The riveting story about the three girls who were kidnapped and raped, then kept prisoner for over a decade has caught has captured the attention of the nation. Its happy ending with a daring escape and a dramatic 911 call that led to their rescue and the capture of Ariel Castro has made the story even more compelling. Despite the constant onslaught of news depicting every part of the horror these three girls suffered, we still come back to the same question. How could this have happened? It appears that all three accepted a ride home from a stranger. Isn’t this the first rule we teach our children? DO NOT GET INTO A CAR WITH A STRANGER.
Why can we not have, at the age of kindergarten, at the least, a class on protecting yourself as a part of the curriculum? This is imperative. This is vital. What is important about teaching a child how to read if that child doesn’t know the first rule about keeping their body safe? How important is it to teach arithmetic to a child who is in danger of being kidnapped because no one has taught her the basic rules for how to be safe? For that matter, I’ve seen children at the age of six or seven that know how to operate a cell phone or the Internet. That’s nice. How important is that talent if your child isn’t safe to begin with? Why are we not being pragmatic and teaching our children that there are bad guys out there and they must keep their bodies safe?
I think about what happened to those three girls. I think about how time has already passed enough to where the news hungry public has already moved on to the next important news story. In the meantime, what have we learned from what happened to these three girls? What changes is our society making so that we can cut down the number of children who disappear every year? The statistic, 800,000 children disappear every year is somewhat misleading. It’s true that that many under the age of 18 were reported missing in a one-year period, according to a 2002 study. But of those cases 203,900 were family abductions, 58,200 were nonfamily abductions and only 115 were “stereotypical kidnappings’”, defined as “a nonfamily abduction perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger in which a child is detained overnight, transported at least 50 miles, held for ransom or abducted with the intent to keep the child permanently, or killed. But what if one of those 115 were your child? Even one kidnapped child is one too many. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice, a child goes missing every 40 seconds in the United States. The problem only seems to get worse. One of the reasons is so many of our judges send repeat offenders back into our neighborhoods, knowing it is simply a matter of time before they strike again. What a chilling thought. 87% of child molesters have admitted imitating the sexual behavior they had seen in pornography they had watched. What does that tell us? All this is but the tip of the iceberg.
In researching this article, I found a website called, “Restore Government Accountability”. The title to the article is Why Are So Many of Our Children Disappearing?” One of the statements in this article was, “Objective of the Great Foundations was to remove America from the values on which she was built, and to do so through the education system. Carnegie, Ford, Guggenheim, Rockefeller and other foundations, were all working in harmony towards the control of education in the United States.” Please take the time to read this article at:
On the Home page of my website at http://www.thelamplighters.org I have listed a Child’s Bill of Rights. In case you haven’t yet seen it, I want to reiterate it here:
A CHILD’S BILL OF RIGHTS
1. A child has the right to decide who can and cannot touch any part of their body.
2. A child has the right, in fact the duty, to report to a safe person any time someone attempts to touch their body inappropriately.
3. A child has the right to set boundaries regarding any part of their own body.
4. A child has the right to dial 911 on the phone if they think they are in any danger from someone wanting to touch their body inappropriately and ask for help NOW.
5. A child has the right to be believed if they are honestly reporting any danger from someone touching or attempting to touch their body inappropriately.
6. A child has the right to run away or scream for help if someone approaches them in a manner that seems scary or “yucky”.
Please read these RIGHTS to your child frequently. They belong to them. Help them to understand what each one means.
Tell your child frequently:
“Your body belongs to you; you can decide who touches it.”
Copyright (c) 2011 by Marjorie McKinnon. All Rights Reserved.