Would you help?

By Drum Digital
19 February 2014

Would you walk away from a child in trouble? In this hidden-camera experiment some people did exactly that when a frightened child told them he was being kidnapped.

It’s the type of video that sends chills down a parent’s spine. In a hidden-camera experiment a terrified child runs up to strangers, telling them a man is trying to kidnap him. The kidnapper then shows up and tells the strangers not to worry; he’s the child’s father and the boy is just acting up.

The video will send shivers down parents’ spines as one man actually shakes the hand of the “abductor” and walks away from the terrified victim after he’s told the boy is just telling lies.

But there are also those who act bravely, including one woman who pepper sprays the kidnapper. The video’s creator, Yousef Saleh (who also plays the kidnapper), wrote on his YouTube page that he made the video because he feared being kidnapped when he was a child. “This video was a way for me to express that fear in an artistic way and also spread positive change as to why it is important to ACT when put into these types of situations. Kids being abducted are nervous being around the person who captured them so it's on us to know when he or she is in danger.” Click here to watch The Kidnapping Children Experiment.

 

How should you act in this type of situation?

In South Africa, people often look the other way, says Louise Botha from the missing person organisation Pink Ladies,but people should try to protect those in need.

Get the police to come out as quickly as possible, says Botha, and don’t automatically believe the adult over the child. “Why would a child lie about something like [being kidnapped]?” she asks. In such a stressful situation it might be difficult for a child to get their facts straight. “That’s why it is important to get the police involved so they can get to the bottom of it.”

Keep the child away from the kidnapper and try to stay as calm as possible. “It’s difficult, but try and show that you’re in control of the situation, otherwise the kidnapper will try to take advantage.”

If you can’t get involved directly, because you fear for your own safety or that of your kids, remember or write down details such as the make of the kidnapper’s car and the registration number, as well as a physical description of the kidnapper and child, says Botha. This is crucial information for the police.

-Petro-Anne Vlok

SOURCES: dailymail.co.uk, youtube.com

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