Protecting Our Children From Harm
As a martial arts teacher or as a parent we must be on the front lines to alert our students and children to the dangers of life, and give them the tools and knowledge to handle these dangers. You must devote some class time or home time and deal directly with this subject. Our children need to know how to protect themselves. Yet they must not be in constant fear of being kidnapped or killed. Let them know that most adults care about the safety of children, but there are some who want to harm them.
1) Children should not always obey adults. There is a time for respect and a time to say “no” or scream and fight back.
2) Play the “what if” game discussed in this chapter, and play it several times a year, especially with young children. Here are some more examples.
a) What if someone you didn’t know said your mother was sick and you should go with him to the hospital?
b) What if the older neighbor boy tickled you a lot and you didn’t like it?
c) What if you got lost at the shopping mall?
d) What if someone said, “I’ll give you this candy if you will come to my house”? or “I am going to hurt you if you don’t get in my car”?
3) There are five main tricks kidnappers and molesters use to get children to go with them.
a) Bribing (examples).
i) I will buy you an ice cream if you ride with me to the store.
ii) I have a beautiful doll at my house that I want to give to you.
Teach your children not to accept any gifts, toys, money, etc. from strangers.
Teach them to shout out loud, “no, I am not going with you”, or “leave me alone or I will call the police.”
b) Asking For Help (examples).
i) Will you show me the way to the grocery store?
ii) Will you help me put this package in my car?
Teach your children to stay out of reaching distance of strangers. Teach them to run away and shout, “leave me alone.”
c) Pretending There Is An Emergency (examples).
i) “Quick, come with me, your father was in a car accident”.
ii) “Your father told me to bring you home, your mother is very sick”.
Choose a family code word that your children can easily remember and keep that word a secret. If you ever need to send someone to pick up your children, give him the code word. If they don’t know that code word then teach the child to go to someone they know for help.
d) Threatening (examples).
i) Kidnappers may threaten harm to the child, even displaying a weapon. Teach your child to run away and scream for help. Teach them not to hide, but to go out to a busy street or to a store and ask for help.
e) Pretending To Be An Authority.
i) Abductors can show official looking badges, or wear uniforms.
Teach children to check with others to see if this person is a real authority. Ask for the code word.
4) If your child is abducted.
a) Teach your child to look for every chance to escape.
b) When a car stops at a red light try to jump out and run.
c) Roll down the car window if possible and scream for help.
d) Teach your children escape techniques in martial arts class. How to gouge the eyes, kick the knees or groin. Teach them to fight like a wildcat.
5) Child molesters lure their victims by:
a) Offering love and friendship. In many cases molesters look for children whose family life is unhappy because of neglect, abuse, divorce or death, and give them the attention and love they crave.
b) Playing games, like tickling, wrestling, or fantasy games. The play gradually escalates into sexual contact. The child simply gets caught up in the sense of play.
Teach the child that touches that make them feel uncomfortable are bad, and that parts of their bodies are private and no one has the right to touch them there. Teach them to shout, “no, leave me alone.”
c) Promising glamour and fame.
Molesters may offer teenagers modeling jobs, movie rolls, or beauty contests.
They may ask them to pose for photographs.
d) Promising an exciting or high paying job. This may even be advertised in the newspaper.
6) Eight important facts and skills your students and child should know.
a) Their full name, address and phone number.
b) How to make a phone call, both local and long distance, collect. Even very young children can be taught to dial “O” for operator.
c) The location of emergency phone numbers, including police, fire department, doctor, mother and father at work, and friends on the block.
d) How to answer the phone properly and how to respond to a stranger who calls when the child is alone.
e) Directions home from various locations within the neighborhood, the names of major streets in the neighborhood, and the names of their state, city, and community.
f) Their parents’ full names and places of employment.
g) Full names of relatives and how to contact them.
h) How to write home, addressing an envelope properly; how to use the postal system.
7) Twelve safety tips to teach your children.
a) A stranger is anyone you and your parents don’t know very well, even if he or she is nice to you or gives you things. Don’t ever go with a stranger, unless he tells you a secret code word you and your parents have decided on.
b) Never go to anyone’s home without your parents’ permission.
c) Never go near a car with someone in it. Never get into a car without your parents’ permission, even if the person in it says your parents told him to pick you up.
d) If you become separated from your parents while in a store or another public place, don’t wander around looking for them, but go to the nearest checkout counter and ask for assistance. Never go to the parking lot.
e) No one has the right to touch you or make you uncomfortable. You have the right to say “NO!”
f) Avoid walking and playing alone.
g) If someone is following you, go to a place where there are other people and ask for help. Don’t try to hide.
h) Adults do not usually ask children for directions. If someone should stop in a car asking you for directions, don’t go near the car.
i) Never tell anyone on the phone that you are alone.
j) Never answer the door when you are home alone. Call emergency assistance (usually 911) or a neighbor if someone tries to get into the house or if there is an emergency.
k) Tell your parents if any adult asks you to keep a “secret,” or if someone offers you gifts or money or wants to take your picture.
l) If you’re in trouble, yell “FIRE”, don’t just scream. Most people will respond to a fire alert but, few people will answer a call for help.
8) What to do if your child is missing.
a) Immediately call your local law enforcement agencies and give them a complete report.
b) File a missing child report with the F.B.I. This will ensure that your child is entered in the national crime information center computer system.
c) Give the investigators your child I.D. card, fingerprints and photos.
d) Give a detailed description of:
i) The clothing your child was wearing.
ii) Where the child was last seen.
iii) If you think your child ran away from home, let the police know.
iv) Contact all family members, neighbors and friends.
v) Search the area where your child was last seen and where he usually hangs out.
vi) Have someone stay close to the phone.
vii) Be able to provide all medical and dental records if needed.
viii) Notify police immediately if your child is found.
ix) Contact the missing children help center. 1-800-USA-KIDS. For missing and exploited children,
Martial arts instructors should not only teach children physical self-defense but, they must also teach
self-awareness and mental self-defense. This should be part of your curriculum. A smart trained
child is a safe and aware child.
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This page was last updated on 07/05/07