You don't have to live in constant fear of being abducted. Many crimes against children can be stopped, you can help to protect yourself. It is important for you to communicate with the right people. Talk to your parents, any grownup-in-charge or a teacher if anything seems strange or confusing to you. If something makes you uncomfortable talk to someone about it, even if it seems small.
Remember, it is never too late to ask for help; keep asking until you get the help you need. Many people care about you, will listen to you and will believe you.
Good rules to follow to protect yourself against child abduction are:
1. Share a Secret Code Word
You and your parents should agree on a code word that is easy for you to remember. If anyone tells you that you need to go with them because your parents were hurt ask them for the code word. If they really are a friend they will know the code word that you and your parents share. If they don't konw the code word run away from them as fast as possible and find help.
2. Stay Away from Strangers
Who is a stranger? If you've seen someone hanging around your playground at school or in your neighborhood, this does not mean that you know him/her. Yes, you recognize him/her, his/her face is familiar to you but they are still a stranger to you! A good rule to follow is, unless your parents have met him/her or know that you are with him/her, he/she is a stranger to you.
3. Grownups Should Not Ask Kids to Do Things That Other Adults Can Do for Them
This means that you should not go, or get in a car with an adult who, for example, asks you for directions. Grownups should not ask you to help them find a lost puppy or kitten, either. Say no or say, "Wait right here, I'll check with my mom (dad, babysitter...)." Then go get your parent.
4. If You Lose Your Parents in a Public Place like a Store or a Park Do Not Go Looking for Them
Immediately ask someone who works there to help you find them. Tell them you have been separated from your parents and you need help finding them.
5. Always Ask First
Always ask your parents or a grownup in charge before:
- Going anywhere with anybody
- Leaving the yard, play area or going into someone's home
- Getting a ride home with someone other than your bus driver or your usual ride
- Getting into a car or going somewhere with somebody even if it is someone you know
6. Inform Your Parents
Once you have permission from your parents:
- Tell them where you are going
- Tell them how you will get there
- Tell them who will be going with you
- Tell them when you will be back
- Get back on time or call to let them know when you will be back
7. If Someone Follows You on Foot or in a Car, Stay Away
You do not need to go near the car to talk to anyone inside the car.
- You are safer when you're with other people in public places. Use the "buddy system." There is safety in numbers.
- Do not take money, gifts or treats without telling a parent or the grownup in charge.
- If you are in a public place and someone tries to take you somewhere by force, try to get away from him or her and yell or scream:
- This man is trying to take me away!
- He/she is not my father (or mother)!
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation