ATLANTA -- Child safety advocates likeradKIDSare among those who have taken note of the recent uptick in attempted child abductions in the metro area, at least seven in just the last month alone.
But the group also notes that, even more disturbingly, it appears that child predators are evolving in their strategies.
The faces of the suspects may change from case to case and place to place.
They've hit Atlanta, Roswell, Cobb, Cherokee, Gwinnett. Their methods have been surprisingly similar, using a new kind of coercion, with forceful language, even yelling to scare and confuse the child with what one advocate calls "shock and awe."
"It's a very fast paced: 'You're parents are in the hospital, they told me to come get you' or 'You're brother's been hurt and I need you to come down here now,'" said Donna Goss, an instructor with radKIDS. "It's very quick. The kids don't have time to process it and think about it. We've got to give them the skills to be aware. If they were aware that that person was approaching them, if they saw it in their peripheral vision that shock and awe might not have taken place."
radKIDS teaches children to resist coercion by conditioning them to not act afraid even if they are afraid, to use their minds and their bodies for self-empowerment. They also teach them that they have permission to hit an adult if it means getting away from an attacker.
And it works.
Steve Daley, the founder of the organization told 11Alive News that kids who know to run or scream tend to get away. But sadly the ones who don't, don't.