Is your child a target for an abduction? I am sure every parent at some point has given their child a talk about not going with children. As teachers we teach this as well, but usually just grazing the topic and not fully discussing it as we would with another education topic. Despite making children aware, a recent viral video shows that your child may actually be able to be lured with a stranger.
If you are researching online you will see that the numbers of child abduction are high. However, after a little bit of reading you will realize that the numbers are misleading, but nonetheless alarming.
Yearly Abductions Fact
800,000 children are reported missing every year.
Every 40 seconds a child goes missing in the U.S.
Approximately 50 of the children abducted yearly will be murdered.
4% of children kidnapped are never found.
This may be true, but the vast majority of crimes against children are committed NOT by strangers, but by people they know. Children are more likely to be abducted or harmed by their family member than by a total stranger.
The statistic leads you to believe that children are being kidnapped by total strangers, when really they would be more safer with a stranger.
Education and fast response is helping to recover more children quicker and actually reduce child abductions. In the USA they have AMBERAmerica's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Alerts. These are emergency messages that are broadcasted to the public when a law enforcement agency determines that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger. The broadcasts include information about the child and the abductor, including physical descriptions as well as information about the abductor’s vehicle – which could lead to the child’s recovery.
The FBI has several decades of data about missing children. These numbers are on the decrease, and despite the “Stranger Danger” rhyme, the majority of missing children are caused by people the child knows and not strangers. The number of these reports have fallen by 40 percent since 1997 according to the FBI statistics. This is more impressive when you consider that the overall U.S. population has risen by 30 percent over that same time period.
Abuducted Children Killed by Strangers
Killed by Fathers
Killed by Mothers
Killed by Male Acquaintances
Killed by Other Relatives
Child Abduction Social Experiment Video
In the following video, a YouTuber who is famous for pranks decided to turn his talent to bring awareness to parents. He asks the parents how they think their child will respond if he (a complete stranger) asks them to go with him. All the parents unanimously say that their child would not go with a stranger.
In each situation the child left with a complete stranger!
There was no background about the parents and how they educate their children, but we are left with the impression that they all counseled their children regularly about NOT going with strangers.
The YouTuber Joey Salads was able to easily convince the children to leave with him by showing a cute puppy and telling them that there were more. Some commentators criticized the video saying that it gives criminals ideas on how to abduct children. However, I feel that this video does more to create awareness than harm. I am sure criminals have much more trickier tactics than this or the proverbial offering candy trick.
The Final Say
Our view on this is that of course you should educate your child on not going with strangers. In fact, maybe that is why abductions committed by strangers are so low. Teachers should also take part in this. However, we should not teach children to be afraid and we shouldn’t be afraid ourselves. Parks and playgrounds are not teeming with strangers waiting to abduct your child. Statistically strangers abducting children is much lower than a family member doing it.
As a result of this important factor, teachers should be aware of any domestic disputes between parents and family members. If a mom or dad has exclusive custody rights or another parent is hostile, you should inform your child’s teacher. If they are not aware then that parent could come to school and pick up their child and leave.