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Published on May 22, 2013
'Charley Says: Strangers' was released in 1973 by the Central Office of Information (a now defunct government body). It was one of a series of films that together formed the 'stranger danger' message. These films were often used as a teaching aid in schools, sometimes delivered by a police officer.
The message that 'strangers are dangerous' was simple, and the instruction to children to 'say no to strangers' was equally straight-forward. However, during the 1990s and 2000s questions and concerns about the 'stranger danger' approach were raised. Whilst children might understand the message, are they able to actually distinguish a stranger from a non-stranger? Even if they can, are they able to resist an enticement from a stranger?
Whilst the scenario of the male would-be abductor driving a car, preying on young girls, is still very much a reality on the streets of the UK today, it is one of many scenarios in which abduction occurs. Other children are abducted by people they know. In many cases the victim may regard the offender as their 'boyfriend', having been groomed. Many victims initially go willingly with or to the offender.
How do we protect our children from the threat of abduction? What should we say to children to keep them safe from abduction by a stranger and by someone they know?
Tell us what you think using our feedback form at http://www.pact-online.org/taken/feed... and tell us what you've told your own children - and help us to develop the best guidance to keep our children safe.
We are very grateful to the copyright owners, the British Film Institute, for permission to use this film.