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Edward Wilks - The Tradesmen Gun Store - 128 East 3rd Street Rifle CO 81650 Colorado - Advanced Combat Training

Edward Wilks - The Tradesmen Gun Store - 128 East 3rd Street Rifle CO 81650 Colorado - Advanced Combat Training

Keeping Children Safe, Alive, and Happy

Educate, Practice, Fight, Escape, Wait, Hope, Live

Dear Parents,

    So very often, we speak with our children about various dangers.  We warn them to not talk with strangers, and to not take candy or money from anyone they do not know, and to not get into any car without mom or dad’s permission.  However, stopping here is a serious and dangerous mistake.  We as parents must go beyond that standard and help them with the horrific but inevitable alternative possibilities.

Educate: Of course we teach our children to avoid those kinds of hazards.  But there is more.  Next, we must warn them about the lies that child- and sexual-predators use.  For example, evil men using a young child’s love and compassion for animals will say things like, they lost their little puppy or kitten and need help finding them.  Or, their own son or daughter is missing and they need a smart child that knows the area to find them and will even pay them to help search for it.  They will exploit the child’s naïve (but innocent) vanity or pride by telling them they are they are smart or strong and they know the area and where that puppy or child might be.  Warn them that evil men take pictures of little girls and get on Facebook or the internet pretending to be their friend from school and offering to meet them in the park.

Practice: Share examples and variations of these lies and stories with your children.  Teach them to recognize them as traps so when they hear them, they trigger a defensive and alerted response.  Quiz your children on them.  Teach them how to use a phone in an emergency.  Teach your children a code word, that unless a person has this “password” they cannot and will not go with them.  Practice these regularly.  (Children protective websites are filled with other helpful information and examples. Familiarize yourself with them.)

Fight: Even the smartest, most cautious, and prepared child can still be tricked.  So what next?  Teach them to be a ninja.  Seriously.  Children love that concept of a secret warrior.  If grabbed, teach them how to scream and what words to yell such as help, rape, kidnap, stop, you’re hurting me, etc.  Next, fight back!  Teach them that “anything is allowed” and teach them to hit, poke, scratch, and bite.  Assure them that even killing that man is allowed by mom, dad, God, and the police and the law.  Teach them to focus on the soft, vulnerable areas such as eyes, face, throat, genitals, etc.  Teach them basic grabs and their counterstrikes in your living room.  If necessary, visit one of us that teach these techniques (very often for free) to any family or child in need.

Escape: Next, look your children in the eye, and tell them that if none of those defensive techniques work, and they are taken, let them know that they may be hurt in painful or ugly ways.  But tell them to be strong and wait for a moment of attack or escape.  Warn them the attacker will tell them if they ever try to leave or tell anyone that they will kill them.  Tell them not to believe it, but to trick their abductor into making them “think” they are too scared to run, but in reality, they are planning it the next time they are out in public.  Let their attacker believe they are now friends and they won’t ever run away.

Wait: If kept in an abductor’s home, teach them to think and observe and plan.  What windows or doors can they escape from? Where are the keys that lock them?  Even if locked, can you pick up a chair and break the window, then throw a blanket over the glass edge and escape? Teach them to get a sharp knife and hide it where they sleep and to be ready to fight and kill if necessary.  Teach them to wake up in the middle of the night and climb out a window.  Then run!  Run as far away as you can, or hide as best as you can, or run to the next group of people you see.  If you have a choice, run to a woman more than a man, a parent with a child more than a person alone, and family more than another groups.  No matter what their choice, chances are they will be better off than they were.

Hope: Now, even if all this fails, teach them about hope.  Teach them that no matter what, you WILL find them.  Tell them to hold on and hold out until help arrives.  It may take days or weeks... It might even take years... but you WILL find them.  Teach them about prayer.  Praying for help and strength and hope works whether you personally believe it or not.

Live: Kill or be killed.  Violence applied properly can be beautiful and joyous.   We have a saying in our family: “The best way to keep your children safe, is to make them lethal.” We teach them to know, watch, and pray... but we also teach them how to fight, shoot, and live.  I tell them regularly, that if they ARE taken, that I will find them, and I will kill everyone between me and them.  What good mother or father wouldn’t?  Something my wife and I did to illustrate this with our family was to let our children watch the movie, “Taken” where a father does exactly all of this to get his daughter back from evil men.  Some of today’s youth can comprehend the realities better if presented though a movie with music and action. 

We also just shared with them the police report of a recent assault and kidnapping of a little girl in Grand Junction.  A man approached a little girl and her friends while they were playing in the yard.  He told them he had a kitten over by another apartment. He then picked up the little girl, placed her in the trunk of his car and drove away.  The man eventually stopped the car, took her out of the trunk and told her, “Don’t look at me or I will kill you.  I’ll cut your throat!”  In the police report, the young girl said the man tried to place a bandanna over her face, and that when his face was close to hers, she bit him on the nose, HARD, causing his nose to bleed. She said he then threw her on the ground and she escaped.  This girl was endangered because she was tricked by the lie, but ALIVE because she fought back.  The girl, police said, “is an inspiration to police officers, parents and people everywhere - a true hero! We have to train our children to fight back if they’re taken by a monster like that.”

Here are just a few examples of what is available on line to help parents protect their children:

http://safelyeverafter.com/

http://www.mcgruff.org/#/Main

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide/

http://www.themotherco.com/2012/02/keeping-kids-safe-from-sexual-predators/