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Endangered Runaways

February 16, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

On Sunday night I watched a few news stories on MSNBC concerning sexual slavery and prostitution, including “Sex Slaves in the Suburbs.”  The premise of this show was that young females are being kidnapped and forced into prostitution against their will.  Additionally, law enforcement treats the kidnappings as runaways.  The show was quite moving with a particularly emotional testimony by a young female.

I was curious how prevalent cases of runaways were in the United States.  I went to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) website and performed a search for all “Endangered Runaways” in the US that occurred between 1/1/2008 and 2/9/2009.  I found 621 individuals, both male and female.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) defines an endangered runaway as a runaway that has certain “factors such as substance dependency, use of hard drugs, sexual or physical abuse, presence in a place where criminal activity was occurring, or extremely young age (13 years old or younger).”

Endangered Runaways 01/01/2008 - 02/09/2009

One of the only studies I found concerning runaways was the DOJ study, Runaway/Thrownaway Children: National Estimates and Characteristics.  According to the report there were quite a few more endangered runaways back in 1999 that my findings at NCMEC’s website seem suspect.  The report states that there is “suggestive evidence” that the incidences of runaways have  declined in recent years.  But it seems my findings are quite low compared to the number of expected endangered runaways based on the report.  I am not sure the discrepancy, however it is probable that some of the endangered children in the DOJ report were recovered but still reported which is in contrast to the NCMEC which only lists currently missing endangered runaways.  Also there is the possibility that  the NCMEC and various state agencies have not identified the children as endangered, simply runaways.

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Categories: GIS
  1. Mike
    March 2, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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    Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
    Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

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