Safety – Is It An Illusion?

by Sherry Riter in Family,Safety

This is very important. Don’t hide your eyes pretending this doesn’t happen and won’t happen to you or your family. Don’t be ignorant. Instead choose to be aware. This is real.

I believe that we see and hear about violence so often on the news that we become somewhat immune to the fact that it happens every day to normal people living in nice, non-violent neighborhoods…or is there really such a place? This is heartbreaking and almost unbearable to imagine the pain that these families have suffered.
This happens so fast you don’t even realize the information just gathered about your child…

• 15% of students are being bullied on a daily basis
• 160,000 kids miss school everyday due to bullying
• Half of all students report being bullied at some time

Tips to help keep your children safe:

  • Have open conversations with your children about every topic including the fact that they can tell you anything, any time.
  • Ensure that your children know that you WILL believe them when they tell you something is wrong.
  • Teach your child not to keep secrets from you.
  • Do not tell the child to “ignore” it. It will make them wonder why they even bothered telling you.
  • It is okay to break the rules in order to remain safe i.e. break windows to escape, scream, yell, bite, etc.
  • Do not blame the victim of any crime.
  • Get all the facts pertaining to the incident including witnesses names.
  • Report the incident to the police.
  • Have the school act as a go between for contact with the bullies parents unless otherwise advised by the police.
  • Teach your children to be assertive. Children who are NOT bullied know how to assert themselves during a confrontation. They have the conflict resolution skills that enables them to solve problems without being aggressive.
  • Role play…seriously.

When my niece Brittany was around the age of six, the schools began to really push “Stranger Danger” and encouraged role playing at home. One afternoon, we decided to role play in the front yard. We told her that Evan, my ex-husband, would walk down the street towards the house and he would pretend to be a stranger. She was to just play in the front yard and when he approached, follow the things she had been taught about safety. I want to interject that the kids NEVER played outside without me sitting and watching them. Approximately one-third of abductions occurr within one-half block of the victim’s home.”

Brittany stood in the middle of the yard and just watched as Evan slowly walked down the street towards our house. When he was about two feet from the edge of the yard, he started running towards Brittany.

I was sitting and observing on the porch holding Alyssa.

Brittany took off running and screaming towards me with terror on her face. Upon reaching me, she collapsed in my arms a sobbing mess. Evan and I held and comforted her. When she was finally able to speak, Brittany said that she was terrified because for a minute it felt real. All she could think about was that someone was trying to get her.

It wasn’t our intention to scare her so badly. We just wanted to practice safety and give her tips for her protection. Obviously, besides being a very intelligent child, she also had a very vivid imagination. Now that Brittany has gotten older, she said that deep down she knew it was just Evan, but that it felt so real at the time that he had become just a faceless man out to get her.

We were careful after that not to traumatize her, but the impression had been made forever. I can’t say enough about the value of role playing every situation with your children. Role play everything from strangers to being honest enough to return an overpayment to the person at the cash register. Practice until it becomes second nature to them because in a crisis, you don’t really have time to think.

Somer Thompson (7 years old) – All 161 sex offenders within the five mile radius of her home have been questioned. 161 within 5 miles?!!!! Somer vanished on her one-mile walk home from school Monday. 7 years old walking a mile alone? The latest story of how police found Somer Thompson here.

Man Killed Virginia Family, Ransacked Home, Ate Their Food read here – That was the second family within a week that this man killed. The first family had been bound, beaten with a hammer and stabbed, their throats cut and their bodies set ablaze.”

Gangs “will get worse because they are getting more structured.”

Feinstein-Hatch-Schumer Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2007 found here

Why? It is just so horrible.

“In 76 percent of the missing children homicide cases studied, the child was dead within three hours of the abduction–and in 88.5 percent of the cases the child was dead within 24 hours.”
“In 74 percent of the missing children homicide cases studied, the child murder victim was female and the average age was 11 years old.”


The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc.®
Justice for Murdered Children
KlaasKids Foundation
America’s Most Wanted – Missing Children
America’s Most Wanted Safety Center
Psychology Today – When My Child Was Murdered

When Bad Things Happen to Good People (Mass Market Paperback)

Christians believe that one answer can be found in the Bible (Romans 8:18) “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Adversity, opposition and trials are part of the plan which gives us “choice” and “free agency” which in turns also brings about “consequences” for those actions. Christians also believe that there is the existence of evil which persuades people to choose actions which bring about pain and unhappiness to others. If God intervened each time someone chose to do evil to an undeserving person, the entire plan of giving humans the freedom to make decisions or morally choose goodness would be thwarted.

“Making the decision to have a child –
it’s momentous.
It is to decide forever
to have your heart
go walking outside your body.”

~Elizabeth Stone~





This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shawn October 26, 2009 at 3:01 am

Thanks for sharing this—-I am going to pass it on to my daughter—-who is very lax with her kids—who are adorable!


2 Jane In The Jungle October 26, 2009 at 3:48 am

Whao…I am so freaked out now. I have always talked to the kids from day 1. We have roll played in the front yard…a man stopped in a truck one day to try to talk to them, he did not see me in the driveway…those boys turned and ran as fast as they could. I stepped towards the truck to get a tag number and he took off. Now that my daughter is 3, I worry every day about her.


3 Tater Tot Mom October 26, 2009 at 4:23 am

That's great information and a sad story about the boy who died.

Unfortunately there are sickos out there and though stranger danger is something every kid should know, we shouldn't forget to tell them that even people they know can hurt them too.


4 Tammy Howard October 26, 2009 at 8:36 am

The timing on this is wild, because we just had this conversation with our girls this weekend – the things that made them vulnerable, the things a potential abductor might say…

It's so hard to find that line between safe and paranoid. I know these things happen – I want my girls to be safe and to know how to handle themselves. But I don't want them living in fear. I don't want to live in fear myself.

Thanks for an important and attention grabbing post…


5 confused homemaker October 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I teach this stuff & it's really hard because you are only as safe as the person next to you. But there are many things we can do reduce the probability of harm & it's important that info like this post is put out there. It's not something we want to really deal with it, but it's a very sad reality. Violence is something we need to address as a society.


6 The Blonde Duck October 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm

That is really scary…and I don't have kids…


7 Pam October 26, 2009 at 6:36 pm

I teach this stuff to my kids. It's hard to do sometimes, because you want to believe the world is a safe place.
Thanks for sharing an important message!


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