Back in the 1950s and 1960s, parents did not have to worry about their children as much. They would trust them to go play by themselves outside so long as they came home before it got dark for dinner. But as kidnappings and abductions became more common stories in the evening news broadcasts, parents learned that society was changing, and they could no longer trust strangers to keep their hands off their little ones.
As abductions became a common news story, parents started to forbid their children from venturing away from their watchful eyes. Although parents were just trying to protect their children from horrible crimes, they inadvertently damaged children’s ability to be independent and self-reliant. Now a whole generation of young people relies on their parents when things get tough because they did not know another way to do things when they were being raised.
Although the threat of kidnappings and abductions still worries parents, keeping children locked in the house is not the only way to protect them. Parents can teach children to beware of strangers and to recognize the warning signs of dangerous situations. Besides these useful facts, parents can also teach their children a few self-defense tricks to help keep them safe if things take a turn for the worst. While kicks to the groin and jabs to the throat and eyes can be effective, so can mental tricks.
That’s what twelve-year-old Duncan did when a stranger tried to abduct him on his walk home from school in Centerville, Utah. When the creepy man tried to “pick him up,” Duncan remembered a trick his parents, Jerry and Tenisha Jensen taught him in case he ever found himself in this situation. Duncan did not hesitate to use it against the would-be kidnapper.
While walking home, Duncan saw the creepy car lurking on the street corner. Then the man behind the wheel, yelled to Duncan: “Hey kid, do you want some candy?”
Duncan shot back with “No!” making it clear to the would-be abductor that he was not going to fall for the stranger with candy trick.
But the man had his mind set on taking Duncan away. He left his car and strode over to the boy, grabbing him and dragging him back to the getaway vehicle.
Duncan then remembered what his parents taught him. And it saved his life.
Jerry spoke to KSTU about his son’s quick-thinking.
“There’s one thousand different scenarios that could have gone differently. One little thing could have gone wrong and be a different story. We don’t even want to think about.”
So what did Duncan do? He had a key ring that he used as a weapon to fight off his abductor.
“My son walking home had a little key ring in his hand, and he was just playing with it, he had it in between his knuckles,” Jerry Jensen said. “He said, ‘when the guy looked back at me, dad, I just – I gave it to him.’ The guy dropped. My son just took off running up towards the park.”
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.