Episode 189 S5-26
Dark Days in Denver Ch 26
The battle in Denver continues in the Dark Days in Denver adventure, as mother earth rages on! Today, there is a severe hiccup in the game plan. Here to explain how to avoid & escape from abductions is Michael Loftus, a self defense instructor and the author of Crime-Safety-Security.com.
Michael's number one pet peeve to personal safety is not keeping your doors locked while you are home or away. It is an easy first layer of protection against an attack while you are at your residence.
Over at www.Crime-Safety-Security.com, Michael has an article on internet safety for your kids with a ton of great resource links. Here is a list of the top ten things you need to know:
1. Don't Panic. The web is great for entertainment and education.
2. Be practical by keeping the computer in a common room so you can see what's going on.
3. Encourage your kids to use modern technology. Ask teachers what they're using in your child's school.
4. Learn it yourself to better guide their choices toward beneficial sites and away from Facebook or Myspace.
5. Use Parental Control tools (see RESOURCES on crime-safety-security.com).
6. Investigate protective software such as Cyberpatrol.com, McAfee, and Norton, but know that using other computers can always sidestep your control.
7. Monitor their cell phones, too, just as you would with a computer. Many children are bullied by text messages or phone calls.
8. Protect your child's privacy by strictly limiting the personal info you make public when signing up to a website. Have your children use aliases, and never reveal too much to strangers online. Facebook, especially, is reckless with user’s personal info.
9. Watch for adult predators. Children can be 'groomed' online by clever adult perverts. Watch for suspicious online behavior.
10. Finally, be realistic. Remember that prohibition won't work. Your children will use computers elsewhere. Teach your children how to benefit – safely – from the Internet.
Discussing internet safety, brings up the issue of: When is it okay to allow your child to independently play or walk to the story on their own? Right now there is a big push for "free range kids." Is it a good idea? It depends on the child and where you live. On Crime-Safety-Security.com, Michael has some great links to tutoring tools to gauge if your child is ready. Some states, like Utah, are loosing laws on child safety. As more states follow suite, it could put these children at risk. The laws are now leaving it up to the governmental child safety agency to determine if the child is "of sufficient age and maturity." This is so loosely defined that it would be tough for any parent to make the determination themselves.
There is a myth that exists, stating: If you overemphasize the dangers that exist to your children, they will be scared of the world. Kids will not be panicked if you tell them the realities of the dangers out there. The "fear of fear" is an overblown concept. It pays to be careful and vigilant. There is danger all around. It doesn't have to come from a person with bad intentions. Dumb kids sometimes do dumb things. They are still learning how to use their experiences to make educated decisions. More than twelve thousand children die each year from playing and another nine point two million are hospitalized. Most of these children were unsupervised. When children grow up without guidance, two point four of them end up in prison and another one hundred and seventy thousand die of drug overdoses.
Free play is absolutely essential for brain development so how can you allow your child to play but make sure that they are safe? When swimming in a pool, a lifeguard is there to oversee the activity and make sure no one drowns. They are not there to monitor every activity, just to make certain nothing gets out of hand. It's the same way with children on land, you need to have a lifeguard, making certain nothing gets out of hand.
We have all heard the line, "never talk to strangers," but is this always applicable? Sometimes children have to talk with strangers. The number one rule for a child or an adult is to never let anyone lure them away from where they are. As the adult, you should never let your child be so unattended that they could be lured away. Teach your child how to hang on to items properly so that they can't be pulled away. When in danger, tell them to make a huge commotion so they attract a lot of attention. There is a ton of additional tips on Crime-Safety-Security.com but here is a list of common lures that Michael illustrates:
• "Your mother's been in an accident and they sent me to pick you up." (A secret code-word will thwart that ploy.)
• "I'm lost. Just get in the car and show me and I'll bring you right back."
• "I'm lost. What? I can’t hear you. Come closer to my car.”
• "I've lost my puppy. Can you help me find it? Come see this picture of my puppy.”
• "I've just found some money. Come with me and I'll share it with you." (Or other bribes.)
• A man with his arm in a sling and a load of books asking for help.
• Some predators even have bogus police uniforms and gear. Don’t trust a “cop” without a real police car.
If someone is trying to lure your child away and for some idiotic reason, you are not available, advise them to go to another adult, especially a woman with children. The vast majority of people will try to help a child in need, not hurt them.
