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This month we bring you:
- Remembering Amber Dubois and Chelsea King
- Our Members Speak
- What You Can Do
- Hope In Haiti
REMEMBERING AMBER DUBOIS & CHELSEA KING
Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Amber and Chelsea’s families. These beautiful girls were taken from us--their young lives cut short. Chelsea was only 17 years old, and Amber was only 14 years old.
Amber Dubois’mother described her on www.BringAmberHome.com as “a smart and beautiful young lady; she gets good grades, is not into boys, make-up, MySpace or anything like that. Amber is content as long as she has a good book to read. Amber likes to wear jeans and t-shirts, and from a distance you could mistake her for a boy. It is when you see Amber up close, that you will never forget that Amber’s blue eyes are the most beautiful eyes.”
Chelsea King is described on her missing poster as “Responsible, Conscientious, Loving, Intelligent, Cherished by all who know her.” With the news that her remains had been found, Chelsea’s family released the following statement on the Chelsea’s Light website: "Our sorrow and loss runs unspeakably deep yet the inspiration of everyone's love and encouragement lifts us up. Our Chelsea set out to change the world and throughout our lifetime we will work to ensure that through us, Chelsea will create the enormous change she was determined to see. With your help, Chelsea’s light will never dim.”
We are comforted in our grief by knowing that you, our online members, have joined us in our mission and share our strong heartfelt affinity for protecting all children.
We know these tragic events have had a profound impact on you and your families. Please know you are not alone. In fact, the nation as a whole has been rocked by the violent deaths of these young women.
OUR MEMBERS SPEAK
We have received many e-mails and phone calls from those touched by the tragic deaths of Amber DuBois and Chelsea King. One thing is clear, the public is grieving and is outraged. Here are a few of your comments:
“I am an extremely concerned parent…Although I am generally fairly liberal in regards…I feel that the attack on our children is at an all time high. It does seem that our laws just are not protecting our kids… How do we become more active in changing the laws to protect our children?”
“We have a lot of registered sex offenders in our community… We would appreciate any advice that you have for us to get started or any other input that you feel will help us in our cause to keep these pedophiles away from our children.”
“What role can I play in keeping our neighborhood safe? Do I have the right to post signs if I know there is a sex offender living on my street?”
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We know you are the most amazing online membership. You are serious about teaching your kids ways to stay safe, and you are willing to work to create a safe community for your family. We have several resources for you.
1. Child Safety:
You can help keep your kids safe by using our free Child Safety Kit to teach them skills that will help them make their way through each day. This Kit helps you teach your kids:
Our free Child Safety Kit is sub-titled "How to teach abduction prevention without scaring your child (or yourself)" and includes 24 pages of guidance for parents.
How to ask for help when no trusted adult is nearby
Recognize unacceptable adult behaviors that can threaten children
Recognize dangerous situations
Ways to respond to dangerous situations and keep safe.
If you live in the US, please click here for your Child Safety Kit.
If you live outside the US, please click here for your Child Safety Kit.
Action Item: Please share this online order form with your friends, family, neighbors and school parents.
2. Sex Offenders in Your Neighborhood:
You have also told us about your concerns about sex offenders in your neighborhoods and towns. We have two resources for you.
- Parents have asked for help on how to talk to their kids about sex offenders living in their neighborhoods. One of the most important goals is to keep the discussions factual and give your child the skills to deal with potentially dangerous situations. Please click here to read our suggestions.
- Parents for Megan’s Law (PFML) is a national non-profit dedicated to helping communities and individuals deal with sex offenders in their midst.
- Email notification of sex offenders by zip code
- National hotline: 888-ASK-PFML
- Ways to keep your neighborhood and community safer
- Sexual abuse/rape prevention
- Victim counseling.
HOPE IN HAITI--AN UPDATE
We want to update you on the work UNICEF and Save the Children are doing in Haiti to keep children safe. Both organizations have worked in Haiti for many years. They also have established protocols for helping reunite families who are separated during disasters.
In partnership with the government of Haiti and other international relief agencies, secure child care centers have been set up for earthquake survivors ranging in age from 7 to 15 years. These centers are staffed by professionals who have been trained to meet the physical and emotional needs of children who have survived disasters.
Additionally, there are staff members working to identify unaccompanied children who are still fending for themselves on the streets or living in temporary shelters. These children need protection from exploitation and trafficking.
Trained specialists work with children in the care centers, help trace the children’s families, and reunite them with loved ones. This can be a time consuming process which can involve creating a record for the child, noting the clothing they are wearing as well as physical characteristics. In conversations with the child the specialists can learn about family situations, and hopefully about addresses and physical locations of family members.
This may seem relatively straight forward process. UNICEF describes the situation of one little girl who was certain her family survived the earthquake. This little girl suffered so much emotional distress that she couldn’t remember her address. Staff members have made multiple attempts to find the location where the girl believed she lived, but so far without success.
Save the Children is now setting up classroom tents, and is operating schools in the child care centers. “These temporary classrooms provide children with urgently needed, structured activities in a safe and protective environment, to help them return to normalcy, rebuild resilience and have hope for a better future,” said Annie Foster, Save the Children’s emergency team leader in Haiti.
About Polly Klaas® Foundation
The Polly Klaas® Foundation helps find missing children, prevents children from going missing, and promotes laws like Amber Alert that help keep children safe.
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