UA-174898256-1 Crimes Against Children Research Center

Kidnapping and Missing Children


Kidnapping and Missing Children

Kidnapping

The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children classified kidnappings as either family or non-family abductions.

Family abduction was defined as the taking or keeping of a child by a family member in violation of a custody order, decree, or other legitimate custodial rights, where the taking or keeping involved some element of concealment, flight, or intent to deprive a lawful custodian indefinitely of custodial privileges.

Non-family abduction was subdivided into "stereotypical kidnappings" which fit the public stereotype of the crime, and legal definition abductions, which are generally short-term forced movement or detention of children to facilitate another crime such as robbery or sexual assault..

Sources: Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., & Sedlak, A. J. (2016). Child victims of stereotypical kidnappings known to law enforcement in 2011. Retrieved from OJJDP Juvenile Justice Bulletin - NCJ 249249 (pgs. 1-20). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office (CV343)

Heather Hammer, David Finkelhor & Andrea J. Sedlak (2002). Children Abducted by Family Members: National Estimates and Characteristics. Juvenile Justice Bulletin–NCJ196466, 1-12. (MC17)

 

Missing Children

 While the term "missing children" may seem clear, a close examination of the issue would reveal a spectrum of circumstances ranging from a misunderstanding about schedules to running away or being the victim of an abduction. Through the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART) and its follow-up, NISMART-2, CCRC researchers sought to create a unified estimate of the number and type of missing children. To accomplish this, NISMART-2 defined missing children as either caretaker missing - when a child is missing from their caretaker - or reported missing - when a child is missing from their caretaker and is reported missing to an agency for help locating them.