How do I protect my child from going missing?
SAPS advises parents to teach your child these 5 rules:
- Never get into a car with someone you do not know.
- Do not accept gifts from a person you do not know.
- Never open your front door to people you do not know.
- Tell an adult where you are going and when you will return.
- Your body is PRIVATE, you have the right to say NO!
Further steps to take:
Eyewitness News (EWN) has put together an in-depth feature on missing children. Here are some great tips on keeping our children safe. Click here to read more: http://ewn.co.za/Features/Without-a-trace
Make sure your children are aware of their neighbourhood
- Set geographical boundaries past which they are not allowed to roam.
- Teach them to take the same route to places they regularly visit, for instance the park, or a local shop.
- Make sure they know all the safe havens in the neighbourhood: the local police station or clinic.
- Make it a rule that your children are not allowed to go anywhere without asking permission from you first.
- Ask them to be back at a certain time.
- Make sure you know their friends and have up-to-date contact details for them.
Empower your child
- Teach your child their own name and address, as well as your name and telephone number.
- Teach them about the 'buddy system' and insist that they do not venture out without at least one friend accompanying them.
- Teach them to trust their instincts and to say 'no' if they feel uncomfortable in a situation.
- Practise safety skills with your child and rehearse what they should do in a dangerous situation. That way the behaviour becomes second nature to them.
- Work out a family safe word, and tell your child that they should only accompany unknown adults who can give them the correct safe word.
- In the event that a child goes missing, do not delay in reporting it to the police.
- The most recent photograph of the child will assist the search or investigation, and to this end SAPS recommends that you keep updated pictures of your children.
- Know where their medical records are located and consider keeping DNA samples on hand.
- The police will expect the parent or guardian to provide a clear description of what the child was wearing at the time of disappearance and any distinctive features or marks on the child need to be mentioned to the police.
NEVER GET INTO A CAR WITH SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW.
DO NOT ACCEPT GIFTS FROM A PERSON YOU DO NOT KNOW.
NEVER OPEN YOUR FRONT DOOR TO PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW.
TELL AN ADULT WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHEN YOU WILL RETURN.
YOUR BODY IS PRIVATE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO!
Sources: EWN (http://ewn.co.za/Features/Without-a-trace), SAPS.