“Telling kids not to talk to strangers fails to protect children at the most basic level,” writes early childhood expert Heather Shumaker in The Daily Beast. “Children are most often harmed by friends and family. This unsettling statistic is one we wish would go away. It’s far more convenient to blame the faceless stranger than to confront domestic violence, incest, and other abuse.”
It’s easy, it makes us feel good, it assures us that we are safe when we can convince ourselves that the “bad” people are out there, and the “good” people are in here. The real world doesn’t quite work that way though, and we need to both be prepared ourselves, and teach children to be prepared, for that.