As much as we like to think the incident in Cleveland is a rarity, it is more common than it should be. From Jaycee Dugard to Amy Smart, there have been multiple instances over the years. It is truly a scary thought for any parent raising children in this country. While there are many things that can be done to help prevent kidnappings, it is impossible to stop them all together. For better or worse, there are some people in this country who are just wired differently. To better help prevent danger, there are a few things I think that can be done to help foresee things before they go wrong.
I feel that communication can really be the biggest deterrent in kidnappings. When I say that, I am talking about communication throughout the community. Way back when, everyone knew their neighbors, talked with each other, and basically we're all a close knit extended family. Today, people and families mostly keep to themselves, not wanting to bother anyone or be bothered. My suggestion is that we get back into the old school way of thinking. Everyone should know everyone in their community. Through block parties and the like, getting to know those around you could help prevent disaster in the future. The more you know those around you, the more likely you are to realize when something is amiss. It is not perfect, but it is a start. The next phase would be more parent involvement.
Parenting over the last 25 years has changed dramatically. With a spike in single parent households or households with 2 working parents, it is the children who are often neglected. Rather than spending time with their parents, kids are either sent to a day care or left at home by themselves. Also, when kids and parents are together, technology has become a new barrier. From cell phones to tablets, it is much easier to have your kid play a game on their phone than play a real game in person. It is leading to a disconnect amongst parents and children. Unfortunately, until there is a shift in culture, it does not look as if this problem will be going away soon.
All in all, danger always has and always will be present in our society. The true calling card of a society is how they choose to deal with these problems. They can either be neglected, which will inevitably lead to tragedy; or they can be addressed head on. While this is not always the most comfortable way of approaching a problem, it is by far the most effective. Although it seems like not doing much, just being more aware of your surroundings can have a positive impact on your local community and the people that make it up.