The abduction and murder of 7 year old Jorelys Rivera from Canton, Georgia is a horrific reminder of this. Jorelys was simply playing outside with her friends. She left them for a minute and told them she was going in to get some drinks, and was never seen again. I read an article today that a friend shared on Facebook and I thought it was important that I share.
The article is found here, but I wanted to highlight some important facts and suggestions from the article.
***These are taken verbatim.
The typical (important to remember, not all) abductor is a 27.7 year old, unemployed, white male who moves around a lot and typically has a prior criminal history.
The typical victim is a 11.4-year-old, female (74% of those kidnapped are females), who is friendly, outgoing and is from a stable family relationship.
Most of these abductions are crimes of opportunity. 66% of these people are in the area for legitimate reasons, and most abductions happen by someone the kid knows, within a quarter mile of the home.
I have talked to my children about strangers, etc., but honestly I haven't really sat down with them and played out scenarios. What would you do if this? What you do if that? They know never to leave school or anywhere else with a stranger. I have talked to them about people touching them inappropriately. But, because I do not have the mind of a monster, I cannot know the crazy things that they come up with to lure children to them.
Another piece of the article is suggestions on how to approach this with your children and some things to talk about with them. Here are some of those ideas:
One idea is to play a “scenario” game: ask your child “What would you do if someone came up and asked you to help them find a puppy?” A good answer to tell them would be: ”Grown-ups don’t ask kids for help, they ask other grown-ups.” That way they always come find you, first.
You’re not allowed to hurt anyone, unless they hurt you. If they grab you, bite, fight, and scream “you’re not my mom, you’re not my dad.”
radKIDS (Resist Aggression Defensively) has some sound advice: 1) No one has a right to hurt me because I’m special. 2) I don’t have the right to hurt anyone else, unless they’re hurting me and 3) If they do, it’s OK to tell. So tell your kids if anything happens that “It’s OK, and it’s not your fault.” Kids don’t want to get in trouble, and often take the blame and keep quiet.
Adults don’t have secrets with kids, and you don’t have secrets from mom and dad. If someone has a ‘secret’ with you, you tell mom and dad.
Tell your kids that if they get lost somewhere – a mall, zoo, park, wherever – a clear, safe, solution is to run to a mommy with kids.
Code words are good (only people who know this ‘special’ word are allowed to pick you up), but people are even better. Only mom, dad, aunt, grandma, grandpa, etc. are allowed to pick you up and take you somewhere.
It is a tough subject to talk about because we really don't want to scare our children...but honestly? I vividly remember watching the movie 'Adam' on TV when I was probably about Jacobs age (8). It terrified me. I even remember laying in my bed and not being able to sleep! TO.THIS.DAY I remember it. It obviously had a lasting impact on me and I never, ever, ever would have so much as taken one step with a stranger.
It's an important conversation, guys. I suggest having it with every single one of your children no matter the age. It could save their life.
Rest in Peace Jorelys. Many prayers for your familys healing.