The necessity of protecting the children of the HNW and UHNW families
Protecting the children of the rich and famous is not a new thought process. Since the dawn of time, rulers, warriors, and leaders of men have always assigned protectors to their children. They realized that they were their most prized possession and must be safeguarded at all costs, whether to carry on their legacy, continue a royal bloodline, and because they were the very essence of their lives. And for those who have been in our industry long enough, they have experienced, at some point in time, working with the children of their clients as well.
However, as the clientele and threats are changing, we see more and more families with extreme wealth or celebrity status needing specialized protection for their little ones. The children of the rich and famous are born into a world of privilege and opportunity, but with that privilege comes a unique set of dangers and challenges. Most of these children, due to their parent's highly overt status and being constantly in the public eye, they are vulnerable to a wide range of threats. And we can all agree that the threats these children face today have evolved and become more complex than ever before.
Kidnapping and extortion have been the number one threat for many years. For historical reference, the first child kidnapping and extortion case recorded in America happened on July 1st, 1874, when brothers Charley and Walter Ross were kidnapped in front of their house. And since then, it has become an ever-increasing threat up to this current day and age when horrible realities such as sex trafficking have encompassed the globe and taken over the front page of news stories and children are no longer safe to live as they once did.
The high net worth of their parents makes these children prime targets for kidnapping and extortion. These children are often at risk of being taken by criminals looking to make a quick ransom, terrorist organizations with extreme goals in mind, by people who want to blackmail or coerce their parents, or, as of recently, sold into slavery of all kinds. And as one can clearly understand, kidnapping and the following damage done is incredibly traumatic for the child and their family and we all know cases where the victim has been left with immeasurable emotional and physical wounds that may never heal. Stalking and harassment is something that is also quite prevalent with many children of very public families, such as politicians, celebrities, sports athletes, and of course the new influencers. They are not only followed and harassed by the media, paparazzi, and fans of their parents but have also been regular targets of stalkers and sex predators. Children have fragile egos and self-confidence. Swaying them is far too easy for someone with nefarious intent. Keep in mind, these types of criminals hunt the weak and defenseless, thus young children make ideal targets. And stalking and harassment can be incredibly distressing for a child or a teenager causing many mental and emotional developmental issues if not dealt with properly.
Online threats - cyberbullying – and sextortion are a real threat today to our children. With social media and the internet being so prevalent, and so easily accessible today, it's simple for criminals to target the children of the rich & famous and harass them online. Many pre-adolescents and teenagers have been victims of sextortion either for monetary profit or to cause embarrassment to their families. Lack of confidence and/or lack of love within the family unit creates an unhealthy need to expose themselves in ways that cannot be repaired or retracted. Online threats can be incredibly damaging to a child's mental health, and it's important for their families and their security details to have a cyber protection plan, monitor their online activity and protect them from these threats. Substance abuse is an ever-present danger and trap for young children and teenagers. According to studies, the children of the rich and famous are more likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol than other children. As they are quite often exposed to drugs and alcohol at a young age, they may feel peer pressure to indulge in these activities to fit in with their social circles. Learning to watch for the subtle signs of use/abuse is very important. It is also important for their security detail to have a good communication channel with both the children and their parents as they try to report and prevent these kinds of harmful habits. Not only will drug and alcohol abuse physically and mentally affect the children, but it will also bring negative attention to them, their families, and probably a reputation they would much rather not have.
Today, we've discussed some of the unique dangers and pitfalls the children of the rich and famous may face. It is critically important for their families to recognize the need for a specialized protective service that can provide them with the guidance they need to stay safe and healthy as they navigate the complexities of their unique upbringing and even life in general. With the right protection, these children can grow up to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults. Our team at LeMareschal has extensive experience working with the protection of children of all ages, different ethnic and religious backgrounds, and for different types of families such as celebrities, corporate, HNW/UHNW, etc. Not only we are the creators of Nannyguards, the hybrid company that combines child care with security training, but we also have specialized child and teenagers protective teams.