Home invasions have made the news recently as a frightening form of child abduction. This type of abduction is not new, but it is starting to become more common as traditional forms of child abduction are becomming less effective.
This type of child snatching has parents panicked and paranoid. After all, where is your child safe it not in their own home? However, very few parents understand that with a little safety training, this type of abduction can usually be prevented just as easily as other forms of child abduction.
How it works
An abductor will sneak into the childs home at night, attempting to gain access to the child. He or she will then either threaten the child with harm, or talk the child into coming with them. The child is snatched out of their bed, usually without a sound or commotion, and unfortunately, is rarely seen alive again.
What it depends on
This type of abduction, is obviously a stealth abudction. It is secretive, quiet, and depends on the childs compliance, in one form or another. They need silent kids, period.
Noise. Plain and simple. Compliance gets a child nowhere, they need to yell and make a ruckus. If a person did not intend to physically harm the child, this will just scare them off. Even if they did intend to harm the child, it is highly unlikely, that in the commotion, the abductor will choose to kill the child on the spot as opposed to run off. Silence with kids is death. Yelling and screaming is life.
Training your kids
It is important that you sit down and talk with them about this type of abduction. Tell them that if anyone ever awakes them in the middle of the night, they are to scream as loud as they can and call for help. They need to scream, kick the walls, knock over furniture, make as large of a ruckus as they can in order to yell for their parents and try to get away. If the person grabs them and trys to run off, they should hang onto doors, windows, whatever they can to resist. Teach children to do this even if the person says they will kill them if they make noise. Explain to them the reality outlined earlier, that they are just saying that to get compliance and will probably run off if you make noise. If you go with them, they might kill you anyway.
A parents role
If at all possible, encourage children, especially younger children, to sleep with their doors open at night. Parents should also keep their doors open, (when not engaged in extra curricular activities) so that they have a means to hear their child if they happen to scream in the middle of the night. Not only does this ensure you hear them in the rare event that someone is in their room, but it will also come in handy for the everyday night terrors and other needs that your little ones require your assistance for.
Friends dont come a knocking in the night…
What many parents dont seem to realize, more likely of a scenario than threats, is that the child willingly walks out with the abductor because it is someone the child knows. Around 60% of all children murdered are taken by a close friend or relative.
It is important to teach children to never go anywhere with anybody except their parents in the middle of the night. If someone awakes you at night, it doesnt matter who they are, you scream as loud as you can, and you get your mom and dad, no exceptions. Teach children that there is never any circumstance where someone they know would have a need to enter their room or retreive them at night without their parents knowing.
What to do
All parents should sit down at some point with their children and go over this subject. Explain to them all the points contained in this article, and make sure they understand. For added assistance, Global Childrens Fund also publishes a book, “Something Scary Happened” which teaches children what to do in the event of this type of abduction. Have a happy and safe year!