6 different incidents this winter and spring alone.
One woman and five girls all under 18, all walking to school, attacked by someone.
But what can you, a parent, do to keep kids safe, and what should kids know?
“The child should know and be able to say their home address,” explains SCMPD Cpl John Simmons.
That’s the first thing Corporal John Simmons told News 3 when it comes to the safety of kids walking around town.
“If they can’t recite it and they can’t name an address and a phone number they are at a disadvantage,” said Simmons.
Before the young person ever steps foot on the sidewalk, parents should be there with them. to point out important things, and ease their fears.
“Walking 7-8 blocks through a part of town where no one talks to you is very intimidating while you are young,” explained the Corporal. “If you can turn that into there are two maybe three people along the route that I can say hello to or know that I am always going to pass by on a school day at this time, that is a big factor in making sure that nothing happens to the child.”
To avoid tough situations, Simmons says kids should avoid conversations other than hello, keep a wide berth on the sidewalk, and keep moving.
“Is it a situation where the kids think oh well i’m big enough, i’m smart enough I don’t have to worry about this,” we asked Cpl. Simmons.
“Or that im small enough and i can hide,” he responded. “Because their level of hiding is from each other. Sometimes the kid will think they are ok or they are out of sight because if i can see them they can’t see me. But their leg is sticking out or their book bag pushes their chest forward into the open.”
And if someone attacks them, the first rule is yell.
“Voice should be the biggest thing because physically they can’t do much other than the initial push away and then run. their speed should out do an adult,” said Simmons.
Simmons also says kids shouldn’t be afraid to drop their bookbag or whatever else they are carrying.
Let the kids know you (the parent) won’t be mad if they were scared of getting caught.
And make sure they know not to “cry wolf”.
That way no one will think its just a cry for attention, instead of a cry for help.