Self-defense in abductions: Here’s what experts say you need to do

A community is on edge after the abduction of a teenager in Waikoloa prompted Hawaii’s first AMBER Alert in 17 years.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:09 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Missing Children Center-Hawaii said stranger abductions are extremely rare in the islands.

The abduction of a teenager in Waikoloa prompted Hawaii’s first AMBER Alert in 17 years.

“It was alarming because that’s not something that I don’t think I can remember another time that we’ve gotten an Amber Alert like that,” said Dana Seneha of Honolulu. “So, it was very concerning.”

The girl is now safe, but young women especially may be thinking “What if it happens to me?”

Head Instructor of Kahala Jiu Jitsu Daynin Dashefsky said there are preventative measures to take if a stranger approach you.

“If someone does come up to you, you scream and fight back as loud as you can,” said Dashekfsky.

If you can’t, she said most times the abductor is bigger and stronger so make yourself feel heavier.

“Drop to the ground, the lower we go to the ground, the heavier someone gets,” said Dashefsky. “You want to stop them from pulling us, right especially if they’re bigger and that’s where we can kick a knee.”

The U.S. Department of Justice said the nationwide AMBER alert system has helped recover more than a thousand children and hundreds were rescued because of wireless emergency alerts.

Experts also say timing is crucial and missing children should be reported to police immediately.

“Research shows that law enforcement has approximately two to three hours to save that abducted child’s life,” said Amanda Leonard, Branch Chief of the Missing Child Center-Hawaii.

And for a victim, the response to an approaching stranger is critical.

Dashefsky said if the abductor has a weapon, listen to them, but think of an escape plan.

“Whatever you need to do to get them or to get yourself to where there are other people and you can get help,” said Dashefsky.

That was a smartest thing she could have done and really my hat’s off to her that she did that, but you can’t do that if you’re not calm and you can’t think.”