How to Avoid Your Child from Being the Next Missing Person!
When the public hears about a missing person, our hearts go out to the families who are left wondering and searching. When that missing person is a child it seems an even deeper concern develops. Children are often so vulnerable that even if you don't have kids you feel the pain for the family.
2100 children are reported missing every single day in the U.S. and some reports have that number closer to 2500. When you include those that go unreported, the estimates are closer to 3500 children... every single day!
When a child is reported missing the call usually comes in to 911 operators who dispatch a patrolman to investigate the call. The officer questions the family to better comprehend the circumstances and then decides how to proceed. If the child is believed to be in danger most law enforcement agencies have established protocols that include bringing in the necessary resources to begin search efforts.
Unfortunately, far too often if a child is over 13 and has disappeared law enforcement tends to believe the child is probably a runaway. This assumption can be potentially disastrous. Parents who find themselves in this situation must continue to push law enforcement to take the disappearance seriously and treat it as a potential abduction. Explaining the child's dependability and character can offer police a view that can spur appropriate action. Of course if a child has a history of running away then it is almost a given that police will assume a missing child has simply run away again.
As you can easily see, runaways pose a different problem for law enforcement. There are obvious issues at home and you have a child who does not want to be located. However we must also comprehend that runaways are often in extreme danger. Two-thirds of runaways are sexually solicited within the first 48 hours! They are prime targets for predators and human traffickers who can lure the child or even forcibly abduct the child. After all if a runaway child is abducted who is going to report it?
Action For Children