As parents, we want nothing more than to protect our kids from the dangers of the world. The idea of our child being snatched by a stranger is the absolute worst, but there are things we can do to help protect our child from danger. It's impossible to have eyes in the back of our heads and as much as we like to think our child won't go astray, it isn't always easy to predict. One 11-year-old girl recently avoided a kidnap attempt by remembering what her parents had taught her - ask for the code word.
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office shared details of the case on Facebook, in the hope that other parents would consider employing the same tactics to protect their little ones. The girl was walking with a friend through a park in San Tan Valley, Arizona, when a man in a white SUV approached them and urged them to get into his car. He was a friend of the family, he said, and had been sent to get them as there was an emergency.
Luckily for the preteens, one girl had decided on a code word with her parents in the eventuality that someone else needed to collect her. When she asked the man the code word, he didn't know it, panicked, and drove away. If she hadn't have asked, the story may have had quite a different ending.
Mine have a code word like this AND a safe word. With the safe word- if they are somewhere with friends or family and want to be picked up for whatever reason but don’t want to say it out loud- they call and use that. I come get them immediately.— punkybooster (@sprcutepltybad) November 10, 2018
The girl's mother spoke to the media to share her relief, telling Fox 10 Phoenix that she was proud of her daughter for remembering what they had previously discussed. They never thought it would be used, but in this case, it saved the lives of two girls. As the perpetrator partially covered his face with his hands, the girls weren't able to give a full description to the authorities. As of the time of writing, the man is still wanted for questioning by the local police, who are still investigating the incident.
Have you made a plan with your children in case such a situation arises? It might be time to start.