Jessica Marie Lunsford
Well, it just seems that as the media, bloggers and the ridiculous feeding frenzy over Terry Schiavo suck up the entire sanity of this country, little girls are being abducted, raped and murdered without a care in the world.
I am just sickened by the non-chalant attitude towards children being abducted, used liked animals and thrown away like trash. Honestly, while I feel sorry for Terri Shiavo’s parents and think her husband is clearly a sick man, I just can’t give a fig anymore about it and want to know when the Right To Life folks are going to actually put their g*ddamned money where their flappy yaps are?
Yet another Amber alert called off on a missing Iowa girl because a body believed to be hers has been discovered. I didn’t even know about her being missing since the MEDIA and all the rest of the vultures were wasting their time on matters that are clearly a lost cause.
Do you really want to do something worthwhile? Do you really want to show you care about a child – even if it’s someone you don’t even know. Yes, recently I was actually asked “Dawn why would you possibly care so much about someone you don’t even know?”
I guess because I consider it my human duty and as a mother every child that goes missing and is never found, every child that is brutally murdered is an emotional burden for us all. Remember that little child missing COULD BE YOURS.
So here are some things that we can do RIGHT NOW.
Please go here and sign this petition. Call your local lawmakers and representatives and insist that we change our laws to protect our children from being exploited, abused, abducted, raped and murdered.
Post about on your own blog and direct your traffic to have others do the same.
Also, if you have children may I suggest you check out the following abduction Statistics (source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
*Almost 800,000 individuals are reported missing in the US each year.
*Of these, 85-90 percent are juveniles, equaling nearly 2000 missing children daily.
*200-300 of these children are abducted by a stranger.
*Out-of-the-home abductions occur 45-65 times annually.
*FBI statistics have reported that 90 percent of children criminally abducted
who are going to be killed are killed within 36 hours.
*Additionally, experts say that over 75 percent of those killed after an abduction, are killed within the first three hours.
Experts suggest the following (also taken from the NCMEC):
Q&A on Child Safety
What are the most important things a parent should know when talking to a child about this issue?
1. Don’t forget your older children. Children aged 11 to17 are equally at risk to victimization. At the same time you are giving your older children more freedom, make sure they understand important safety rules as well.
2. When you speak to your children, do so in a calm, nonthreatening manner. Children do not need to be frightened to get the point across. Fear can actually work at cross-purposes to the safety message, because fear can be paralyzing to a child.
3. Speak openly about safety issues. Children will be less likely to come to you if the issue is enshrouded in secrecy. If they feel that you are comfortable discussing the subject matter, they may be more forthcoming to you.
4. Do not confuse children with the concept of “strangers.” Children do not have the same understanding of who a stranger is as an adult might. The “stranger-danger” message is not effective, as danger to children is much greater from someone you or they know than from a “stranger.”
5. Practice what you talk about. You may think your children understand your message, but until they can incorporate it into their daily lives, it may not be clearly understood. Find opportunities to practice “what if” scenarios.
6. Teach your children that it is more important to get out of a threatening situation, than it is to be polite. They also need to know that it is okay to tell you what happened, and they won’t be a tattletale.
What are the most important things a parent should tell a child about this issue?
1. Children should always check first with you or a trusted adult before they go anywhere, accept anything, or get into a car with anyone. This applies to older children as well.
2. Children should not go out alone and should always take a friend with them when they go places or play outside.
3. It’s okay to say no if someone tries to touch them or treats them in a way that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused and to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
4. Children need to know that they can tell you or a trusted adult if they feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
5. Children need to know that there will always be someone to help them, and they have the right to be safe.
What is the biggest myth surrounding this issue?
The biggest myth is that the dangers to children come from strangers. In the majority of cases, the perpetrator is someone the parents or child knows, and that person may be in a position of trust or responsibility to the child and family.
What advice would you offer a parent who wanted to talk to their child about this issue?
Parents should choose opportunities or “teachable” moments to reinforce safety skills. If an incident occurs in your community, and your child asks you about it, speak frankly but with reassurance. Explain to your children that you want to discuss the safety rules with them, so that they will know what to do if they are ever confronted with a difficult situation. Make sure you have “safety nets” in place, so that your children know there is always someone who can help them.
Also, most local municipalities have information about sex offenders in your area available through the county and can be found on line typically including photos, known addresses and list of offenses. You can sign up for alerts to be sent to you via email of any changes in your community – I highly recommend using this resource and making yourself familiar with your local laws about sex offenders.
I realise that these are difficult and horrifying things to think about. I have had horrifying nightmares and the phrases like “a young child’s naken, broken body was found” grips me with a torment like that of having my insides ripped out and the thought of never feeling joy again might be a distinct possibility.
The only hope we have to prevent these crimes from happening over and over again is to stand up for our children and make our voices heard. TODAY is the day.