Disarming Deception- Lessons Learned from Castro Kidnappings- How to Protect Your Children

by Lori Ann LaRocco

Board of Directors,

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

The chilling new details on how Castro kidnapped Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus left me so angry I had to call my dear friend and founder of the Rose Brucia Educational Foundation, Matt Barbis.

The promise of a puppy for Michelle Knight’s toddler’s son turned my blood cold. “It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book.” Matt agreed in disgust.

Channel surfing on satellite radio, I was listening to CNN and in one of their reports they reenacted how a kidnapper can use a puppy to lure children. Unfortunately the actor “kidnapper” was successful.

One of the very first lessons Rose Brucia created years ago was on the puppy scenario:  https://rosebrucia.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/the-stranger-update.mov

Here is the lesson plan you can use to help further empower and educate your children: https://rosebrucia.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/news-report-update-the-stranger-lesson-plan.pdf

Sadly, the kidnappings of Berry and DeJesus was just another tool used by the sick and depraved- familiarity. Both Berry and Dejesus knew him. But just because you are familiar with someone doesn’t mean you get in a car with them. Here is where the “Safety Word” comes in.  Do you have a safety word with your children? Its a word only you and your kids know and if someone other than yourself is going to pick them up, they need to know it. If not, the child does not get in the car.  Again, another lesson RB has been teaching for years.  Here is the link to the video: https://rosebrucia.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/stranger-safety-is-no-joke-lesson-plan.pdf

Rose Brucia continues to add school districts to their roster of practicing stranger safety and the push in Washington continues, albeit I recently got another round of lip flap of promises.

Matt’s 11 year old cousin, Carlie, may physically be gone from this world, her life taken by the hands of a monster, but her spirit lives on in this organization by the people who continue to educate children on the tricks strangers use and how to safely get out of an attempted abduction through techniques like mirroring.

Matt Barbis and Pat Chierichella (Educational Coordinator) recently performed a stranger safety class at Hidden Acres Equestrian Facility in West Milford, New Jersey to 18 children, ranging from ages 7-13.  When Matt told the story of his cousin’s abduction to the older kids in a special session, one of the girl’s lips started to tremble. It’s a cold reality kids need to know.

As a parent of three children, I want to empower my kids, make them not only book smart but street smart as well. All too often, in this politically correct world we live in, our children are presented with a rosier picture of the world. This does not help them. It makes them vulnerable. It’s time to take off the rosie colored glasses and see what kind of world we live in. There are sick monsters out there both online and on our streets. The time is now to sit down with our kids and  give them the tools to be safe.

Deception can be disarmed- with knowledge.

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

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