Jessica Ridgeway: A Conversation About Family Security

In the recent weeks we have once again played part of a horrible tragedy. Young Jessica Ridgeway was abducted from her neighborhood during a 3 block walk to meet a friend for school. Now, her unrecognizable body has been discovered and identified with DNA results. The predator is still at large and this adds to the panic that parents throughout the state are feeling.

This brings up several really important points of discussion.

First, there are no safe neighborhoods. Just because your area has relatively less crime than other areas, doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen to you.

Second, how do you talk to your children to prepare them to deal with “stranger danger” so they can minimize their chance for being victims? I am a Firearm instructor but I’m also a Dad. I’m no expert in teaching children about how to deal with strangers but let me make the following suggestions:

  1. Find ways to teach and discuss the topic that are relevant and effective for your children’s age. This could include a good movie/video that covers the topic. Here is the best video I could find: http://thesafeside.com/
  2. Talk to those that play a part in your children’s routines. School, church, friends, day care, etc. What precautions do they take when watching over your child? What do they do to further educate your children about the dangers?
  3. As sad of an outlook as this may be, you need to think in terms of risk management. You don’t have to create a perfect fortress like system of security (although it wouldn’t hurt). You just have to be a more difficult victim than those around you. Predators want the EASIEST victim and easy victims are generally easy to find. Consider the basics that you may not be doing. Things like dead bolts on doors, school car pools, and even installing an app on your child’s cell phone that allows you to trace it.

As an added resource here is a good tutorial from the National Crime Prevention Council
http://www.ncpc.org/topics/violent-crime-and-personal-safety/strangers

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