I was perusing online and ran across an article (below) from the New York Post.
Ten Ways to Safeguard your Child from Sexual Abuse is Positioning Positive Parents to Protect from Predators
In order to do what we are called to do, we must talk about these challenging issues. In short, the child was walking, for the first time seven blocks in New York City to a doctors appointment, alone from summer camp. His parents were meeting him there.
This is bananas! I can understand having your child learn how to walk and be independent, because as parents we must teach our children how to cross the street, how to walk home or get home in an emergency, right? I’m so sorry for this family.
In this time it is critical for me to convey that I am I no way placing blame. However, in order for this article to be more than an informative new story, I have to share my thoughts in a way that will show other parents how this kind of tragedy may be avoided in the future.
1. A great way to safeguard your child in this situation is to follow them without them knowing it. So if they get scared, the can be rescued. Kind of like teaching them to ride a bike. You let go but stay close. They should always remain in view.
2. Another great way to safeguard your child from abduction, being led astray, sexual abuse etc, is to remember that seven blocks is a whole world away for a child.
I remember seven blocks as a kid. And, I remember at 12 getting on the metro and going to DC, and Vienna Virginia from Arlington. I thought it was worlds away. Please don’t get me started on church trips to Six Flags or The Church Picnic, at Smokey Glen Farm, in Gaithersburg, MD. These places weren’t around the corner but as a child, I thought it was special because I was taking a vacation out-of-town.
One of the Ten ways to safeguard your child against sexual abuse is communication. This relates to independence, and our ability to gauge if our children are ready for big steps like this. Again, offering them opportunities to be mature is great, but being a safety net, a protector from the vulnerability of abusers are key. And your conscious mind can tell you if they are mature however, your spirit can tell you if a predator (the enemy) is on the loose. You may not know why you call it off five minutes before, but God does; trust him.
3. This nine year old sought advice from a predator. In the Ten ways, this falls under communication as well. It also falls under the Power of or “how to” say NO.
By teaching safety methods, like how to identify a police officer, giving them an emergency phone to call you, or having some steps written down for the child to see, and follow may help reduce the risk.
4. Many people blame the predator for luring but I encourage you to be honest with yourself. If your child has not been taught “How to Say NO” which is one of my ten ways to safeguard yourself from sexual abuse, it is very important that they not be put in positions to give in, to an unsuspecting assailant.
5. I can’t help but wonder, why no one noticed that he was being lured. I want to take a moment to ask everyone to open their eyes and hearts and minds. Someone saw this boy “look lost” besides the predator.
Someone had to see, from inside a store, in their car or something. They had to see him walk across the street alone and ask a man for directions.
WHEN TO ACT
The moment to act was not when they walked away, it was when the boy who was alone, approached a grown man who was alone on the street. As a citizen, you could go stand close, or go and step in politely saying, “You look a little lost, do you need me to call someone for you?”, to the boy. You could ask the boy, “You look a little lost, is this family?” If the boy says yes then fine. If not, stay around and make innocent small talk. If the guy takes the boy, call the police immediately and follow them unsuspecting of course, just in case they leave the public eye and/or get in a car.
The perfect situation is if the boy is lost and you both stand there until a family member comes. Then the boy and you are fully protected.
I pray that these suggestions find you well and offer some kind of peace and preparation for the next opportunity for a predator.
Look at the picture people! He’s cute, clean-cut, reportedly strange but he’s not some crazy looking hobo staggering drunk on a NY street. It could be anyone…anyone! Be there as a citizen of heaven, and earth!
How powerful would it be if YOU stopped an abduction, child sexual abuse, murder by decapitation?
Lastly, PLEASE pray for the father. This was his only son. He had five daughters.
- Who are Child Sexual Abuse Predators? (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Victim Blaming pushes away whom we Love (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Taking the Stand (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- The Predators we Love (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Penn State Leadership: Joe “JoePa” Paterno leaves without honor…and Ten Ways to Safeguard your Child from Sexual Abuse (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Penn State Leadership: Joe “JoePa” Paterno leaves without honor… (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Did Tyler Perry pressure the victim from Penn State to testify in his Open Letter? (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- LA Times Explores Issue of Child Sexual Abuse in Hollywood (laist.com)
- Twitter should do more to protect young users from online predators, says child protection unit (mirror.co.uk)