Alabama hostage crisis brings child self-defense to forefront - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Alabama hostage crisis brings child self-defense to forefront

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Law enforcement officials across the state and the nation are hoping parents will see a hostage situation in involving a 5-year-old in Alabama as an opportunity to talk to their children about self-defense.

While just 115 children are victims of "stranger" kidnapping every year, it's important for them to know what to do if approached.

Whether you're 8 years old or 80 years old, Richland County Sheriff's Department investigators say you need to know how to protect yourself.

So if you were confronted with a potentially dangerous situation, would you know what to do?

"Our hope is you'll fight back if you feel comfortable with that, and that's crime prevention instead of being a crime statistic," said Lt. Heidi Scott.

With the recent Alabama bus hostage situation, Sheriff Leon Lott believes it's important to ensure your child knows what to do.

"We want them to learn how not to put themselves in that circumstance," said Lott. "If they can avoid it, then that's the first step to success, but if it happens, how to cope with it, how to survive, and what to do."

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