Do you know according to the DCPCR 17 kids go missing daily? While according to the Police 22, 567 children in 2019 had gone missing. While 12, 996 have been traced whereas, the rest are still untraced. The case is more or less similar in other important Indian cities, hence in such a scenario, how will you teach your kid to protect themselves from kidnappers?
In this blog, Mr. Atul Mahajan, who is also the Director of Miraz Securitas Pvt Ltd one of Delhi’s Top Security Service company for Schools, Colleges and other Academic Institutions, says it’s true that the condition of crime has worsened in most Indian cities but that does not mean children should live in fear or they should not enjoy their childhoods. It is the duty of a parent and a teacher, to educate children about potential dangers and tell them how to avoid it and what to do if they ever face an adverse situation.
Lesson 1: Tell your kid that most kidnappers don’t look scary
Generally, kids built a specific image of what a scary kidnapper or a bad guy may look like. They develop the image mostly from television or cinema-like – kidnapper wears a black dress; they have a scary face, have big beards and moustaches – use some kind of disguise. Maybe he is a bit weird or socially awkward. Maybe he just acts creepy.
Most kids who have been taught about stranger danger wouldn’t walk off with this type of stereotypical ‘weirdo’. But in reality, kidnapping operatives act like friendly guys or very well-dressed lady who tells a kid to go with her because ‘mommy sent me to get you’.
Children need to be made aware that anyone could potentially try to do them harm, even someone who seems really nice or looks like an authority figure. Of course, we want to raise kids to be polite and confident when speaking to adults. Nevertheless, they need to be aware of potential dangers.
Lesson 2: Teach your child that he/she rights say “no.”
Teach your child he/she has the right to say “no.” Children should know there are different rules for different situations; they don’t have to always be polite. Share the following scenario where children need say to “NO” and being polite can put them in trouble.
- If any stranger asks them to come with them, no matter how trustworthy the “aunty” or “didi” or the “bhaiya” looks like, or what reasons they tell them.
- Remember, an adult does not need help from a child — not to find a puppy, not for anything. If an adult is asking a child for help, that’s a warning sign of danger and wrong intentions.
Lesson 3: Teach Your Child Techniques to Avoid Being Taken
In any potential abduction situation, there are windows of opportunity for the child to make choices that could save his or her life. Abductors win through intimidation, so it is very important to give your child good self-esteem and the confidence to carry through these possibly life-saving techniques.
Consider practising these techniques at home or school, with other parents and kids. The more kids practice, the more they will remember these techniques, and the more secure and confident they will feel in following through if they ever have to.
- The Velcro technique — Make like Velcro: Grab and hold onto something and do not let go. Grab a tree, grab a bike, grab a stop sign post, or even grab a different adult, because another adult is not usually involved in an abduction. This makes it harder to disengage a child in an attempted abduction.
- Yell as loud as you can “Stop, Stranger!” — Teach your child that anyone that is not a mother or father is the new definition of a stranger if they are trying to take you away.
- Windmill technique or swimming technique — Rotate arms in a big circle, preventing an attacker from getting a good grip. This can turn attacker’s arms inside out — which is a weaker position from which he could grab hold of the child.
- Make a lot of noise — Teach the child if they are in danger they should bang on something, scream, be loud to call attention from others who might be able to help. A good commotion can frighten an abductor and by shifting the balance of power, turn the tables on them.