Sanctuary for the Abused
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
MAY 25 IS NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN DAY
National Missing Children's Day was first recognized on May 25, 1980 in the United States, following the disappearance of six-year-old Etan Patz off the streets of New York City. May 25, 1979 marked the first time Etan had been allowed to walk to the bus stop alone. Etan has yet to be found. As a result of Etan's disappearance, former United States President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution declaring May 25th as National Missing Children's Day. In 1984, this day was recognized in Canada and continues to educate the public of the harsh realities facing missing children.
Facts & Stats about Missing Children
An estimated 2,300 children are missing every day in the United States. Missing children can victims of family abduction, non-family abduction, or they can be runaways.
An estimated 203,900 children were victims of a family abduction in 1999. A family abduction occurs when a family member takes or keeps a child in violation of the custodial parent's/guardian's legitimate rights.
Family abduction findings:
78% of abductors are the non-custodial parent
21 % are other relatives
42% of children were living with a single parent
15% were living with another relative/foster parent
66% were taken by a male relative
35% of children were between 6-11 years old
24% of the abductions lasted between 1 week and 1 month
82% of abductors intended to affect custody permanently
Reasons why family members become abductors:
They are dissatisfied with custody decision in court
They have been denied visitation for not paying child support
They are protecting the child and/or themselves from abuse
They are angry with the break-up of the relationship
They are angry with the other parent's new partner/lifestyle
Non-Family Abductions and Stereotypical Kidnappings
An estimated 58,200 children were victims of a non-family abduction in 1999. Non-family abductions occur when someone who is not a relative abducts and detains a child without lawful authority or parental permission with the intention to keep the child permanently. In 1999 there were also 115 stereotypical kidnappings. A stereotypical kidnapping occurs when a stranger or slight acquaintance transports a child 50 miles or more from home and either kills the child, holds the child for ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently.
Non-family abduction and stereotypical kidnapping findings:
81% were 12 years old or older in non-family cases
58% were 12 years old or older in stereotypical kidnappings
In 40% of stereotypical kidnappings, the child was killed
In another 4%, the child was not recovered
86% of the perpetrators are male
The abducted children are predominantly female
Nearly half of all victims were sexually assaulted
Over 1.5 million children had a runaway or throwaway episode in 1999. Runaway cases occur when a child of 14 years or less leaves home without permission for at least one night. For older children, a runaway is defined as a child who stay out for at least two nights. Throwaway episodes occur when a parent or other household adult tells a child to leave the house without arranging alternative care and prevents the child from returning home.
Two-thirds of children are between 15 and 17 years old
The male-female ratio is equal
More than half returned home in the same week
99% return home
21% are physically or sexually abused at home
Why children run away from home:
42% have family problems
14% because of peer pressure
5% because of drug or alcohol abuse
4% because of physical abuse
Child Find of America Inc. is a national not-for-profit organization that locates missing children through active investigation, prevents child abduction through education, and resolves incidents of parental abduction through mediation.
1-800-I-AM-LOST or 1-800-A-WAY-OUT