Children also need to be aware of the threats from other children that are slightly older. They may try to befriend younger children for sexual exploitation or to bring them into the warped lifestyle that they have already been exposed to. There is also a small chance that the slightly older child is working with other adults to lure your child away.
Children and women should never have headphones, games or cell phones in their hands and distracting them while walking through parking lots. There is danger all around, not only from vehicles. Parking lots have tons of great hiding places. You should always have your head on a swivel, pepper spray on a key chain, and a screamer alarm. Your car alarm is not sufficient. They go off all the time and are generally ignored by the public. If someone does take note, they will be looking at the car and you may be somewhere else. Keep your pepper spray accessible and ready to use.
It is important to practice with your child, in a controlled environment, what they can do if they are abducted and find themselves in a vehicle. "The main idea is to stop the kidnapper – the sooner the better – from driving the child to a secluded location. The child must disrupt the kidnapper’s ability to drive and/or cause the car to crash while it’s moving at a slow speed. This will attract the attention of other people and give the child a chance to flee." Here is a list of strategies they can employ the Michael illustrates on Crime-Safety-Security.com:
• Immediately, before he even begins to drive her away, she can thrust herself between the driver and steering wheel – hanging onto the steering wheel with all her might while blaring the horn. Do this as soon as possible – or whenever she gets the chance.
• Grab the ignition key to turn off the engine – causing the car to suddenly slow and the steering to freeze.
• Grab the steering wheel while he’s in mid-turn.
• Brace her back against the door and attack the kidnapper with the powerful Defensive Ground Kicks taught in Fighting Strategies. He won’t be able to drive while absorbing a rapid-fire barrage of such kicks.
• Jump out the door whenever the car is not moving.
• Scream “Help! Police!” whenever a window or door is opened.
• If she’s a back seat passenger, she may still be able to attack the driver by attacking his eyes or throat from behind at a critical time. At a very slow speed, cause the car to crash!
There is a program called, Radkids. Their focus is on teaching child safety. The program is very affordable and runs for two hours, for approximately five days a week. After they do the program once, they can come back in the summer on the subsequent years for free.
Teach kids how to evade if someone attempts to take them away. There's some great info at Crime-Safety-Security.com:
• If a stranger in a car wants you to come closer, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction while screaming "Help! Police!"
• Thrash, fight, bite, and scream, "Help! Police!" repeatedly, shed a jacket or backpack that is grabbed, drop any excess baggage slowing you down and escape to a populated area. YELL! RUN! TELL! The kidnapper fears a public spectacle and may simply flee alone. Also, witnesses may intervene, or at least identify the kidnapper and/or vehicle.
• If there’s a gun, ignore it and run! A gun is used to scare – rarely if ever to shoot a child. (Besides, if he's willing to quickly kill a child on the spot, he'll slowly do worse harm at leisure before killing the child later at a secluded, secondary crime scene anyway.)
• Activate their personal security alarm (noisemaker).
• Run in circles around an object such as a parked car.
• Get under a parked car (belly up) and hold onto the underside so he can’t drag them out. If he crawls under there after them, get out on the other side.
• Pull a fire alarm.
If you are held captive, there is a risk of developing Stockholm Syndrome. This condition develops when people develop compassion for their captive. Humans thrive because of compassion for one another. Stockholm Syndrome can happen fast, much faster than I realized. People categorized as psychopaths lack compassion due to problem with the Amygdala in the brain. The Amygdala regulates fear, compassion and sexual orientation. A sociopath is made by society. It is not a genetic defect.
In a hostage situation, hopelessness is the greatest danger. You have to be quietly planning and escape route and survival strategy, everyday. When you are first taken try to befriend and cooperate with your captors so they won't kill you. Try to appeal to their compassion. Always calmly and gently test the limits of your captors. How far will they allow you to stray beyond their control? Be stubbornly hopeful.
If you are going to go out, you might as well go out fighting! You need to fight for your life with the mad dog mindset. Survival is ninety percent will and ten percent skill. It's all about your attitude. Michael has simplified his teaching process over the many years of his experience. He now teaches how to blind, deafen, maim and kill. Go for the four balls and the throat. For more information on self defense techniques check out Crime-Safety-Security.com.