The Carlie’s Crusade Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization located in Marlboro New York dedicated in memory of Carlie Brucia, a beautiful eleven year old Long Island girl, who was abducted, sexually assaulted, and brutally murdered in Florida on February 1, 2004. Through our Abduction Prevention, Internet Safety and Self Preservation workshops we have reached over 50,000 children and over 9,000 adults on how to be safe, not only on the streets, but on the Internet. Over the past five years we have brought our workshops to over 75 schools in 7 counties in New York State as well as a school in New Jersey. We are the main safety instructors for the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson which encompasses almost 38,000 Girl Scouts and their families. We are extremely proud of the work we have accomplished in these 5 short years but we know we need to work harder to save our children. Today alone over 2,100 children will be reported missing in the United States. Most will be runaways and will be coming home but what skills do they have to keep themselves safe from predators? Our goal is to give them skills to help keep them safe and not become a victim. In New York State we are required BY LAW to have at least 8 fire drills between September and December. When the firemen come in to teach they do not teach how to hook up the hose and put out the fire, they teach how to avoid the fire and get help. By using this repetitive approach we have not lost a child to a school fire in over 25 years. Our approach is the same. We do not teach the children how to fight the perpetrator but how to not be an attractive target and how to get away. All of our workshops are age and subject specific with each workshop tailored for the group’s specific needs. The children learn that their strongest weapon is their brain, their voice and how and where to run. Our goal is to not only teach awareness skills to children but also adults. If you look at the latest being reported in the news, parents as well as children need to be educated. Parents need to be educated on the laws and what we need to do to keep people like this away from our children. Children have to be educated on how to recognize they may be in danger and how to get away.
When parents hear that some child has drowned we make sure our children know how to swim. Get in a room of 100 parents and ask how many have taught their children how to swim and at least 80% will say they have done so. The other 20% plans on making sure their children learn. Ask the same group how many of them know who the sex offenders are in their area or if they have skills to teach their children how NOT to look like a TARGET so they will Not become a VICTIM and you will understand our passion.
Parents and children also need to know that these predators are reaching us over the Internet. We are worried about the predator being 2,500 feet from a school and they are in our homes talking with our children. The predator is already in your child’s bedroom. As the latest reported news has proven predators are using the Internet to reach our children. Our children are also hurting themselves over the Internet by sexting, cyber bullying, meeting people they don’t know and illegal downloading of music and videos. Parents and children alike need to learn proper Internet etiquette as well as the many dangers that are encountered. Children need to know that once they post something, they can never take it back. Internet safety education should be in every school.
We would all like a perfect world where the predators cannot get close to our children but that takes years of making or changing existing laws. While those issues are being addressed we need to educate parents and children. We have proven programs in Abduction Prevention, Internet Safety and Self Preservation for ages 2 to 102. We would enjoy working with you to save the children and faculty in your schools and civic organizations. PLEASE HELP US SAVE THE CHILDREN!