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Voice: Rethink the stick figures on your SUVs

April 17, 2002

A new fad has come to town and it seems like just about everyone is jumping on it. I know you have all seen it, those darling little stick figures that started out on the back of soccer mom's SUVs. Now they seem to be just everywhere.

They really are cute. You have, in some cases, a stick mom, a stick dad, stick kids and even on some a cute little stick dog. Some even have their names printed under them. Sally, Ray, Jimmy, Sarah and Ruff. They really are cute and at the same time scare the heck out of me.

You and I are not the only people who can read. Unfortunately so can pedophiles. Those are the people who sexually abuse children. Without meaning to, those cute little stick figures could give these people some important bits of information they need to abduct a child. They know what mom's name is and what little Jimmy's name is. They know what mom looks like and what her car looks like. When you add this to those cute bumper stickers that say, "My child was student of the month at blank Elementary School" you have now told them where to find your child.

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I realize that in the year 2000, Imperial County only had two stranger abductions, but we also had 36 children disappear under unknown circumstances and we were not telling these strangers at this time what our child's name was or where they went to school.

April is "Child Abuse Prevention Month." Let's all think about what we can do to protect "all the little children." Volunteer your time and get involved. Report suspected child abuse and let's rethink those cute little stick figures.

LAURETTA ADAMS, Ph.D., MSW

El Centro

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