Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Taken

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Taken

by Edward Bloor

Taken by Edward Bloor
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2007, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2009, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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Beyond the Book

Print Review

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posts the following U.S. Department of Justice statistics on taken children:

  • 797,500 children (younger than 18) were reported missing in a one-year period of time (approximately 2,185/day), but the majority of these were quickly found.
  • 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions.
  • 58,200 children were the victims of non-family abductions.
  • 115 children were the victims of "stereotypical" kidnapping - crimes involving someone the child does not know or someone of slight acquaintance, who holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently.

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.

Useful Link
The NCFMEC's guide to Personal Safety for Children

Article by Jo Perry

This article was originally published in January 2008, and has been updated for the December 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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