In the last four days, Franklin Police have arrested one man for Attempted Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, and another for Aggravated Kidnapping and Reckless Endangerment. In both cases, the suspects lived less than a minute from their victims, and were strangers – with no relation to the children or their families.
While Franklin is a safe community, we are certainly not immune to crime. The suspects in both of these cases live here, which is why police are asking Franklin parents to watch over their children, and to talk with them about the danger that strangers can pose.
The tips below can be used to start a conversation with your kids about how to avoid potentially dangerous situations, and what they can do to protect themselves if faced with the unthinkable:
- Help kids understand who a safe grownup is. Let them know who the trusted adults in their lives are. Remember, however, that some adults in “trusted” positions do hurt children.
- Show kids how to say “No!” and get away fast if someone does or says something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Teach children to always let a trusted grownup know where they are going.
- Kids should play and travel in groups. Being alone makes them more susceptible to danger.
- Abductors often trick children into going with them quietly. Teach your kids that adults should ask for help from adults, not children. Abductors have tricked kids into going with them by offering candy, toys, saying that their puppy is lost, or asking the child if they want to see a baby animal or if they can give them directions. If an adult is asking for help, they should say “No!” and run to a safe grownup.
- Some abusers pay extra attention to a child, or give the child gifts for no reason in order to build trust with the child before they hurt them. Teach your child to tell you right away if someone gives them a gift or extra attention.
- If the worst should happen, and an abductor actually grabs a child, they should fall on the ground, kick, scream, bite, and fight as hard as they can, and make as much noise as they can.
Practice dangerous situations with your children, and show them how to say “No,” how to run away, and how to make a bunch of noise. Do not assume that once is enough; take advantage of opportunities to discuss these types of safety issues with your kids regularly.