Why a woman could be safer than a policeman for your lost child

Learn about: Why a woman could be safer than a policeman for your lost child from Gavin de Becker,...
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Why a woman could be safer than a policeman for your lost child

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I'm asked a lot about rules that I have or ideas that would apply to every kind of situation, what's the golden rule for parenting, and my belief is that in an emergency or in hiring a nanny, choosing a babysitter or choosing a school, I won't be there with you, so it makes no difference what rules I give you, they might not apply, they might be out of context. But there is one that I really profoundly believe in, and that is to teach your kids that if they are ever lost in public to go to a woman, to choose a woman. A lot of people say to choose a policeman, failing to recognize that when you're down at the height of a 5 year old you can't tell what's a policeman anyway, failing to recognize that in our whole lives, all of us, when was a policeman around at the moment we wanted a policeman. That's the nature of you calling 911, because they're not here, that's the whole idea. And the last thing is that they could accidentally choose a security guard, and that's the last population of people we'd want them to choose in a mall or what have you, the lowest employee there, the lowest paid employee there, the employee who's had the lowest screening there. But if you teach your child to go to a woman, they're likely to get someone who is going to help them, they might be lucky enough to get a mother. But in any case a woman is not going to say, "go away kid I'm not interested in the fact that you're lost and you need help." A woman is more likely to help. Additionally, there is almost no chance that a person chosen by your child will also happen to be some type of predator or sexual predator. The odds are overwhelmingly against that, and profoundly against it if the person that's chosen is a woman.

Learn about: Why a woman could be safer than a policeman for your lost child from Gavin de Becker,...

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Gavin de Becker

Author & Violence Expert

Gavin de Becker is our Nation’s best-known expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee.

He was twice appointed to the President’s Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Justice, and he served two terms on the Governor’s Advisory Board at the California Department of Mental Health.

His 350-member consulting firm advises government agencies, universities, police departments, corporations, and media figures on the assessment of threats and hazards. Gavin de Becker & Associates maintains the world’s largest library of threat and obsessive communications, consisting of more than 400,000 pieces of material.

Mr. de Becker’s first book The Gift of Fear was the Nation’s #1 Bestseller, on the New York Times Bestseller List for seventeen weeks.  It is now published in thirteen languages.  In 2008, Oprah Winfrey dedicated an entire show to commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the book’s publication.

His second book, Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children & Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) was the #1 parenting book of 1999.

His post-9/11 book on terrorism, Fear Less, was published in 2002 and featured on Larry King Live, The Today Show, The O’Reilly Factor, and The View.

Mr. de Becker’s most recent book Just 2 Seconds: Using Time and Space to Defeat Assassins, presents the result of a study of more than 1400 attacks and incidents involving at-risk people.  Though not written for a general public audience, the book has readers in 25 countries.

Mr. de Becker wrote the introduction for To Have Or To Harm, the first book on stalking (Warner Books), and for Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls, and he’s written more than forty articles and white papers, several of which have been reprinted by the Department of Justice’s National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

Mr. de Becker is the designer of the MOSAIC threat assessment systems used to screen threats to Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, members of Congress, and senior officials of the CIA. Along with the U.S. Marshals Service, he co-designed the MOSAIC system used for assessing threats to Federal Judges and prosecutors.  MOSAIC systems are also used by police departments all over America for assessment of spousal abuse cases.

Mr. de Becker has shared his philosophies about prevention of violence in several appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, and 20/20.  He has also been profiled in Time and Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and many others.

Mr. de Becker is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and, a Senior Advisor to the Rand Corporation on public safety and justice matters.

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