EZ SELF DEFENSE
SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS AND PARENTS
1. Child I.D. File and Card
A child identification ("I.D.") card and home file can dramatically shorten the response time of authorities in finding a missing child. The sooner the information is given to law enforcement, the sooner the information can be disseminated to search for the child. Include personal and medical information, physical characteristics, and a recent photograph in both.
2. Common Ruses
Predators use ruses to gain the acceptance, trust, and compliance of children. Common tricks and lies strangers use with children include (1) asking for help to find a lost pet, (2) asking for directions, (3) telling children their parents asked them to pick up them up, and (4) impersonating an authority figure, such as a law enforcement officer.
Tell children to watch for these tricks and never to go with a stranger unless the agreed code word (Tip #8) is used.
3. Child's Body Belongs to the Child
No one has the right to touch the child's body
4. Don't Talk to Strangers
Children should obey these four rules with strangers: (1) Stay at the adult's arm's reach and a little more away from them, (2) don't talk to them, (3) don't take anything from strangers, even if it's the child's, and (4) don't go anywhere with strangers.
5. No Secrets
Parents should make an agreement with their child that no secrets are kept in the family. If someone, even if known to the parent, asks the child to keep a secret, the child can tell the person that he doesn't keep secrets in the family and that he will tell. Abusers often demand their victims to keep a secret, or threaten to hurt him or his parents if they tell. The child should never agree to the demand or threat.
6. "What If...?" Game
Use the "what if..." teaching game to use children's spontaneous questions as a springboard for discussion. This game encourages children to talk about their thoughts and helps them come up with their own solutions and strategies to situations, such as abduction and approaches by unknown adults. The goal is to teach prevention without inducing fear or discussing abduction.
The parent could ask, "what if we were shopping and when you looked around and couldn't find me?" The child could ask, "what if I was playing and a stranger came by?" Ask the child what he would do to find out what he thinks and discuss possible solutions. Role-play and portray a variety of characters, such as a clerk, customer, store manager, and stranger. Then agree on one solution that seems best.
7. Code Word / Password
The code word is an agreement between the parents and child that if one of his parents should ever send someone to pick him up, that person must say the code word before the child goes with him. If the sent person doesn't know the code word, the child should not go with him, no matter what. The code word can be a single word, phrase, or sentence.
8. Run from Strangers
The child should never get close enough to a stranger for him to grab the child, or go anywhere with the stranger.
When approached by strangers, the child should always run away. Do it fast and immediately, and attract attention by yelling. Run against traffic so people can see the child. The child can run to and ask any other adult for help, as most people are good. The predator likely won't chase the child because he doesn't want to attract attention, and would rather pursue an easier target.
9. Attract Attention and Fight Back
If someone starts touching or grabbing a child, the child should attract attention by kicking, yelling, and screaming. He can yell "He's not my dad!" "She's not my mom!" "Stranger, stranger!" and "He's attacking me!"
The child can physically resist and fight back by biting, hitting, kicking, elbowing, scratching, poking, and doing anything that makes it difficult for the abductor to hold onto him and pick him up.
10. Drop and Hold On
As a last resort, the child can drop to the ground and hold onto something that makes it difficult for the abductor to carry him. It can be a large and heavy object, such as a bicycle, or a structure, such as a pole or railing. Use the following grip that makes it difficult for someone to release the child's hold: one hand should grab and hold the underside of the other lower arm and wrist, and vice versa.
11. Continually Find Ways to Escape
Even if the child has been abducted, the child should continually search for ways to escape and attract attention. If in the trunk of a car, rip out wires and break tail lights. Modern car trunks have an interior release tag or handle that can be pulled to open the trunk. Some trunks have rear seats that can be folded down and crawled through. Kick the trunk to make noise. Find tools like a wrench or tire iron to cause damage to the car and make noise. The child might be in the passenger compartment when abducted. The child should learn how to open a variety of car doors from the inside. The child can force the abductor to crash the car or cause it to bump another car. Grab the steering wheel and move it back and forth, step on the accelerator pedal, shift gears, poke the abductor's eyes, scratch and kick him, and rip out any wires. Pull the keys from the ignition and throw it out the window. Kick the windows. In a house, turn lights on and off to attract attention, in a S.O.S. pattern if possible. The child can lock himself in a room, find a phone to call 911, and jump out of a window even if it is 5 to 10 feet from the ground. Injury while escaping is preferable to abuse and murder by the abductor. Never give up finding ways to escape.
