Parents on alert: Child abductions rarely committed by strangers

October 13, 2012


According to the Department of Justice, 800,000 children are reported missing every year in the united states.  Out of that number, 69,000 were kidnapped. “I think anytime a child is missing it’s a big number.  Whether it’s one or 69,000, but yes, 69,000 sounds like a large number,” says criminal justice professor Stacey Hervey from Metro State College in Denver.

Our children are taught to beware of stranger-danger. “If someone you don’t know approaches you, that you yell and scream that this is not my mom or dad,” says Hervey.

But the likely danger is closer to home.  Of the 69,000 children kidnapped every year, 82 percent, eight out of ten, are abducted by a family member.  “In the case of Jessica Ridgeway the media picks up on it very quickly and of course it puts the fear in every parent’s heart.  But in reality they are a very miniscule  number as far as stranger abductions.  The likelihood  is someone that you know is going to take your kid.”

When it comes to anyone having regular contact with your child, don’t be paranoid, be prudent.  “Child predators are very manipulative, and do want to work themselves into your life and make you trust them.”

And the odds of your child being abducted by anybody?  That would be .02 percent.  Perspective is everything.

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