Imagine This: Part 2 of an ongoing stranger safety lesson

By Patrick Chierichella, Educational Coordinator

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

In the article, The Abduction of Children by Strangers in Canada: Nature and Scope, by Marlene L. Dalley and Jenna Ruscoe, published December 1, 2003, the authors note different classes of abductors, pedophiles, profiteers, serial killers and childless psychotics, have been identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Dalley and Ruscoe,

“…abductors use the advantages of their physical strength over their victims… (their) age, social position, economic power, authority and/or manipulative lures as their weapons. They rely on their victim’s fear, vulnerability and obedience to adults’ authority.”

One method used by these abductors is known as the Blitz Attack. Dalley and Ruscoe provide the following description of this event:

“A stranger appears suddenly. Children’s responses resemble reactions to any other sudden, unexpected, dangerous event in their lives: (a) they are in so much shock that it interferes with any defensive action they might take; (b) the shock of the stranger’s behavior precludes seeing or remembering much of the incident, so that they may have considerable difficulty recognizing and identifying the individual at a later time; and (c) they label the experience as an assault and themselves as survivor. This type of attack may or may not involve an assault with a weapon.”

This forms the basis of Imagine This! …Part II

Your child hears this – “Come with me!”

Paint the picture for your child. The child is at the park, or on the way to school, walking home from school, at the movie theater, in a store or at the mall. Someone comes up to your child and grabs your child by the arm and tells your child to get moving with them. Have your child, unaided, given no cues, either oral or visual, decide what to do after you go over these questions:

  • Do you ask them who they are?
  • What if it is a little boy or girl who asks you?
  • What if it is a woman?
  • What if you think you know them?
  • What if they say I (the parent) sent them?
  • What if they say I was in an accident?

What is your child’s response? Did the child think to yell the word, “STRANGER“? Did the child say he/she would make a fuss? Go over what you want your child to do, but moreover ask how he/she got into the situation where he/she was ALONE at the time of the confrontation. Stress again the need to practice the BUDDY SYSTEM time and time again.

We are all partners in this endeavor of stranger safety awareness. Let’s help insure that our children’s response to a potentially dangerous situation begins with an instinctual response to that threat.

Be Safe!

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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