Thirty years ago, simple ‘stranger danger’ messages were common-place. They even attracted government endorsement. This research examined whether such an approach still has its place in the modern era.
The study finds that the traditional ‘stranger danger’ approach does little to keep children safe because:
- Even older children can struggle to tell a stranger from a non-stranger
- Strangers will help children (for example if they are lost or feel unsafe) more often than they will harm them
- Most abductions are committed by people who are known to children.
Beyond Stranger Danger calls for new safety materials to be developed, tested and made widely available to help teachers and parents talk to children about stranger child abduction.
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