Is It Safe?

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Anisa Richard, Staff Writer

Statistics show that 90,000 people are missing in the United States at any time. Many of them are found dead or alive but some remain missing for periods of years or decades, leaving the families in grief with no closure at all. It’s very common, and it could be happening near you at this exact moment.

More statistics show that every 40 seconds a child goes missing somewhere in the United States. This is something that everyone has to be aware of. Things like these tragedies such as murders, rape, kidnappings, robberies, are normalized and overlooked. Either it happens so often that people don’t blink at the sound of it, or they see it on TV, so they believe it won’t happen to them, or they think it’s far away, so they have nothing to worry about.  It is real, and, even more than that, it’s highly common. There are more than 460,000 missing children each year, and of that 15,000 are kidnapped.

 This leaves families, churches, schools, and sometimes entire neighborhoods in grief and then leaves them on edge when they realize it could happen to their children or family members. Then children’s lives are restricted for safety. They’re not allowed to go run and play, not allowed to walk to the park, or just not allowed to do basic kid things they used to be able to do because their parents are terrified for their safety. Don’t let it be too late. Be aware before the world gives you a reason to be.

It’s not just children this is happening to. They aren’t the only victims, with teenagers coming close behind its very common for teenagers to be kidnapped and even more common for them to never be found again. It makes sense because they do more. They travel alone, drive alone, go to public places alone just freshly being able to. Tasting the start of adult life and freedom can very nearly be the end if they aren’t careful. What I can say is that this group is more aware. Often times High Schools will hear about a nearby incident and let out a message to not travel alone and be aware of certain types of behavior or vehicles. This alone won’t help. When faced with a strong opponent two small teenage girls can most definitely be taken easily just as if it were just one. According to the National Center for missing and exploited children it is said that roughly 800,000 teens are reported missing each year in the United States. 

Teens these days have to learn to use their resources to their advantage to be able to keep themselves safe. One thing they can do is use social media. Any social media platform can be useful if their are other people you know on the platform. One thing teens can do to better ensure their own safety is post their location on a platform where only their closest friends are on, such as a private story. As they walk they can make a video or post saying where they are at and that they feel unsafe so if they don’t post again in a matter of minutes then contact authorities.  Another thing they might be able to do is stay on the phone so that if someone is thinking about advancing in a dangerous way they might change their mind because you are on the phone. Even if the teens phone is dead they can put the dead phone up to their ear and pretend to be on the phone because anything at this point could save them from being kidnapped. They might feel silly at first but arriving safe at home later will be the payoff. One more tactic is watching your surroundings. Anybody can watch their surroundings and look at where they are going. It’s very easy and efficient long as you are also watching where you are going yourself without losing your directions. Save yourself the stress,as well as your parents and loved ones.