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It’s the worst thing that can ever happen to a parent – Your child is missing.

With child abduction making headline news around the world on an almost daily basis and with famous kidnap stories remaining in the public eye – often for decades after a child has been found –  it is no wonder that parents list abduction as one of  their biggest fears.

But is this fear justified? Here are some facts about child abduction that every parent needs to know.

Parents' Guide to Preventing Child Abduction, Kidnapping, and Missing Children


Risks Children Face Today

Family Kidnapping


Acquaintance Kidnapping

Stranger Kidnapping

Reason to Panic ?

Beware, These Months See

Higher Rates of Kidnapping Cases

The summer months of June, July and August see the highest rate of both family and non-family abductions... As children leave the safety of their schools to spend carefree summers playing outside, visiting amusement parks, beaches and malls and staying out later, they are making themselves more accessible to would-be kidnappers. It is very important that parents [...]

Keeping Kids Safe When Traveling –  International Child Abduction

Kidnapping can occur anywhere in the world and no holiday destination should be considered completely safe. However, some destinations pose a greater threat and it is worth doing some research before you go on holiday to assess the risks.

The biggest threat of child abduction is actually from family members, acquaintances and especially a parent. If you are traveling to your spouse or partner’s home country, particularly if you are in the midst of a breakup or custody battle, your child could be at risk of being taken and held in that country.

In many countries extreme poverty and corruption mean that you or your children could be kidnapped for ransom. 


SURPRISING FACTS

DANGERS IN THE DIGITAL AGE

What Is True About Abduction From The Movie Taken ?

Before you travel to a foreign country, you should always consider the risks and decide if you need to take extra security measures. The US State Department publishes information on every country, as well as travel warnings here.

Holiday destinations and resorts are also a good place for people traffickers and sexual predators to target kids. Parents who are in an unfamiliar place will find it harder to raise the alarm and search for their missing child. Children will not know how and whom to ask for help. This sadly affords kidnappers the time they need to make a getaway [
...]

WARNING SIGNS of

CHILD ABDUCTION

How to Teach Kids About Kidnapping And Stranger Danger

Many kids seem to have an image in their mind about what a ‘scary kidnapper’ looks like. Maybe he wears a hat and long coat – some kind of disguise. Maybe he is a bit weird or socially awkward. Maybe he just acts creepy.

Most kids who have been taught about stranger danger wouldn’t walk off with this type of stereotypical ‘weirdo’. But what about the friendly young guy with the cute puppy? Or the nice, well-dressed lady who tells a kid to go with her because ‘mommy sent me to get you’?

Children need to be made aware that anyone could potentially try to do them harm, even someone who seems really nice or looks like an authority figure. Of course we want to raise kids to be polite and confident when speaking to adults. Nevertheless [
...

In a recent social experiment, Joey Salads filmed what would happen if he approached children on a playground and asked them to go with him. To conduct the experiment, he first got the permission of the parents and then approached the children with a little dog to entice them to speak to him. 

The shocking outcome of the experiment was that 7 out of 10 kids were willing to walk off with him to ‘see some more puppies’, indicating that the ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ message is not enough.

In this day and age, you would struggle to find any parent that has not taught their child about ‘stranger danger’. Ask any kid and they will tell you that they have been told ‘don’t talk to strangers’. Yet a recent social experiment that went viral on the Internet clearly demonstrated that this simple message is not enough.

The Most Common Lures Used by Kidnappers

3 Things Your Kids Must Memorize

Phone Number

Children face the biggest danger from strangers if they are taken, or go willingly, to a new, unknown location. Kidnappers use numerous lures to get kids to voluntarily go with them... Talk to your child about these sneaky methods potential kidnappers employ and make them aware of the dangers. Here are some of the most common lures [...]

Home Address

Family Code Word

DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET

Download worksheets for your children in a simple click below to help them practice and learn to memorize these important things so that they can get help in an emergency [...]

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Parent Checklist to Keep Kids Safe

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD GOES MISSING ?

  • Contact law enforcement
  • Search and secure areas
  • Provide as much information as possible
  • Contact and notify organizations [...]

What To Do If Your Child Goes Missing: 

Parents, Know These Facts

Follow These Steps If Your Child Goes Missing

How To Deal With Different Parties When Your Child is Missing

Dial 911 and request a police report to be filed immediately.

Call the Sheriff’s Department, state police, and police from any adjoining jurisdictions.

Spread information on as many social media platforms as possible.

Who Can Help You Locate Missing Child

Kidnap & Ransom: 

Beware of Virtual Kidnapping

58,000

203,000

115

Victims are usually under the age of 6 and the parents are often in a custody dispute over the child.

Usually happens outside of the home and most victims subsequently subjected to sexual assault. 

Your partner is angry about the breakdown of your relationship

Your partner has tried to obtain documents pertaining to the child, such as medical and school records

The multi-million dollar grossing thriller Taken, released in 2008, has arguably done more to raise awareness of people trafficking and violent kidnapping than any other movie in recent times. Not only that, but it has sent shivers down the spines of all parents who have watched the movie, raising deep-seated fears that their own children could be violently kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery. But what truth is there in the terrifying plot line? Are our daughters really at risk? [...]

20,500

1% of cases involved non-family abductions 

Children Were Reported Missing

Perpetrators are often juveniles themselves. Cases often associated with sexual or physical assault.

Keep records of child’s photograph, height, weight and fingerprints.

