Child Maltreatment FAQ

Menstuff® has compiled the following Frequently Asked Questoins concerning Child Maltreatment. Definitions

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Big Secret - Child Maltreatment
How many missing children are there?
Where did the child abduction statistics in the Personal Safety for Children: A Guide for Parents publication come from?
What can I do to prevent parental abduction?
Aren’t most missing kids a result of custodial disagreements?
How many missing children are found deceased?
What hours are most critical when trying to locate a missing child?
How many children are sexually approached and/or solicited online?
Isn’t the best advice I should give to my kids “never talk to strangers”?
Do the cards I get in the mail really help recover missing children?
Do you put pictures of missing kids on milk cartons?
Is NCMEC John Walsh’s organization?
How can I help find missing children?
How do I get copies of NCMEC publications?

Please contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's (NCMEC) Office of Public Affairs by calling 877.44.NCMEC, extension 6351, or 703.274.3900 if you have any questions about the following information. Download a free copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader at www.cybertipline.com

How many missing children are there?


Answer: The best national estimates for the number of missing children are from incidence studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Two such studies have been completed, the first National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART 1) was released in 1990 and the second, known as NISMART 2, was released in October of 2002.

According to NISMART 2, there are nearly 800,000 children reported missing each year (more than 2,000 per day). 58,200 children are abducted by nonfamily members. 115 children are the victims of the most serious, most long-term abductions (stereotypical kidnappings), of which 56% are recovered alive, 40% are killed. 203,900 children are the victims of family abductions.

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Where did the child abduction statistics in the Personal Safety for Children: A Guide For Parents publication come from?


Answer: The child abduction statistics in the publication entitled Personal Safety for Children: A Guide For Parents, released in August of 2002 by President George Bush, are an excerpt of the second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children: Highlights from the NISMART Bulletins, funded by the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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What can I do to prevent parental abduction?


Answer: The most important thing you can do to prevent abduction is to maintain healthy communication with your children and spouse. NCMEC also recommends that you teach your child important telephone numbers and where to go in case of an emergency.

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Aren’t most missing kids a result of custodial disagreements?


Answer: The largest number of missing children are “runaways”; followed by “family abductions”; then “lost, injured, or otherwise missing children”; and finally, the smallest category, but the one in which the child is at greatest risk of injury or death, “nonfamily abductions.” Many times this question is asked under the assumption that family abductions are not a serious matter; however, this is not true. In most cases children are told that the left-behind parent doesn’t want or love them. These children may live the life of a fugitive, always on the run with the noncustodial parent and stripped away from their home, friends, school, and family.

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How many missing children are found deceased? What hours are most critical when trying to locate a missing child?


Answer: According to the State of Washington’s Office of the Attorney General “the murder of a child who is abducted ... is a rare event. There are estimated to be about 100 such incidents in the United States each year, less than one-half of one percent of the murders committed”; however, “74 percent of abducted children who are murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.”

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How many children are sexually approached and/or solicited online?


Answer: According to Highlights of the Youth Internet Safety Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice “one in five children (10 to 17 years old) receive unwanted sexual solicitations online.”

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Isn’t the best advice I should give to my kids “never talk to strangers”?


Answer: Telling children to stay away from strangers is neither effective nor the best advice for many reasons. “Stranger” isn’t a concept children easily understand. Instead your child should be taught to look out for threatening behaviors and situations.

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Do the cards I get in the mail really help recover missing children?


Answer: Absolutely. One in six of the missing kids featured on these cards and through the efforts of other NCMEC photo partners are recovered as a direct result of the photograph. In fact, because of the ADVO® mailing, NCMEC reaches up to 79 million homes weekly with the photographs of missing children. 

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Do you put pictures of missing kids on milk cartons?


Answer: Although NCMEC itself does not post photographs of missing children on milk cartons, NCMEC photo partners may do so. There are more than 360 active corporate photo partners nationwide.

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Is NCMEC John Walsh’s organization?


Answer: After the abduction and murder of their son, Adam, in 1981, John and Revé Walsh became effective advocates on behalf of missing children’s issues. Mrs. Walsh serves on the NCMEC Board of Directors and Mr. Walsh serves on the Board’s Chief Executive Officers Council and National Advisory Board, and acts as an NCMEC spokesperson when his schedule allows. Their hard work and determination helped to create NCMEC which now serves as the national clearinghouse for information on missing children and the prevention of child victimization. Since 1984, NCMEC has worked with law enforcement on more than 83,500 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 66,800 children.

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How can I help find missing children?


Answer: The best way to help NCMEC is to take the time to look at the photographs of missing children in the many venues, including ADVO postcards, at Wal-Mart® stores, in federal buildings, and report any information about those children to NCMEC’s toll-free Hotline 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). You can also help by keeping up-to-date photographs of your own children. After all, one out of six of the children featured in this Picture Them Home® campaign has been recovered.

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How do I get copies of NCMEC publications?


Answer: To obtain a list of or order NCMEC books and brochures, please call the toll-free Hotline 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit the Publications area at www.cybertipline.com

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