(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is calling on parents and guardians to prepare and protect their children against possible abduction or kidnapping. DeWine issued his warning after a Butler County girl was the victim of an attempted abduction.
“The key to keeping kids safe from those who would prey on them is communication and constant vigilance, and parents are the first line of defense,” Attorney General DeWine said. “I encourage all parents to talk candidly with their children, teach them how to avoid or react to potential danger, and know where they are and who they’re with at all times.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office offers these tips to help parents and guardians prevent abductions and kidnappings:
- Teach children to run away from danger and never toward it. If someone grabs them they should scream, kick, and resist by making a scene until they can break free. If they are followed by an unfamiliar vehicle they should turn and run in the opposite direction toward a parent or another trusted adult.
- Never allow children to go anywhere by themselves. A parent or trusted adult should always be present to supervise young children and older children should always be accompanied by a friend wherever they go.
- Remind children never to accept anything from or respond in any way to a stranger. If they’re approached by someone they don’t know they should run away as quickly as possible.
- Talk openly with children about safety issues and help them understand the need for precautions. They should be encouraged to talk with parents or a trusted adult if anyone or anything makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
- Practice your lessons. Rehearsing what they’ve learned will help ensure children are able to use their knowledge in a real situation.
- Include your children in your security “plan.” If the home has an alarm system, children should be shown how it works and how to make sure doors and windows are locked. They should also know who to contact in case of an emergency and how to reach local police, fire stations, and hospitals.
- Report any suspicious people or activities to law enforcement. If a family member is being targeted, stalked, or threatened, local law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately.
“Just this Wednesday, a 12-year-old girl was the victim of an attempted abduction in Middletown. We must do all we can to protect children from predators, and teaching them about these dangers can be perhaps our most effective tool,” said Attorney General DeWine.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller: 614-466-3840