Girl Second Grader Escapes Abductor
by John D. Nottingham, EPS, PI
Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards
Free Abduction/Kidnapping Prevention Event Press Release and Info
Parents Fear Kidnapping But There is Hope
Whenever the news covers a child abduction or potential child abduction I get calls, texts and questions. When the thwarted abduction of 7 year old Brittany Baxter hit the news it spread quickly. Concerned parents often scour the news media reports for any relevant safety information on kidnapping and preventing child abductions.
Focus On The Self Defense Lessons Learned
I certainly understand that child abductions, like this little girl Brittany at Walmart, can be a scary event for parents to read about. I know that all loving parents feel the same way about protecting their children. However, what I’ve found is that when armed with the facts and knowing you and your children have some self-defense training to prevent abduction, these can go a long way in reducing anxiety and needless worry. More importantly, it can help parents focus on information that can protect and enhance their peace-of-mind.
Abductions By Strangers Are Relatively Rare
First let me reassure parents that historically, “stranger” abductions are rare. Children are far more at risk from abuse at the hands of relatives and people known to them and whom parents might be reluctant or refuse to suspect. Even so, there are some valuable lessons we can learn from these reports that can help parent respond with calm wisdom, and an eye for practical personal safety and self-defense.
Accept Reality About Abduction/Kidnapping and Avoid The Blame Game
The Martial Arts has a saying, “Fix the problem, not the blame.” Some blame Walmart, while in fact, their surveillance cameras helped lead to the apprehension of Brittany’s would-be abductor. Others might be quick to blame the mother, which in my view is just unfair because we don’t have enough to go on from the report. Furthermore, parents cannot protect children all the time as personal bodyguards. This isn’t practical or realistic.
Parental Vigilance + Children’s Self Defense and Abduction Prevention Training = Greater Chances of Safety
While they must be vigilant, no reasonable parent can protect their child from all threats and risk. Parents CAN develop safe habits and arm their children with tools to get help, take positive self defense action and do what Brittany did at Walmart. Once we take a position of ownership and responsibility for the problem individually and collectively, we are moving in the right direction. My teacher Gavin de Becker taught me that acceptance of reality is the foundation for beginning to deal with the challenges of personal security and self-defense.
Little Girl Kicks, Screams Her Way To Escape Abductor At Walmart
Brittany did the right thing when she was attacked at Walmart. She immediately and continually resisted her abductor. Reports say that Brittany kicked and screamed even though he put his hand over her mouth. Despite the numerous times in my career I have been told by the misguided idea that “no child can fight an adult and win”, the statistics clearly demonstrate just the opposite.
Be Careful Who You Listen To For Security and Self Defense Advice
That kind of helpless ignorance is all over the internet and is potentially dangerous advice. We want to be careful to not promote ignorance nor a victim mentality. The statistics are quite clear that those who resist, in almost every situation, increase their chances for survival. Of course, each situation is different and that is why getting training to know how to assess situations and make good choices is so vital.
Be careful of prescriptions without diagnosis or overly-ridged self defense rules. We recommend learning personal security and self defense principles taught by role-playing, discussing and practicing them as a natural part of every day life. The situation, or context of the crime, dictates the self defense response.
Teach Children How To Access Help and Know Their Personal Information
Brittany, the little girl at Walmart, is not alone. Take for example the 9-year-old Colorado girl who managed to escape from a suspected kidnapper in January 2012. Calysta Cordoba is alive today because she resisted her abductor. In her situation, knowing how to call 911 and her personal information help lead to her escape and rescue.
Teach Children To Trust Their Survival Intuition and Avoid Strange Situations That Could Be Dangerous
Self-Defense is NOT social or anti-social fighting, especially when it comes to abduction and kidnapping
This “children can’t fight” opinion falsely operates under the assumption that self-defense is fighting. Of course a child stands little chance against an adult in a force on force fight. The objective of self-defense is to avoid, prevent, deter and derail an attack, NOT win a fight.
The objective of self-defense is to prevent, thwart, avoid, deter or create a window of opportunity for escape and to survive.
