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Protecting The Gift
by Gavin de Becker


Available at

In Protecting the Gift, Gavin de Becker shares with readers his remarkable insight into human behavior, providing them with a fascinating look at how human predators work and how they select their targets and most important, how parents can protect their children. He offers the comforting knowledge that, like every creature on earth, human beings can predict violent behavior. In fact, he says, parents are hardwired to do just that.

Protecting the Gift provides a direct look at the strategies of predators, a study of how children are victimized, and a look at why. Understanding human violence empowers parents to protect their children more effectively. De Becker asks readers at the outset, “Of all the strategies you might bring to protecting your children, could ignorance about violence possibly be an effective one?”

Exploring issues surrounding child abduction, family violence, childcare workers, school safety, teenage dating, driving, drinking, and the often-deadly relationship between boys and guns, Protecting the Gift will enable parents to confidently answer some of life’s highest stakes questions:

  • How can I know a babysitter won’t turn out to be someone who will harm my child?
  • What’s the best way to prepare my child to walk to school alone?
  • What should I do if my child is lost in public?
  • How can I spot sexual predators?
  • How can I know if my child is being sexually abused?
  • How can my kid’s safety be improved?
  • How can I know whether some friend of my child’s might be dangerous?
  • Is my own child displaying warning signs of future violence?
  • What must my teenage son or daughter know in order to be safe?
  • How can I teach my child about risk without causing too much fear?
  • How can I reduce the worrying?

Here’s what others are saying about Protecting the Gift:

Dr. John Monahan
Professor of Psychology and Law
University of Virginia
Author of Predicting Violent Behavior
“A rare opportunity to converse with a master observer of the human condition. Protecting the Gift is the antidote for every parent’s worst nightmare.”
Robert Ressler
FBI Behavioral Scientist
Author of Whoever Fights Monsters
“De Becker has done it again in a field that is full of pseudo advice on protecting America’s most valuable asset - our children. Protecting the Gift leads the way in this field. It’s a must for all parents raising children in an ever increasingly violent society.”
Ann Wolbert Burgess
Professor of Psychiatric Nursing
University of Pennsylvania
“Gavin de Becker’s Protecting the Gift takes a giant step in helping parents translate fear into positive action that can provide safety for their children.”
Ellen Snortland
Author of Beauty Bites Beast:
Awakening the Warrior Within

Women and Girls
Protecting the Gift is dynamic, inspiring and practical. It’s also an entertaining and gripping read. What a combination of qualities! After reading it, you will be changed, and your children’s lives will be safer. This is a must read for every parent or anyone who cares for kids.”
Paul Mones
Children’s rights attorney
Author of When a Child Kills
“In Protecting the Gift de Becker writes eloquently and compassionately about the real dangers facing children. De Becker delivers his message not only through emotionally resonant real life stories (by far the most compelling are from his own childhood) but also through a distillation of the teachings of major criminal justice and psychological researchers. He has achieved what the academics have not been able to effectively do - make the research understandable and useful to the average person.”
Ken Wooden
Leading Child Advocate
Author of Child Lures
“Gavin de Becker has done it again - this time for kids. Protecting the Gift provides practical solutions for keeping youngsters safe from the day-to-day violence and risk that threatens their world. De Becker is truly a modern day knight - a good guy who shares his intuitive and intellectual armor with us all. A brilliant lesson in prevention”
Casey Gwinn
City Attorney
San Diego, California
“Gavin de Becker has captured the truths from real life stories that we can use to protect our children from the predators of our society. I will be a different kind of parent, spouse, and friend because of Gavin’s profound insights. We would need fewer police officers and prosecutors in this country if everyone followed the advice in this book.”
Jan Wagner
Founder of Yello Dyno
Author of Raising Safe Kids in an Unsafe World
“We have become a voyeur society of worriers consumed by dramatic tragedies that will most likely never touch us. In the same breath we ignore the signals that would prevent our own tragedies from occurring in our own neighborhood…even in our own homes. In language that is simple and direct, Protecting the Gift removes the blinder of denial, reconnects parents and children to their instinct of self preservation and gives them the guts to act in their self defense. Gavin de Becker, by sharing his gift of awareness, will undoubtedly save lives, quite possibly yours or even your child’s.”