Sunday, October 14, 2012
"Jessica Ridgeway DID NOT have to die. Unless she was abducted and murdered by someone within her family's immediate circle, this tragedy was 100 percent preventable," says Polly Franks, Executive Director of the Franks Foundation, a nonprofit for sexually abused children. "How many more children are we going to have to lose before America's parents wake up and realize that we don't live in Mayberry anymore? A 10 year old has absolutely NO BUSINESS walking to school (or anywhere) alone," said Franks, the mother of three grown children.
The Franks Foundation recommends the following simple steps to help keep YOUR child safe:
1) Children under the age of 16 shouldn't go anywhere
outside the home alone. Your kids won't like it, but parenting isn't a popularity contest.
2) If you can afford it, cell phones for children age 10 and up (for emergency use only) can provide an added measure of safety. Parents should provide direct numbers to home, parents' work and other trusted adults - AND 911. Make sure your child knows how to use it and clearly understands the rules for cell phone use. In the case of a child's disappearance, the cell phone can be a valuable tool in locating that child.
3) Arm your child with self-defense techniques should the need arise. These don't have to be difficult physical manuevers. For instance, screaming and dropping to the ground not only make it difficult for a predator to abduct a child, it will also bring the nearby public's attention to what's going on - which is the last thing a child predator wants.
4) Check your sex offender registry to see if there are any child predators living in your neighborhood, near their school, or church - anywhere your child frequents. The Franks Foundation recommends checking the sex offender registry site at www.familywatchdog.us
. It won't cost a dime and takes less than 5 minutes.
Aren't YOUR kids worth it?