Don’t use child’s first name on labels for supplies.

Make a mental note each day of what your child is wearing.

Keep an up-to-date list of their friends’ names, phone numbers, email addresses and their parents’ contact information.

Check out references and know who they are when hiring a babysitter.

Accompany young children to the restroom when you are in a public place.

Tell your child who they should turn to in case of an emergency – identify a neighbor who can be trusted.

Establish an emergency plan in case your child gets lost. Identify a meeting place if convenient or tell them to stay put until you find them.

Make sure they memorize your number so they can ask someone to call you. Tell them never to go with a stranger to find you – you will come to them.

Know where your child is going and who they are with.

Tell them about the risks of abduction in an age appropriate way.

Communicate with your child! Try not to scare them, but make sure they take their own safety seriously.

Kidnap & Ransom: 

Do's and Don'ts When Dealing

With Ransom Demands

Kidnappings and ransoms are almost always about money, but they’re also about control. You cannot simply just give in to the kidnapper’s demand. Usually there is negotiation back and forth before a deal is made [...]

Your partner tries to come between you and the child or turn the child against you

Your partner is angry about a custodial decision

Your partner has a history of violent behavior

Your partner has previously violated any court orders

has liquidated their assets and/or closed bank accounts

Your partner is hiding or destroying documents

What Risks do Children Face Today?

Facts on Parental Child Abduction

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has reported that...over 200,000 cases of family kidnappings are reported each year in the United States... (and) experts believe that many cases of parental kidnapping go unreported [...]

  1. The FBI
  2. INTERPOL
  3. Child Find of America
  4. Local law enforcement
  5. U.S. Embassy/Consulate in another country [...]

To avoid becoming a victim of a virtual kidnapping there are multiple points to keep in mind. If you get a call, ask to speak to the victim and also ask the caller to describe the victim. If the caller claims they have the victim’s phone, don’t try to call, but instead get someone else to text the phone [...]

Parents — if the worst thing happens and your child goes missing, there are a few facts you absolutely need to know. First and foremost: Do not wait 24 hours to report your missing child. The first 24 hours are critical in finding your child. Be sure to alert friends, family, and neighbors so they can spread the news as well.

Make these important phone calls

Immediately call and alert your local law enforcement agency that you suspect your child may be missing. After you have reported you child as missing to law enforcement, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

Conduct a thorough search

After you’ve called both of these numbers, make sure you conduct a thorough search of your home. Make sure to search closets, any piles of laundry, in and under beds, inside of large appliances, inside vehicles (including trunks), and anywhere else in your home a child may crawl or hide.

Losing track of your child in a store

If you happen to lose sight or track of your child while in a store, notify the store manager or security officer. Then, immediately call your local law enforcement agency. Many stores have a “Code Adam” plan of action in place for these situations. “Code Adam” was created in memory of 6-year-old Adam Walsh and is a powerful search tool for lost and potentially abducted children.

Be as descriptive as possible

When you call law enforcement, there are certain details you should be sure to include in your report. These details include your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight and descriptions of any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces. Additionally, tell them when you noticed your child was missing and what clothing they were wearing. Also request that the law enforcement authorities immediately enter your child’s name and identifying information into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Missing Person File.

The above steps are vital in finding your missing child, and again: do not wait 24 hours to take action!

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2

3

4

2% of cases involved missing young adults, aged 18-20

6% of missing child cases involved family abductions

1% of missing children were lost, injured or otherwise missing

90% of missing children were endangered runaways

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Keeping Kids Safe When Traveling –  International Child Abduction

Kidnapping can occur anywhere in the world and no holiday destination should be considered completely safe. However, some destinations pose a greater threat and it is worth doing some research before you go on holiday to assess the risks.

The biggest threat of child abduction is actually from family members, acquaintances and especially a parent. If you are traveling to your spouse or partner’s home country, particularly if you are in the midst of a breakup or custody battle, your child could be at risk of being taken and held in that country.

In many countries extreme poverty and corruption mean that you or your children could be kidnapped for ransom [...]

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What Risks do Children Face Today?

Facts on Parental Child Abduction

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Phone Number

Home Address

Family Code Word

Never leave child unattended at home, in the car or in a public place.

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Follow These Steps

If Your Child Goes Missing

READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE

How To Deal With Different Parties When Your Child is Missing

Spread information on as many social media platforms as possible.

Dial 911 and request a police report to be filed immediately.

Call the Sheriff’s Department, state police, and police from any adjoining jurisdictions.

KEEP READING >>KEEP READING >>KEEP READING >>KEEP READING >>

Victims of virtual kidnapping are mostly completely unaware that this crime exists. They react as any parent would when faced with a potential threat to their child. Virtual kidnappers take advantage of parents’ fears and most of the time they get away with it...As with many other crimes, including actual kidnapping, social media and GPS tracking are unwittingly aiding and abetting virtual kidnappers [...]

What Is Virtual Kidnapping

Social Media & Kidnapping

It is estimated that 50,000 sexual predators are online at any given time and that 50% of sex crimes committed against a minor involve a perpetrator obtaining information and/or pictures from social media sites... [...]

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Social Media & Kidnapping

It is estimated that 50,000 sexual predators are online at any given time and that 50% of sex crimes committed against a minor involve a perpetrator obtaining information and/or pictures from social media sites... [...]

KEEP READING >>KEEP READING >>

Parents' Guide to Preventing Child Abduction, Kidnapping, and Missing Children

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