Kidnapping in Numbers [Infographic]

kidnapping stats

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There is so more to kidnappings than the ransom notes and happy resolutions, depicted in Lifetime dramas.  In approximately 115 cases of the classic “stereotypical kidnappings” that occur annually in the United States. 40% of abducted children are killed and an additional  4% are never found. Furthermore, about 70% of kidnappings are done by a stranger, and 30% are carried out by an acquaintance.

Kidnapping, also known as  ‘abduction,’ is a very serious issue in America. Every 40 seconds, there is another report of someone under 18, who has either gone missing or has been abducted. If these figures are accurate, such numbers amount to over 2,000 children every day.  Even more frightening? Of missing child reports, 1 in every 10,000 children who are categorized under missing children reports are murdered. There are 800,000 reports every year,  which means on an annual scale 80 kids each year lose their lives at the hands of their captors.

With the upsurge of violence in recent years, concern in child safety is very common for most parents. 75% of parents fear their child might be abducted, and 33% of parents said this was a frequent worry (with a degree of fear rivaling any other fears). 69,000 of the 800,000 children reported missing annually are abducted. 12,000 of these abductions are committed by non-family perpetrators, and 37% of those are by a total stranger to the victim.

Strangers aren’t the only culprits. In 82% of reported cases, the culprit is a family member. The odds of a minor being kidnapped by someone they don’t know is 1 in 560. The odds of being kidnapped by a family member are 1 in 180. Most abductions happen within a quarter-mile of the victim’s home, and girls account for 3/4 of the victims of non-family child abductions.

Sadly, more than 1 of every 5 children who are reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are eventually found dead. Of them, 74% were dead within 3 hours of the abduction.

Non-Family Abduction Phenomenon

75% of non-family perpetrators are male and 69% are younger than 30.  According to the U.S. Justice Department, “most strangers grab their victims on the street or try to lure them into their vehicles.”

32% of abductions take place on a street or in a car, and 25% percent of abductions take place in a park or wooded area.  In cases of kidnapping, 31% of victims are physically assaulted, and 46% of the victims are sexually assaulted.  2/3 of the victims are girls and 40% of kidnapping perpetrators use weapons.”

The U.S. Justice Department cites that in “80% of abductions by strangers, the first contact occurs within a quarter mile of the child’s home. In many cases, the abduction does, too.”

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