I recently read an article about a teenage girl who was kidnapped and held captive for 30 days. Thankfully, the young girl escaped captivity and is now reunited with her family.
As a mother of two girls, the story shook me to the core. It angered and scared me. To the point that I not only want to help prevent something so tragic from happening to my own children, but other children as well.
Kidnappers drive vans because it makes it easy to grab someone and throw them in. Also, many contractors use white vans to make their logo stand out and to carry their equipment. Therefore, there is an abundance of white vans which makes it harder to identify a potential danger and more difficult for police to trace.
Last week my daughter was walking alone to school. She usually meets up with a friend at the corner so she was only walking one block alone. On the mornings her sister doesn’t have a morning activity, they walk together.
On this particular morning, only a few minutes after she left, she walked back in the door. So I asked her,”What did you forget?”
She didn’t forget anything that day. As she was walking, a white van was driving down the street. It slowed down as it was passing her. Feeling a bit scared she turned around to headed home. Then the van drove off.
Most likely, it was just a contractor looking at the house numbers trying to find the address of a job. But you just never know.
I shudder every time I get an Amber Alert or learn that a new sex offender has moved into the neighborhood. So I was happy that she came home. Another scenario is too unbearable to even imagine.
They say there is safety in numbers. I’m thankful that she has a friend to walk with and strongly encourage it. Whenever possible, you should have your child walk with a friend. Regardless of whether it’s midnight or the middle of the day.
Another way to keep your kids safe is by getting them a cell phone. It not only gives you peace of mind but it is a traceable way to know your child’s whereabouts. Have your children text you when they get out of school or when they get home. This way you know they safe.
Discuss possible dangers with your child. If I hadn’t told my daughter the dangers of the dreaded white van, she might have kept walking. I would much rather have my child a little afraid and cautious. But most importantly – safe. Wouldn’t you?