I remember the night I lost Ton Ton for three minutes in a Vons in California. He was maybe 3 years old and it was the first time in my life I felt like screaming, crying and passing out all at the same time. I imagined the worst, my little boy in the back of a van on his way to Mexico, never to be seen again, and when he finally came running up behind me I wanted to drop to my knees and sob. When I moved home I felt relieved to be in a place where kids could grow up freely and without fear. Raising a child on Saipan would be safer, and stranger danger didn't exist here. That's a myth we all perpetuated for decades and few of us dared to challenge. Strangers are all around us, some we know, others we don't, many we can't ever be sure of.
|If you hear or see anything, please call 911 or Crimestoppers at 234-7272|
Tips for talking to your kids about strangers taken from McGruff.org, mychildsafety.net and mightymommy.com.
A stranger is anyone you don’t know. Even if someone is pretty or looks safe, that person is still a stranger.
Never go anywhere with a stranger or get in a stranger’s car.
Never take food, candy, or any other gifts from a stranger.
Do not pet a stranger’s animal, even if you are invited to pet it.
You are a kid. A stranger should not ask you for help. If a stranger asks you for help, get away from him as fast as possible.
Always stay away from the doors and windows when someone comes to visit and let an adult greet the visitor.
If anyone ever makes you uncomfortable in any way, tell your parent or another trusted adult immediately.
If a stranger tries to take you, yell “No!” and fight as hard as you can to get loose. Run to a public place and keep running until you find an adult who can help you.
When you are in a public place, always stay with your parents. Never wander off by yourself.
These tips are from McGruff.org, mychildsafety.net, mightymommy.com and childsafe.org:
You can't tell the good guys from the bad guys by how they look. You are responsible for keeping yourself safe when you're by yourself.
You are responsible for taking care of yourself, not for grownups. Adults who need help should go to another adult.
Instinct is nature's way of talking to you - listen to that inner voice.
If a stranger grabs you, do everything you can to stop him or her from pulling you away or dragging you into his or her car. Drop to the ground, kick, hit, bite, and scream. Do whatever it takes to attract the attention of others who can help you. If someone is dragging you away, scream, "this is not my dad," or "this is not my mom."