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National Estimates of Children Missing Involuntarily or for Benign Reasons (NCJ 206180) July 2005
12 page(s)
Sedlak, A.J., Finkelhor, D., Hammer, H.,
Provides information on the numbers and characteristics of two groups not often recognized in the literature on missing children: children involuntarily missing because they were lost or injured and those missing because of a benign explanation such as a miscommunication or mistaken expectation. The data are from two surveys conducted in 1999 as part of the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2). Children missing from their caretakers in circumstances with benign explanations constituted 43 percent of all missing children reported to authorities—the second largest category after those classified as runaway/thrownaway. The authors discuss the policy implications raised by these data.