Sonora, CA — The Sonora Police Department has teamed up with the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to get the word out to parents on ways to protect their kids. Today is National Missing Children’s Day which highlights the Take 25 campaign. It stresses the importance of parents taking time to talk to their children about safety and ways to prevent abduction.
Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson says, “Education and open communication are key to keeping children safer. Take 25 minutes and talk to your child, as this could be the most important 25 minutes of their life.”
Stinson gives these teaching tips to parents:
- Be Loud: If an attacker approaches, children should make some noise and scream things like “I don’t know you, leave me alone, and I don’t want to go with you.” That draws attention to the child and can scare off the attacker or get others to intervene and call police.
- Physically Attack: Parents should teach children the vulnerable parts on the attacker to hit or kick, then ran away and get help.
Every year in America, an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing. Nearly 200,000 of those children are abducted by family members and about 58,000 are abducted by strangers. Each year nearly 115 children are murdered, ransomed or taken with the intent to keep.
A NCMEC study found that in 84% of cases children escaped their would-be abductors through their own actions. They say that is why teaching children about safety works and saves lives.