Child kidnapping is a real thing and it happens way more often than any of us can imagine. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children revised its estimates of stranger abductions to 4,000 to 20,000 per year, while previous figures estimated these numbers to be 50,000 per year.
The question many parents ask themselves is whether there is something that could be done in order to protect their children from potential kidnapping. It turns out there is a method which has been widely used over the year, but not by enough number of parents out there.
It was Wednesday, November 7, 2018, when the deputy of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office was alerted of a potential abduction of a young girl named Maddison. Luckily, a tragedy was avoided because the girl was previously told by her parents to never talk to strangers and ask those approaching her if they knew the code word, a word the parents and the children decide on previously just in case the little ones become potential victims of kidnapping.
“At 3:45 p.m., a -year-old girl was walking with a friend near a park in the neighborhood when a man, driving a white SUV, pulled up next to them. The man told the girl that her brothers were in a serious accident and she needed to go with him,” the Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office read.
“The child asked the man what the “code word” was, but he did not know it and drove off.”
Thanks to the girl’s quick thinking, she probably saved her own life and now the police department is using her story in order to raise awareness and make more parents use the full potential of the ‘code word’ strategy.
“Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking about to their children about stranger danger. We hope by putting this out, it will encourage parents to have that conversation and create a plan with their children, so they know what to do if they are in that situation,” Sheriff Mark Lamb wrote.
The girl’s mother, Brenda James, said that she encourages all of her daughter’s friends to come up with code words together with their parents. “[Maddison] can show other kids it’s okay to ask that question and not everyone’s your friend. I think kids respond more to kids than they do adults, and they can understand they can be brave and smart and run,” she said.
Even the thought of a child getting abducted or kidnapped is scary so preparing the children for such situations can save their life.
If you believe this is a useful strategy please SHARE this story with your family and friends on Facebook!
Love and Peace