1. Define what a STRANGER is. Let the child know just because they have seen someone before (i.e. mailman, paperboy, neighbor, waiter, etc.) it does not mean these people are not strangers. They are still people they don’t know
2. Teach your child their full name, your name, address and phone number, including area codes. Teach them how to use a phone and cell phone.
3. Teach your child the "What IF...?" Making up different dangerous situations they might encounter and helping them role play what they would do in that situation.
4. Set up procedures with your child's school or day care center as to whom the child will be released to other than yourself, and what notification procedures they are to follow if the child does not show up on time.
5. Teach your child their body is private and no one has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. (Anywhere their bathing suit touches). If anyone touches them in a wrong way they should say "NO, GET AWAY", and then TELL SOMEONE they trust as soon as possible, no matter what the other person might have said to scare them or threaten them.
Rehearse your child's response to danger. If he/she doesn't practice it, your child really won't really know what to do. Telling your child to yell for help isn't enough. In the face of danger, a child could forget, so rehearse, role-play, and practice what your child should do.
Remind your children that predators don't necessarily look scary or strange. A dangerous person could look like the person next door, or even be someone they know.
Kids need to know that they have the right to say no, yell, or ask for help. It may contradict what they know about respecting adults, but if they feel threatened, they have permission to make a scene or to run away to a public place. Let them know that no one has the right to hurt them.
PERSONAL PROTECTION SKILLS
Running at the first sign of trouble immediately and in a zig zag pattern. Screaming as loudly and hysterically as possible. Wriggle, twist, turn, jump…anything to make the potential victim hard to hold and control, then run towards any source of help and safety. Only two potential physical maneuvers that are truly effective in a child v. adult situation: jabbing, clawing and scratching at the eyes with one or both hands in a continuous and violent manner and BITING. Anything carried such as a book bag, backpack - school books should be tossed at the legs to make him slow down or trip, dodge, stumble. NEVER go anywhere with a stranger. Time is of the essence. Do everything to make yourself a hard target.
KEEPING KIDS SAFE ON THE INTERNET
The biggest trick some child predators’ are using these days is to pretend to be a kid, in a kid site chat room. Child predators are talking the lingo, misspelling words, having simple conversations to gain trust with children on the internet. But do you really know just how fast they can find information about your child or your family?
Even if a child abductor does not know what your child looks like, they can wait for them to come home from school, call them by name, call them on the phone and if they walk home from school, they can come in contact with them en route back home. Without a doubt, the most dangerous of all… ...you might not even know if your child is being stalked by a person like this.
Here are some tips to safeguard your child against these types of individuals:
1. Just like TV, video games, or watching movies, you shouldn't let your child have free reign of the computer any time they like.
2. Make sure you know who they are chatting with online and tell them exactly why you’re concerned. Just like you want to meet their friends, get to know who they are talking to online.
Tell your child under no circumstances should they give out their name, address, phone #, or where they go to school over the internet.
It's natural for a kid to want to talk about those things. That's what makes up their day. Help them fight the urge by working with your child on 'safe' topics to chat about; movies, music, current events, even what they are learning in school, but nothing personal.
Have them tell you if there are any conversations that make them feel uncomfortable and to not believe anyone they chat with when they type in "Don't Tell Your Mom or Dad..." That’s a big flag. Have them tell you about it.
Chatting kids should know never to meet ANYONE off of the internet without checking with their parents first, whether in a separate chat room or in person. They must have a parent along and meet in a public place.
Tell your child they should NEVER send a picture to anyone, without your permission.
Talk with your child about setting rules for going online (time of day, length of time) and what sites and chat rooms are OK to visit. And what would happen if they break those rules.
Working together, parents and kids can make the internet informative and fun, just don't make it easy for a child predator to find them.