Strangers: People We Haven't Met Yet
From a very young age, most kids are taught to avoid or fear strangers.
They are told not to talk to strangers, not to greet strangers and to never go anywhere with a stranger (this rule still applies).
I am concerned with this approach and here is why.
85%+ of sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows well.
Strangers are simply people we have not met yet and pose very little threat to your child. In fact, 85%+ of sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows well. Should we then not be more alert to the dangers of our child being with friends, immediate family members and extended family members?
When we are not open to the fact that a child is more at risk with someone they know than a stranger, we won’t be able to release this belief.
Children need opportunities to interact with strangers. They may need a stranger’s help when they are lost in the mall (find a woman or a woman with children). They may need help from a stranger if they fall off their bike far from home and sustain an injury.
Children can be encouraged to greet strangers with a smile, a wave or a hello. You never know…that may be the only greeting that adult/teen gets and it may just make their day.
A child is more at risk with someone they know than a stranger.
Interacting with strangers allows for a safer feel to our community and brings people together who may never have had the opportunity to meet.