Imagine for a second planning a plane trip on September 1st 20001. Think about the beverages and nail clippers you would have blithely stowed in your carry-on luggage.
You would not have had to remove your shoes! You also would have had no fears of homicidal acts of terror. The world changes, we have to face its incipient danger.
I mention 9-11 because we all acknowledge that a balance has to be struck between personal freedom and public safety. None of us wants a world constricted by fear.
That being said, it is time to acknowledge that we are failing our children and ourselves. When our children cannot walk to school in safety we have failed our children. When our children are being lured and snatched in front of schools, hospitals, and libraries in daylight we have failed our children. When one child is lost in one of these cases it should be a cause of universal mourning and rapprochement. It is time for a change.
Parents need to face that law enforcement and “living in a safe place” will not keep our children from harm. We need to look at what predators do and how they think. None of us want to, but we must.
Live everywhere and if they don’t live close to you, they have cars
Monitor patterns of movement
May record and photograph children
Maintain contact with other predators, gaining support and information from others
Have no conscience
Will resort to violence to get what they want
Will lie about everything
Monitor/keep track of what children believe and respond to
Disguise themselves well
Volunteer or work at jobs that give them contact with children
Fool people around them
And are fueled as much by anger as by sexual impulses
Not a fun list, but we must face it. And we have to face the fact that most predators do not get caught or reported. They are “us” and pride themselves on the deception.
They benefit when we ignore them. So let’s not.
And we have to keep our children safe. Many of us remember great freedom when we were young. That freedom is no longer safe. Adults need to stay with children outside all the time. We cannot assume a short walk to school or a park is safe. It is not.
We need to face the hard stories of loss and learn from them. Elizabeth Smart was forcibly abducted by a day laborer. Jaycee Dugard was snatched by a married couple who had tracked her and planned her kidnapping with great detail. Jessica Ridgeway was taken on a short walk to school.
if you are a parent you have to face these stories to keep your child safe.
And we have to teach our children:
If a grown up offers you candy from a vehicle
scream and run for help
No adult needs your help finding a puppy
scream and run
never go anywhere with an adult you don’t know/strong>
We need to give our children permission to defend themselves. We need to teach them self defense and also strategies for escape if the worst happens. And we have to talk about the unthinkable. Our children are irreplaceable. We have to keep them safe. Knowledge is power.
in the words of a predator