George Molho, a kidnapping survivor, has recently shared his experiences from when his father abducted him in 1978 and moved them to Greece from his home in Texas. In sharing his story, Molho (for more information on his new memoir, Scarred, see www.georgemolho.com), a passionate advocate for child kidnapping and abuse victims, is trying to bring awareness to the problem and efforts to develop solutions that protect children.
As a seven-year-old in 1978, Molho was taken from his home in Houston by his father, a man with a bad temper, obsessive need for control, and desire to inflict pain. At the time, no one, not even his mother, believed Molho when he predicted his father’s plan and tried to warn them. When young children express fear or concern about even a close friend or family member, adults tend to chalk it up to shyness, a ploy for attention, or fantasy, Molho said. “Trust your child’s instincts,” he says. “If they act uncomfortable around someone because they can’t verbalize their feelings, or if they tell you they’re uncomfortable, trust them. No matter who it is, if they tell you a person scares them, protect them.”
Molho also offers these lesser-known tips for protecting children from kidnappers, whether they’re friends or family:
- Teach children how to fib on the phone. If they’re home alone, for instance, and someone calls asking to speak to their mother or father, they might say, “My mother’s busy in the kitchen right now and asked me to answer the phone and take a message.” Put them to the test by having someone they don’t know, one of your friends or co-workers, call.
- Make approved lists of people who will deliver any important news to them. If Mom or Dad is in trouble or hurt, only these people will know and will tell the child. Even if Uncle Bob tells them Mom is in the hospital and the child needs to go with Uncle Bob, if he’s not on the approved list, the child should not go. This is a common ploy.
- Teach them, train them and give them permission to defend themselves. This is very important and it saves lives. Most children are taught to be polite and respect adults; it’s far safer to risk offending an adult – even if it turns out the adult meant no harm. Screaming, kicking and running away are perfectly acceptable if a stranger grabs your arm – even if the stranger is smiling sweetly.
Family law proceedings can be contentious. Emotions tend to run high for all those involved; sometimes this leads to actions that endanger the safety of the children caught in the middle. George Molho’s tips may help ensure the safety of your children. The Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex and heavily disputed child custody issues. If you are contemplating divorce, please contact the Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, who can provide you with an in depth analysis of your issues. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
*Certified Family Law Specialist, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization