Warn kids against hidden dangers

Updated: 2014-09-02 08:38

(China Daily)

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Many have called the past month "Black August" because several young women in different cities were tortured or killed after getting into strangers' cars for a ride back home. The tragedies could have been avoided if the victims knew how to differentiate between well-meaning and ill-meaning strangers. So, children should be warned against the dark side of human nature and taught to remain vigilant against potential dangers, says an article on gmw.cn. Excerpts:

A 22-year-old female university student in East China's Shandong province was "kidnapped" after boarding an unlicensed taxi, and then raped and tortured by the driver for four days. A 19-year-old woman was murdered in a stranger's car on her way back from school in the same province. A 20-year-old woman was murdered in Chongqing municipality after she boarded a stranger's car she thought had been sent by her family to pick her up. Similar incidents were also reported from other places last month.

Since children are taught to believe in the goodness of fellow human beings, they grow up believing almost everyone in the world is a noble soul ready to come to the help of others. But such credulity, especially trusting strangers, is not a virtue but naivety that could lead to tragedy. The unfortunate young women seem to have suffered the consequences of such naivety.

It is the responsibility of the adults in the family to forewarn youngsters against the dark side of human nature. In fact, from a young age children should be made aware of human malice and the dangers lurking in the world beyond their homes.

Although the perpetrators of the heinous crimes may not go scot-free, the fact remains that the damage has already been done.

The girl in Chongqing should have checked the car's plate number and the basic features of the driver sent by her family to pick her up instead of hopping into the first vehicle that stopped in front of her. And the girl who got into the unlicensed taxi should have screamed for help when she realized the driver was taking her away from human habitation.

Simply telling children not to talk to strangers is far from enough. Basic skills such as how to read human faces and how to turn down deceptive offers, as well as some combat techniques are necessary to help children deal with untoward situations.