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News Release

National Missing Children's Day is May 25


What Parents Can Do To Keep Children Safe

Alexandria, Va., May 15, 2012 – Every year in America an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than 2,000 children each day. Of that number, 200,000 are abducted by family members, and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members. The primary motive for non-family abductions is sexual. Each year 115 children are the victims of the most serious abductions, taken by non-family members and either murdered, held for ransom, or taken with the intent to keep.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) wants to remind the public that National Missing Children's Day is May 25th. The organization wants parents to know there are things they can do to keep their children safer and it urges parents to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about their safety. NCMEC has produced the attached safety tips as a part of its Take 25 national child safety campaign.

"We know teaching children about safety works," said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. "It is important that parents take the time to talk to their children about safety."

An analysis of attempted abduction cases by NCMEC found that in 81% of the cases, children escaped would-be abductors through their own actions, by yelling, kicking, pulling away, running away or attracting attention.

May 25th is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school and this day has been observed as National Missing Children's Day since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. Etan's story captivated the nation. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer, was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the country and around the world. The powerful image of Etan has come to symbolize the anguish and trauma of thousands of searching families. The search for Etan continues. He is still missing.

NCMEC is the leading nonprofit organization dealing with the issues of missing and sexually exploited children and operates a 24-hour toll free national hotline for reporting missing child cases. NCMEC has played a role in the recovery of more than 175,234 children and today, more children come home safely than ever before. Last year alone we helped recover 11,716 children, improving our recovery rate from 62 percent in 1990 to 97.7 percent today. And more of those who prey upon children are being identified and prosecuted. Yet too many children are still missing and too many children are still the victims of sexual exploitation. There is much more that needs to be done.

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation's clearinghouse, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which has handled more than 3,568,780 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 175,230 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 1,416,460 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 68,121,870 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.

Contact:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
703-837-6111
media@ncmec.org

Copyright © 2014 National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. All rights reserved.

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