WHAT ARE THE RISKS TO YOUR CHILD

facts and figures on child abductions

Children of every age, gender, and race are vulnerable to child abduction.


Pie chart showing Non-Family Child Abductions by Age: 0-5 years, 7%; 6-11years, 12%; 12-14 years, 22%; and 15-17 years, 59%; and pie chart showing Non-Family Child Abductions by Gender: Male, 35%; Female, 65%.


Approximately 203,900 children were abducted in 1999 in "family abductions" in which a family member was trying to deprive a caretaker of custodial rights.

– 98% of these children returned home.
– None of these children were killed.
There were approximately 58,200 "non-family abductions" in 1999. Abductions in this category involved forcibly moving or detaining the child for a relatively short period of time, usually in connection with another crime.

– 99% of these children returned home.
– Only 115 of these were the most serious and dangerous types of
    abductions—those perpetrated by strangers where the child was kept
    overnight, held for ransom, or killed.

    – Almost 60% of these children were returned safely.

When the abductor is unrelated to the child, the abductor is just as likely to be someone known to the child or family as to be a stranger.


Pie chart showing Identity of Perpetrator in Non-Family Abductions:  Friend, 17%;  Acquaintance, 21%; Neighbor, 5%; Authority Person, 6%; Caretaker or Babysitter, 4%; Stranger, 45%; Someone Else, 3%.


Be Alert: Over 50% of the children kidnapped in non-family abductions were taken from the street, in a vehicle, or from a park or wooded area. Almost 75% of those children kidnapped in family abductions were taken from their own or another’s home or yard.


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PERSONAL SAFETY FOR CHILDREN—A GUIDE FOR PARENTS