Predators and Your Children

by on January 4th, 2015
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News stories about a child being abducted and then disappearing into the ether, leaving families with a huge hole in their lives and their hearts are terrible and leave a lasting impression on most people. After all, the thought is beyond awful – a kidnapped child who is abused or even killed is horrifying.

According to, approximately 797,500 children go missing in the United States every year. A family member abducts over 200,000 of those children, a non-family member takes over 58,000 and 115 are victims of a stranger kidnapping.

Some cases of kidnapping are reported but not (yet) resolved, such as the case of 11-month-old Lisa Irwin in Kansas City, Missouri, reported missing from her bedroom on October 3, 2011. Officials have yet to locate Lisa or determine what happened when she disappeared from her crib that night.

Other cases have happy conclusions, such as a local case here in Denver when a 9-year-old girl was taken while walking home from school. The car they took eventually broke down, forcing the two to hitchhike a ride to the nearest town, Colorado Springs, where they ended up at a gas station. The little girl, Calysta Cordova, got out of the car and ran into the store, asking to use the phone to call for help. She has since been reunited with her family.

The fact is that kids are kidnapped every day, all across America, although the chances of it happening to your child are somewhat low. However, as with most things in life, parents need to prepare their kids for the possibility even though we all hope like hell that the skills aren’t needed in real life.

Start talking with your children. If you are not sure how or where to start, find some resources on how to talk to your children about strangers or family members who do something inappropriate or try to take them. Many cities have a child safety class available at local recreation centers. My children recently went through the “A.P.E. Stranger Awareness” class here in Colorado and I plan on having them attend the class once a year as a reminder of what to do and how to act if something ever happens to them.

I hope that my children are safe from predators of all kinds for the rest of their lives. I hope yours are too. However, I also know that part of keeping them safe is doing my job of teaching them how to be safe, and that’s why giving them skills on how to defend them as best they can against a predator is so important.

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