By Hannah Moore BBC News
21 April 2015
quote''The number of kids who are actually kidnapped by strangers is quite small," says Finkelhor.
Just 115 of the 797,500 children were subject to what Finkelhor and his co-authors define as a "stereotypical" kidnapping - that is, they were abducted by a stranger and detained overnight, perhaps permanently, or taken at least 50 miles away.
In fact, almost half the children recorded in the study were what the authors call "benign missing". That means their parent or guardian thought they were missing, but they soon turned up.
So many of the children reported missing weren't really missing at all.
Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that the size of the problem has diminished in the 13 years since Finkelhor's study was published - though of course, it still exists and still causes suffering for those affected.
In 2014, the FBI received about 600,000 reports of people going missing, the majority of whom were under 18. But this figure has been decreasing since 1997, when nearly one million missing-person reports were received.
Finkelhor says technology has made life safer for children.
"The biggest change has been the acquisition of cell phones, which allows parents and children to stay in touch with one another. So for example 'benign missing' episodes are likely to have declined a great deal because parents can call and find out what's happening," he says.
He is currently carrying out research for an updated study, due out later this year. But for now he will only say that the numbers on children going missing reflect a well-documented decrease in overall levels of criminal activity in the US.
"In the United States, crime has declined tremendously. Crimes against children are down, sexual assaults are down, homicides are down. So it's very likely that some of these [missing children] episodes that are motivated by criminal intent are also down as well." ' unquote
Friday 25 May 2012
A child goes missing in the UK every 3 minutes
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@G-Unit wrote:I just looked at the 'Missing Kids' website. It doesn't tell you the circumstances in which they went missing. Given the ages of a lot of them I would guess there's a lot of runaways there.
Missing Kids. The Charity which returns abused kids to their abusers. Please give generously.
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