Sometimes that means creating an injury (as a last resort), getting attention or using trickery. Again, the situation or the context dictates the response in effective self-defense. Brittany called attention to herself, resisted and deterred the attack. Brittany did not beat her kidnapper in a fight, instead she beat him in his attempt to abduct her.
The Walmart surveillance video shows a man, believed to be Woods, approach Baxter and grab her, covering up the girl’s mouth and struggling to subdue her.
“I was kicking and screaming, and then he put his hand over my mouth, but I kept kicking,” [Note: she kept kicking.]
“Children: One of Your Best Weapons Is Your Voice – It’s Like an Alarm That Can Get You Help.”
“The bad guy usually doesn’t have an alternative plan, they have an alternative victim.”
In my view, the word “fight” is often used too loosely in media and common conversations these days. People even exaggerate common descriptions of arguments now as “fighting”. We live in a culture that celebrates drama, exaggeration and sensationalism. Often, the result is confusion, stress, unwarranted worry and fear. That is why I recommend reading Gavin deBeckers books “The Gift of Fear”, “Protecting the Gift” and “Fear Less”. These are the cornerstones for our protective approach at both my security bodyguard agency and Martial Arts/self-defense training. These personal safety books go a long way in educating us on steps to increase our personal security and deal with the reality of situations that could lead to violent attacks.
Here are some other child abduction prevention and self defense security tips:
o Remember P.C.: Privacy and control are the setting for abuse
o Teach your child to trust their “Gift of Fear” or innate survival signals – and act on that intuition
o Resistance is key to survival
o Never go to a secondary crime scene
o Do the opposite of what the bad guy says for that is the key to your freedom – play the “opposite game”
o Learn to recognize lures and abductor ploys
o Learn to access help and equalizers
Recognize Lures and How Criminals Operate
Reports now say that Brittany spoke to the man before he grabbed her. This is the “testing” phase of an attack and should be a recognizable red flag. Children need to be taught to stay out of reach of strangers when they are away from parents or caretakers. They should be taught to increase space immediately and use barriers to put between themselves and others. Sometimes children feel as though they have to be polite and talk to people. Children should know the difference between the rules of being alone or together and when alone, to keep greater distance from strangers and how to report strange behavior. This includes the skill of learning to interrupt adults when it is a matter of safety.
Increasing Distance Increases Time and Options in Self Defense, Especially in an Abduction Attempt
Crime & Self Defense In The News Can Be Teachable Moments For Parents
I have always believed that events and sensationalized reports like these can cause unnecessary stress and result in greater anxiety or be turned into teachable moments that can do some good. We can learn some positive lessons from Brittany’s example and reinforce some solid safety lessons. Ask your kids what she did right and discuss it in a calm, matter-of-fact (age appropriate) manner. The good news is that parents and children have options for increasing personal safety and can have peace-of-mind by knowing what steps to take in self-defense situations.
Teaching Children Without Scaring Them
This Saturday my team and I are offering a free child safety workshop at my USA Martial Arts & Kickboxing Phoenix school in Arizona. We will be covering the basics of how to recognize dangerous behaviors, how predators operate, steps to safety and escape school options. In addition, each attendee will receive a free report and guide on preventing abductions for children’s self-defense and a parents guide to teaching your child about personal safety. The abduction prevention escape school basics event is 12pm Saturday February 11, 2012 at USA Martial Arts & Kickboxing Phoenix / Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards HQ at Tatum & Greenway Roads in Phoenix AZ. If you are out of state or cannot attend, simply send a request for your free guide to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must register by email email@example.com. It is open to all ages.
About John Nottingham
JOHN NOTTINGHAM, PI, EPS – Since 1989 John Nottingham has trained law enforcement, military, men, women and children various forms of self-protection. John discovered for every tragic abduction, there are people who escaped. Bodyguard and Martial Arts Master John Nottingham set began a quest to learn what specific thoughts and actions helped each adult and child escape from their kidnappers. GOOD MORNING ARIZONA invited John on their show to share his unique approach to personal safety, security, self defense and conflict avoidance. From bullying prevention to abduction options and learning to be your own bodyguard, John is an internationally respected specialist.
Listen to John Nottingham Discuss the USA Martial Arts Anti-Bully Program on the
Outreach Today Radio Show
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