Originally Posted by livius drusus
Child murder rates peaked in '93 and have decreased to pre-1976 levels since. The same goes for all other age brackets. Homicide trends in the U.S.
thanks for the stats.
The area of true crime that particularly interests me (and I follow on several boards) is missing & abducted children/violent crimes against children/sexual predators.
*With approximately 700,000 children reported missing (in the USA) each year.
Thankfully, the majority are located alive. I have divided them into 2 categories.
- lost children (found)
- runaways (found)
- victims of stranger/family abduction (found)
- murdered children (recovered)
where the stats come from.
- suspected lost children (very minimal, ie. missing boyscout)
- suspected runaways (whereabouts unknown)
- suspected abductions (fate unknown)
According to the stats you posted the trend for murdered children is on the decrease (true) however, this stat is based on the number of bodies found and the assumption that the thousands suspected runaways are indeed runaways.
What if they are not? what if they are actually murder victims? or living as a sex slave somewhere, or living with someone who has abducted them? (some kids are so young when abducted, they don't remember their real families)
If the annual murdered child numbers drop significantly year by year there is still a huge unknown factor with the area of suspected runaways. Who knows for sure what happened to these children to come up with accurate stats? Not to mention the number of known abductions where no body has been found. (not included in stats)
A high risk group of children are 11-17 years of age. Children of this age are starting to get out more on their own - the are often assumed as runaways because of problems at home or in school. With no direct evidence explaining their disappearance they are simply classed as runaways, but thousands never turn up.
**Between 1.3 and 2.8 million runaways live in the streets of America.
1.3 - 2.8? IMO Chances are, some from this group may not be runaways at all or
due to the extremely vulnerability of this group have later become the victims of child sex predators. This is just my opinion, no stats. What a perfect group of kids to prey on, a predator's dream.
***The sexual victimization of children is overwhelming in magnitude yet largely unrecognized and underreported.
Child murder and/or violent assault could well be at epidemic levels and we are unaware of it.
I admit that it could just be better coverage and the fact that I am constantly reading & actively seeking information about crimes against children. (I rarely watch Televison) Lets put it this way, I hope that is the case, I would be happy to be wrong on this.
* from missingkids.com
** from the US Government Accounting Office
*** from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
About runaways & homeless youth - some disturbing stats I came across today