Over the last few years, there has been a shocking increase in the number of cases in South Africa, and kidnappings have become a threat to the country’s national security. The spike in kidnapping cases is enough to instil fear in anyone, but there are measures that you can take to prevent becoming a victim.
The South African Police Service has reported an overwhelming rise in kidnappings. Many families choose not to report these kidnapping cases as they are either threatened to do so or they decide to pay the ransom fee without ever involving the police.
There has also been a rise in kidnapping cases for women and children, which are usually ‘opportunistic kidnapping’. Sixteen people are kidnapped daily in South Africa. Therefore, it is now crucial for people to reduce the chances of falling prey and being in a position where you can easily be kidnapped because you are vulnerable. Below are some tips that you can follow to reduce your chances of being kidnapped.
- Choose an alternative route
It is essential to be aware of your surroundings and if you believe that there is a possible threat, use another street or road, especially when you are driving to and from work or home. Before the kidnapping, kidnappers will try to figure out your routine to keep track of your movements to attack you when you are vulnerable.
- Do not accept rides from strangers
It can be easy to accept help from a stranger, especially if you need assistance. However, getting into a stranger’s car could potentially put your life at risk. You might not have the opportunity to defend yourself as the kidnapper would have all the power in that situation.
- Keep your home secure
There is a belief that most people have that kidnappers can only snatch you in the streets, but the reality is that kidnappers can still attack you in your home. For this reason, you should have some security measures in places such as installing an alarm system or locks which will make your home harder to get into and more challenging to abduct you.
- Inform someone about your whereabouts
Whenever you have to meet someone new, like an acquaintance or a date, ensure that either a family member or a friend knows about your whereabouts. Ensure that you provide the name of the person you are meeting with and any other essential details. Always meet up in a public place where other people can see you.
- Have self-defence weapons
If you were to end up in a dangerous situation, you need to have a weapon or gadget to defend yourself. Weapons you can carry include pepper spray or a stunt gun which can stop an attacker.
Safety Tips for Children
Children should be taught how to identify a threat and defend themselves from the time they reach the age of 3. Teaching them the following tips can effectively prevent child abduction.
- You can train your child not only to scream when a stranger tries to grab them, but instead, they should scream for help. This is more helpful in that situation because children, especially when younger, are known to scream when they are agitated. By calling for help, people might make an effort to assist and rescue them from danger.
- Children should be taught not to accept any sweets or gifts from strangers, especially without consulting with you first.
- When your children are old enough, you should teach them your cellphone number, name and surname. Teaching them that will be able to assist them even if they lose you in a shopping centre as they would be able to tell whoever works there who they are looking for.
- Never leave your child unattended even when they are in a stroller in the car as you look back to fetch something else as you could lose them. It is imperative never to ask a stranger to hold your child as you do not know what their intentions are.
- Your child should know that they should not get into a stranger’s car. If they are forced to do so, then they should know to call for help.
- There might be an instance where an abductor will try to persuade your child that you asked them to fetch them. For this reason, you should create a secret code and ask them to memorise it. Tell your child that they should not go with anyone who claims that you sent them to fetch them unless if they say the secret word.
- Finally, teach your children to not only ask for permission before going out but to be truthful about where they are headed, who they will go with, as well as when they will get home.
With kidnappings being on the rise, it is essential to take more preventive measures. Though it can be challenging to prevent abductions, you will be better prepared by following the steps offered above.