The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posts the following U.S. Department of Justice statistics on taken children:
It is reassuring to learn that the stranger-abductions so
prevalent in Taken are very rare in the USA and that almost 60% of children abducted by
strangers were returned safely. Kidnappers were "just as likely to be someone
known to the child or family as to be a stranger." Over half of these abductions
occurred outside the family home.
The NCFMEC advises teens to avoid going out alone whenever possible, to always tell parents where they are going and to trust their own feeling that a person or situation is risky or dangerous.
Worldwide, the Discovery Channel estimate 8,000 kidnappings each year, but with only an estimated 1 in 10 kidnappings being reported it is difficult to know the exact numbers. Colombia leads the way, formerly followed by Mexico but now Iraq is in second position. Many companies take out kidnap insurance for their employees and families located in dangerous countries.
The NCFMEC's guide to Personal Safety for Children
This article was originally published in January 2008, and has been updated for the
December 2009 paperback release.
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