Frequently Asked Questions
Please contact the Missing Child Center Hawaii (MCCH) by calling 586-1449 if you have any questions about the following information. You will need the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader to view the documents on this page. Download a free copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
How many missing children are there?
Answer: The problem of missing children is complex and multifaceted. There are different types of missing children including family abductions; endangered runaways; nonfamily abductions; and lost, injured, or otherwise missing children. The best national estimates for the number of missing children are from incidence studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
To date two such studies have been completed. The first National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-1) was released in 1990, and the second, known as NISMART-2, was released in October 2002. According to NISMART-2 research, which studied the year 1999, an estimated 797,500 children were reported missing; 58,200 children were abducted by nonfamily members; 115 children were the victims of the most serious, long-term nonfamily abductions called “stereotypical kidnappings”; and 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions.
What can I do to prevent family abduction?
Answer: The most important thing you can do to prevent abduction is to maintain healthy communication with your children and spouse. In the event of a family abduction, however, having up-to-date photos of both your children and your spouse will be helpful. NCMEC also recommends that you teach your child important telephone numbers and where to go in case of an emergency.
REFERENCE: To learn about family abductions and how to prevent them please read
Aren’t most missing kids a result of custodial disagreements?
Answer: The largest number of missing children are “runaways”; followed by “family abductions”; then “lost, injured, or otherwise missing children”; and finally, the smallest category, but the one in which the child is at greatest risk of injury or death, “nonfamily abductions.” Many times this question is asked under the assumption that family abductions are not a serious matter; however, this is not true. In most cases children are told that the left-behind parent doesn’t want or love them. These children may live the life of a fugitive, always on the run with the noncustodial parent and stripped away from their home, friends, school, and family.
REFERENCE: For definitions, kidnapping statistics, and more parental abduction information please read
How many missing children are found deceased? What hours are most critical when trying to locate a missing child?
Answer: According to a 1997 study by the State of Washington’s Office of the Attorney General “the murder of a child who is abducted … is a rare event. There are estimated to be about 100 such incidents in the United States each year, less than one-half of one percent of the murders committed”; however, “74 percent of abducted children who are murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.”
REFERENCE: For victim and predator profiles and missing-children homicide statistics please read
How big of a problem is child sexual exploitation?
Answer: The sexual victimization of children is overwhelming in magnitude yet largely unrecognized and underreported. Statistics show that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys are sexually exploited before they reach adulthood, yet less than 35% of those child sexual assaults are reported to authorities.
REFERENCE: To learn more about child sexual exploitation and prevention, please visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s campaign against child sexual exploitation and read
How many children are sexually approached and/or solicited online?
Answer: According to Highlights of the Youth Internet Safety Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice “one in five children (10 to 17 years old) receive unwanted sexual solicitations online.”
REFERENCE: For prevention resources and to learn about the seriousness of online predators, online statistics, and profiles please read
What is the CyberTipline?
Answer: The Congressionally-mandated CyberTipline is a reporting mechanism for cases of child sexual exploitation including pornographic images of children, online enticement of children for sex acts, molestation of children outside the family, sex tourism of children, child victims of prostitution, and unsolicited obscene material sent to a child. Reports may be made 24-hours per day, 7 days per week online at www.cybertipline.com or by calling 1-800-843-5678.