Stranger Danger: an important message from PSP Founder, Susan Fox

Dear PSP Members,

I wrote last week about stranger danger and it’s important to bring it up once again. There have been a few occurrences of strangers approaching kids in the last week.  I’m in contact with Brad Lander’s office and the local police precincts to get more information to clarify what we know about the different incidents and the danger it may mean for our children. For what it’s worth, I was pleased to hear that children acted appropriately to the situations they faced such as going into a local business to report someone harassing them, reporting to school authorities when they were approached, etc.

Even if these situations don’t pan out to be legit (there is reason to believe that one story was not) it is a good reminder discuss how to educate and arm your kids with good tools IF it were to ever come up. Teaching children the ways to deal with situations will help them build confidence and act in ways that won’t make them a victim. Sheltering our kids and not giving them any freedom may make them think that the world is a scary place when in fact it’s filled with wonderful, interesting people and just a few “skeevy” people to avoid.

The information HERE came from a letter that went home to parents of PS 172. There is some great information here. Please take some time to discuss with your kids.

Here’s an article on the value of fostering a child’s independence and letting go of our kids. It also reminds us that we may need to put a little more trust in other parents that they know what they are doing before we call 9-11 and assume neglect if we see a kid walking alone.

And one statistic from the article worth noting: Kidnapping by strangers is wildly uncommon; in New York State, for instance, the Division of Criminal Justice Services announced that 20,309 children were reported missing statewide in 2011; exactly one of those children was confirmed abducted by a stranger.

Susan Fox

Park Slope Parents


Other useful reading around the web:

A Pediatrician Just Laid Out How to Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse—And She’s Begging You to Listen