Children are an important part of our lives and they provide us with an insurmountable amount of laughter, joy, and love. The last thing anyone wants to think about is your child being abducted, but it’s a harsh reality that occurs frequently in the US.
In 2016 alone, there were 179 AMBER Alerts issued involving a total of 231 abducted children (1). The majority of the 179 AMBER Alerts issued resulted in a recovery, but three children are still missing and 13 were found dead (1). One woman is now warning other parents of the seriousness of child abduction after her daughter was nearly taken at a rest stop on Interstate 74 in Indiana.
The Suspicious Rest Stop Situation
The woman, who hails from Zionsville, was on her way back home from Cincinnati and pulled over at a rest stop so she and her daughter could use the washroom (2). A woman, who seemed to be on drugs, approached the pair and tried to talk to them, but they continued on to the washroom (2). When in the stall, the mother heard the woman enter the washroom with another person and specifically mention “the little girl” (2).
The mother was understandably concerned at this point and decided to skip washing her hands and carry her daughter out (2). As she was leaving, she noticed the woman who had tried to talk to them earlier had changed her clothes and started to follow them out along with her friend, who was about 6’ (2).
Mother Knows Best – How A Child Abduction Was Avoided
The mom and daughter quickly made their way out of the washroom and back into their car, which is when the mom saw three men standing next to a minivan with all the doors wide open (2). Terrified, the mother called 911 and reported the incident (2). Luckily, the duo was able to escape the scary situation unharmed (2).
The mother attributes their escape to the fact that she was so alert and explained, “I have this terrible feeling that had I not been aware of my surroundings my daughter may have been taken from me.” (2). This mother’s instincts were a solid 10/10. From her alertness to her swift action, she really couldn’t have responded to the situation any better.
Tips On How To Reduce Your Child’s Abduction Risk
If you ever find yourself in a situation similar to the rest stop mother’s, there are a number of things you can do to ensure your child’s safety (3):
- Pay attention to news and alerts of recent child abductions in the area you’re in
- Be aware of individuals paying an unusual amount of attention to your child
- Draw attention to situations in which an adult is trying to take a child away from a public place
- Pay attention to new individuals you’ve never seen before that are hanging out around areas where children play but don’t have another child with them
- Teach your child that they always need parental permission before going anywhere with anyone
- Teach your child to always have a buddy with them
- Teach your child that they should never leave with someone other than who they came with
- Teach your child resistance skills – shouting, kicking, biting, or screaming if anyone tries to physically take them away
- Teach your child that if anyone makes them feel uncomfortable they must immediately tell you
- Keep a very close eye on your child while out in public
- Discuss a safety plan with your child that outlines what they should do if they are separated from you
The Indianan mother’s story proves just how important knowing the right steps to take in a child abduction situation is. Even though you may be hesitant to give your child’s abduction a second thought, doing so could and up saving their life. Read this next to learn about 11 child safety principles every parent needs to know.
- 2016 AMBER Alert Report. (2018, March). Retrieved from https://www.amberalert.gov/statistics.htm
- Mother gives warning after attempted abduction at rest stop. (2018, June 29). Retrieved from https://www.10tv.com/article/mother-gives-warning-after-attempted-abduction-rest-stop
- Reduce Your Child’s Risk of Abduction. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://missingkids.ca/pdfs/MK_ReduceRiskAbduction_en.pdf
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