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Child Safety Situation #18

Girl, 17 years old; snatched by a predator while walking to school.

In 1997, as a 17-year-old girl was walking to school in a small town, she noticed a car parked by the curb with the driver's door wide open. She saw the owner of the car ringing the bell of the house next to the car. As she passed the car, the man dashed down the steps, pushed her across the driver's seat, jumped in behind her, and drove away.

She screamed, but it happened so fast she couldn't think. A neighbor heard her screams and came out to see the car speeding away. Later, this neighbor was able to tell what kind of car it was.

The predator drove to a secluded spot and ordered her to get into the back seat. As she did, she noticed that the doors were unlocked. Quickly, she opened the back door, jumped out, and ran to the highway where she flagged down a passing motorist who drove her to safety. Her quick thinking rescued her from physical harm.

What can you learn from her story?

Scream to get others to help you. This girl's screams caused her neighbor to get outside in time to see the car and call the police. Knowing the kind of car driven by the person attempting to abduct young women may alert others soon enough for them to escape.

Take any chance you see to get away. As soon as she noticed the unlocked door, she moved. The best thing you can do is get out of the car or house where the predator has confined you, the better to control you.

Keep Alert:
Anytime you see something potentially dangerous, take evasive action. She could have foiled his attempt from the very beginning if she had crossed the street when she spotted the open car door and realized he was in a position to push her in and get in after her. Now, all of you know this kind of set up provides a way to sweep you into a car. While you don't want to go through life paranoid, you do want to go through life. So, it makes perfect sense to train yourself, like 007, to recognize potentially dangerous situations and avoid them.

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Information presented for educational purposes only. Reprinted with permission from The Jimmy Ryce Center.

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