Monday, May 25, 2015

International Missing Children's Day : Resources : The Captive, a film !

250,000 children are reported missing every year in the European Union, 1 child every 2 minutes.

European Commission

While the disappearance and sexual exploitation or abuse of children are increasingly considered as alarming problems, even today no clear data is available on the extent of the problem. 

Not only do the definitions used by organisations for the different categories of ‘missing’ and ‘sexually exploited’ differ, but the way in which data is collected does not allow for these figures to be compared. 

This is why unfortunately, it is still difficult to collect reliable data and statistics on the number of children that go missing or become victims of sexual exploitation in Europe

On the morning of May 25, 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz was allowed to walk to school by himself for the very first time.
He left the apartment at 8 a.m. wearing a blue corduroy jacket, blue pants and carrying a bag imprinted with elephants. 
Etan never came home.
May 25th, the anniversary of Etan Patz's disappearance. Since there, May 25th is the International Missing Children's Day.

When a child goes missing the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® is ready to assist families and law enforcement agencies 24 hours a day. Each case brings its own set of unique challenges, and NCMEC is prepared to help meet those challenges.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Resources for parents and educators: a movie

The world changed. People and specially children are no more safe. Last saturday I went to watch a movie The Captive, Canada, 2014 that impressed me.  It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival

Thinking on Missing & Exploited Children's DayI would like to share it with educators.

The Captive, Atom Egoyan
Canada, 2014

Eight years after the disappearance of Cassandra, some disturbing incidents seem to indicate that she's still alive. 

Police, parents and Cassandra herself, will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.

Years later, when detectives Nicole and Jeffrey discover recent images of Cassandra online, Matthew risks everything to ensure his daughter's safe return-and to save himself and Tina from the limbo of unrelenting despair.

While a police task force is investigating her potential kidnapping, her father Matthew, frustrated at the lack of progress and the suspicions he played a role in the disappearance, begins to take matters into his own hands.

The Captive, Atom Egoyan
Canada, 2014


I could easly conclude how important it is to share it with all educators, parents, teachers and young children.

One teen being exploited is one teen too many and if The Captive can help prevent even a single teen or a child from being emotionally or even physically harmed, then sharing the film will have been well done.

I think it is essential for parents and educators to watch the movie. Of course, it's also an important resource for teachers and their students. 

By displaying the DVD in the classroom, teachers must introduce all kind of dangers are children and young teens face up to.

If you are lucky and the movie is on a theater near you, go with your students.
The Captive is about kidnapping and online sexual predators, a chilling cautionary tale about all kind of predators.

Some important messages for kids, parents and teachers:

Parents, wake up! If you let for seconds your son alone, or teenager spends hours glued to their phone or buried in their rooms online on a laptop or PC, chatting or doing nothing, then you have to watch The Captive

Because instead of just thinking some minutes to go shop something and you let you child alone in the car, or smiling to yourself that you know to care about your chidren, or know where your kids are and what they are doing, this film will show you just how at risk they really are.

Cassandra| Cass
The Captive, Atom Egoyan
Canada, 2014
Kids and young adolescents do need to be reminded that not everyone they meet on the street or online is who they say they are. As parents, you might wonder whether what you or they are doing is safe. 

As parents, you might also be thinking how can you be as good a parent everywhere, on the street, offline or online. 

Parents need to understand that it's important to stay in close touch with their kids. Care and d
ialogue are very important, but not enough. 

Matthew & Tina Lane, Cass parents
The Captive, Atom Egoyan
Canada, 2014

The Captive shows how it is done, how easily it is done, and then the fall-out from what happens. Parents are completely lost.
" Kidnapp or abuse have a terrible impact on children, and young teens, and on whole families, whether perpetrated from within or outside their nest: at times, you will be watching through your fingers."
We also need to understand that the world is not so wonderful it must be, and the internet is simply a place.  Somewhere your kids are with you or go to hang out.  And if they were doing that physically, you would want to know where they were going and who they were going with.  
Parents need to start asking the same kind of questions to themselves when their kids and young teens are in their presence or online, ignoring the one word #safe #nowhere' or #no-one answers.
Because just as when they head out the door, even with you, or go onto an online space there are potential risks.  And while you are with them or cannot be there with them, you should at least attempt to satisfy yourself you know how safe it is to let your kid for 5 minutes in the car, in the garden in front of you, or what they are going and with whom.
The Captive conveys, at its best, is that ultimately parental protections are not full proof, and that is the greatest horror of all. 

The Captive, Atom Egoyan
Canada, 2014
Social message:
The film also shows how pervasive technology can be in family lives and also how sexualised the society has become. And this is the hard bit for parents! 

Tina Lane & police inspector on children's safety
The Captive, Atom Egoyan
Canada, 2014
Some thoughts: Teachers and Parents

Teachers help students to understand how the world is not so safe at the moment. They help to the safe use of Internet as well. But parents must pay attention at home and help too. Absolutely.
Both teachers and parents have to instil in young people an ability to keep themselves safe. Resilience had gone out of fashion in child care lingo but actually it is vital. 
Introducing concepts of modern life, different people, technology in their daily safety are essential. 
If you and your kids or students watch the movie, use it as a discussion starter, and remember, your 'kids are probably all right'. 

Some final thoughts:

"We just want people to engage more in being a more present parent." said David Schwimmer, Trust director. The key message is is the same for The Captive.

We cannot always protect our children, and young teens including the ones we don’t know.

We need to give them the skills to keep themselves safe. Knowing how to sniff out trouble, knowing how to avoid it, and knowing how to handle it when it comes knocking are key essential life skills.

No missing child is ever forgotten, no matter how long they have been missing. Through the Biometrics Team NCMEC coordinates the collection of DNA, dental records and other unique identifiers from family members to search for potential matches, even for long-term cases. 

Same case with Missing Children Europe.

Child safety is a international priority. That's why the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has partnered with Clear Channel Outdoors and Clear Channel Airports and Missing Children Europe to be here for kids.
But they can't do it alone. They are asking you to take the next steps.
Together, we can make the world a safer place for our children and young teens.


International Missing and Exploited Children's Day : Resources : The Captive, a film ! bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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