Mother says preventing child abductions begins at home
COLE COUNTY —
Jefferson City Police are weeks into an investigation into two attempted abductions in the same part of town.
Cassidy Troy has no connection to the attempted abductions, but she is teaching her kids how to protect themselves anyway.
The Cole County mother of three has an undeniable love for her children. She can be found helping them with their homework or outside playing with them, but she is always thinking about their safety.
"We just simply don't think it would happen to one of us," Troy said about recent attempted abductions.
"It can happen to anybody. It can happen to any one of their friends. It definitely was traumatizing."
Nancy Hoey is a counselor who works with kids in Jefferson City.
“You know you can start talking to kids as early as four about things," she said. "It's important to know who's safe in their life."
She said it's important for parents to teach their children to trust their instincts.
"If we teach kids 'I have this kind of uh-oh feeling, then we're teaching them to trust their guts," Hoey said.
That's exactly what Troy is doing.
"I just asked them, 'what do you do when a stranger walks up to you and tries to snatch you?' Well, we're going to scream as loud as we can and we're just going to kick until we get away and we're going to run," she said.
Whether it's a walk home from school, or a day at the playground abductions can happen at any time, any place.
While parents should teach their children to be aware of their surroundings, Hoey said they need to make sure it's done in a way that doesn't scare them.
"We have to be really careful as parents that we're not passing our worries down to our kids," Hoey said. "You know, like every time my children leave to drive off somewhere I think of the worst possible scenario.”
As for Troy, she has her own method of "capturing" how her children leave home. Each morning, she takes a picture of her kids.
"At least, in the initial shock, if anything was to happen, I can give a perfect description of how they left that morning."
A never-ending challenge worth the effort.
To learn more about preventing child abductions, visit kidshealth.org.