. They may be more reluctant to share what they know about a predator with their parents by from feelings of intimidation or embarrassment.
Children with discipline problems or little connection to family
Predators often select kids who display anti-social behavior. This is because they often have poor relationships with family and other role models such as teachers or coaches. A child who believes that no one cares about them will be at risk. These children are looking elsewhere for attention and acceptance and more likely to take risks such as running away from home, trying drugs, etc. Such children are considered less risky to a predator as they generally make poor witnesses and can be easily discredited by their own anti-social behavior.
Being aware of what a predator is looking for in a victim is a good first step. Next, teach your children to be aware of their environment and to never go anywhere with anyone without your permission. But most importantly says Wilson; a former police constable is family connection and communication. “If your child has an adult they trust, someone they can go to when they are sad, scared, or need support, they will go to them long before it is too late.” For more information on Wilson and her work please got to www.kidproofcanada.com.
Children’s Martial Arts studios nationwide offer great support for parents in the development of happy healthy confident children with an amazingly positive winning attitude. Whether parents are looking for help with focus, confidence, self-esteem, fitness, self-defense, or character development, parents will find Premier Martial Arts training a great aid in helping them achieve their parenting goals.