GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Gresham police continue to look for a man who tried to lure teenage girls on three separate occasions, including one on Thursday afternoon.
The girl managed to break free and ran away.
Cindy Miguel, the executive director of Aim in Action, is a self-defense instructor who helps teach kids to protect themselves from predators.
One of the best tools a child has is a loud voice.
A loud voice and a confident stance tells a predator you’re not a good victim, she said. But that doesn’t always come naturally for children and teens.
Miguel said kids need to practice what they would do if approached by a stranger. Yell loudly, she said.
Parents, she said, should tell their kids that “predators don’t come out and say, ‘I’m a bad guy.’ They look normal, sometimes they look benign.”
And Miguel also teaches the techniques predators use.
“‘Help me find my puppy,'” she said a predator will say. “‘I’ve got something for you. I know your parents. They’re looking for you.’ That connection, what can I do to make myself seem familiar to you.”
The first thing a child should do, she said, is “to (yell) ‘You need to back off,’ and put your arm out. That’s it. Usually, that will do it.”
If a stranger tries to grab a child, Miguel said parents should teach them to pull away and aim between the predator’s thumb and finger.
“So if I grab your arm and I grab as hard as I can, if you pull towards yourself as hard as you can you will always get away,” she said, “no matter how hard I pull”
Aim in Action is a non-profit that offers free self-defense classes for all ages.