Mesa, AZ (PressExposure) January 15, 2010 -- June 10th, 1991, started out like any other school day for 11 year old Jaycee Dugard as she waited for the school bus near her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. But that day tragically changed when she was abducted by a convicted rapist in broad daylight. Jaycee lived as a captive for 18 years, too terrified to speak out to strangers for help even though she had opportunities to do so.
Every day more than 2,185 children are reported missing or abducted according to the Amber Alert Registry and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Tragically as many 13 children a day are abducted by sexual predators.
However, a new, simple hand gesture taught to children by their parents, teachers, and caregivers, can give a lost, missing, or abducted and frightened child, a powerful way to communicate their plight so that they can get the help they need.
The hand gesture is taught in the new book Amazing Grace written by Gilbert, Arizona, mom and author Nina Williams.
"Most kids have been taught to "not talk to strangers." So if they become lost, suddenly they become confused. They don't know who to trust, where to turn, and they become frightened. It can become a terrifying experience. And the case of Jaycee, her captor had her fearing for her life. She wouldn't dare say a word. But if she would have had this simple little hand gesture- this simple little symbol to use when she saw people in public, she could have been saved much sooner." says Nina.
The book Amazing Grace tells the story of a little girl who accidentally got separated from her family. Too scared to speak, knowing that she shouldn't talk to strangers, she remembers the little hand gesture that her mom taught her. When she does the sign, an adult recognizes it and helps her find her way home.
The simple little hand gesture as illustrated in the book Amazing Grace is being adopted all over the country. The book is being sponsored by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and is written in simple language so that the message can be easily understood by children from infants to teens, and even by children who use English as a second language. The book can be purchased on Amazon.com and at many local bookstores.