Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare
We’ve all heard about the dramatic rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight in Cleveland. After being trapped and abused for 10 years, these women are finally free. The story will probably fade away in the news now that they are safe and back with their families- but this is just the beginning for them. They lost 10 years of the lives and now they need to learn how to heal and resume their “new” life.
Kidnapping is a parent’s worst nightmare. The parents of these women have lamented for a decade and they now finally have their children back- although much more broken then when they last saw them. They didn’t get to experience their teenage daughters growing up into women and this is something they have to bear. A story like this can be heartwarming- knowing that they are finally reunited. But it is also terrifying because it reminds parents how easily their children can be in danger. There are however steps we can take to keep our children safe.
- Children should be taught they should not go with a stranger because the stranger needs help. Make sure they know that it is acceptable to tell an adult “no” if the adult wants them to do something they do not feel is right. Instruct the child to go immediately to someone they trust and tell them what happened.
- Teach your child that if stranger tries to take them somewhere, they should kick, hit and scream for help.
- Children should be taught not to leave their yard when playing outside.
- When answering the phone, a child should never tell someone he or she is alone and should not be allowed to answer the door if he or she is home alone.
- Show your child where safe places are. Safe places can include homes, businesses, and other public areas.
- Map out the safest routes your child should take if he or she has to walk to and from school.
- Teach your child self defense techniques and make sure they know the kinds of circumstances to use them