How to prevent abduction of our children345 views
Alarming news from Punjab that children are being kidnapped with increasing frequency sent a chill down my spine. As a father, I can realize that whenever a child or teen is kidnapped anywhere, heavens fall on parents. The terrifying prospect of abduction fills hearts and minds of affected family everywhere.
The Supreme Court’s two-judge bench in Lahore was earlier this month told by police chief that more than 1800 children were kidnapped between 2015 and 2016, of them 1,715 have so far been recovered while 93 still missing.
In 2015 alone, there were more than 1,200 kidnappings reported in Punjab.
This year until now, at least 770 children have been kidnapped mainly from larger cities of Punjab including Lahore, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar. The police report admitted that many of them have not been recovered.
And the shocking revelation was that in last six years, there were 6,800 abductions of kids in Punjab, out of which nearly 600 are yet to be reunited with their grieved families.
I think the number of unreported cases will be higher as victim families usually avoid taking police help.
Children are among the most vulnerable in our society and have been used for everything from prostitution to working as child jockeys in the Gulf.
Also, they are kidnapped for paedophilia, ransom, beggary, militancy, suicide bombing and even for extraction of vital organs.
On the other hand, the fear and increasing incidents of child abduction in Punjab, a safe haven for kidnappers, has also panicked the people and they have begun reacting violently after catching alleged kidnappers. It’s also a dangerous phenomenon with regard to the social behavior.
In most cases the children have left their houses because of domestic violence or other personal reasons. But police have failed to recover them. The responsibility for this lies foremost with the police and state but their only policy for dealing with this horrifying trend is to bury head in the sand.
Given this scenario, when I put up the questions before myself that can we ourselves stop this epidemic of child kidnapping? Can the vigilance, maturity and strategy prevent or at least curb the kidnapping of our children? I get the answer in affirmative, since I believe that much of the solution lies in our own hands indeed.
Here are some strategies/suggestions for parents that can hopefully prevent the kidnappings of children and teen and lessen the trouble in case of any happening:
- Don’t send your child to open the door when someone knocks it. You should teach your child to ask first before opening the door.
- Don’t send your teen boy or girl at shop, playground and park alone.
- Accompany your children up to the school van and bring them back by yourself.
- Be sure about school van drivers. Get their details as well as information about their character and background.
- Parents should make secure the pick and drop of their kids from schools. Know the path your child takes to and from home to the school bus stop or the school.
- Tell your children to avoid short cuts through woods, alleys, parks, or other areas where they could be alone.
- Don’t leave your children alone or unattended outside your home. Supervise your kids in places like malls, movie theaters, parks and markets.
- Never leave kids alone in a car or stroller, even for a minute.
- Choose caregivers — babysitters, childcare providers, and nannies — carefully and check their references.
- Talk to your kids about strangers. Give them the basics on how to avoid strangers. Teach them not to accept candy or gifts from a stranger. Never go anywhere with a stranger, even if it sounds like fun.
- If you are confident enough about your kids, you can frankly teach them about how to escape a dangerous situation, run away and scream if someone follows or tries to force into a car. Tell them to scream as loud as they can and fight back with all their might.
- If your kids are old enough to stay home alone, make sure they keep the door locked and never tell anyone who knocks or calls they are home alone.
- Tell your kids to remember phone number of parents, and if children feel concerned for their safety at school or outside somewhere, they should immediately tell their parents.
- Report any suspicious vehicle in your area. Note down the vehicle number and provide it to law enforcement officials.
- Despite all above precautions, if your child is abducted, keep in mind that first few hours are the most critical in missing-child cases, it’s important to provide police with information about your child immediately, especially their photos.