Texas Our Texas
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: a child goes missing.
Every year in America, an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than 2,000 children each day. Of that number, 200,000 are abducted by family members, and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members. The primary motive for non-family abductions is sexual. Each year 115 children are the victims of the most serious abductions, taken by non-family members and either murdered, held for ransom, or taken with the intent to keep. National Missing Children’s Day is May 25th and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) urges parents to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about their safety.
“We know teaching children about safety works,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. “It is important that parents take the time to talk to their children about safety.”
An analysis of attempted abduction cases by NCMEC found that in 81percent of the cases, children escaped would-be abductors through their own actions, such as yelling, kicking, pulling away, running away or attracting attention.
May 25th is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school, and this day has been observed as National Missing Children’s Day since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. Etan’s story captivated the nation, and still does. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer, was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the country and around the world. The powerful image of Etan has come to symbolize the anguish and trauma of thousands of searching families. America was again captivated by Etan’s story as the search for him continues. He is still missing.
NCMEC is the leading nonprofit organization dealing with the issues of missing and sexually exploited children and operates a 24-hour toll free national hotline for reporting missing children. NCMEC has played a role in the recovery of more than 175,234 children, and today, more children come home safely than ever before and more of those who prey upon children are being identified and prosecuted. Yet too many children are still missing and too many children are still the victims of sexual exploitation. There is much more that needs to be done, and you can do your part by following the steps outlined in the Take 25 Campaign.