By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Kids often hear about “stranger danger” and not getting into cars with people that they don’t know. But statistics show that strangers are NOT the most frequent abductors of children.
Christopher Maffei (photo, left) was arrested in California last month for child abduction. He allegedly abducted his own children and attempted to sail away in a stolen sailboat.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, over 200,000 children were wrongfully taken – NOT by a stranger – but by a non-custodial parent.
If you are the custodial parent and are worried that your children are in danger of being wrongly taken or kept by your ex, get a clear order from the court on custody and visitation. Avoid terms in a custody order like “reasonable visitation” – make it specific so you can go to court if it’s violated. You can request supervised visitation or bond. Keep recent photos of your kids and your ex so that he or she can be recognized. Also, be sure to know your ex’s social security number. Tell the school or daycare and teach your child how to use a phone to call 911.