An Overview of Kidnapping

The number of people who are taken against their will is increasing especially when it comes to children. Kidnapping may occur for any number of reasons from seeking money for the return of the victim to the non-custodial parent taking the child away from the other parent.

Kidnapping Defined

Kidnapping is the removal of a person by threat or force and holding them against their will. False imprisonment is the result of kidnapping. When someone is held against their will for a determined period of time, it is called false imprisonment. The kidnapper usually has a purpose in mind when they take their victim. Some serial killers have lured their victims to them by professing to be injured, looking for a lost puppy or child, and various other methods designed to make the person feel sorry for them.

According to the law kidnapping has occurred if the person has been held for the exchange of money or another stipulation for the release. They also are charged with this crime if the person is taken as a hostage, used as a human shield, or caused to commit an illegal act.

The highest number of kidnappings has occurred when a non-custodial parent takes his children without the knowledge of the custodial parent. This can occur for many reasons and the numbers of kidnappings that are a direct result of this scenario are over 200,000 children. It does not matter if the child wants to go, the charge will still be considered kidnapping.

Interesting Facts

The studies that were conducted only six years ago had some staggering numbers so one can only imagine what they are today.

  • The average number of children reported missing on a daily basis was 2,185, which roughly adds up to more the 797,500 per year.
  • Approximately one-fourth of those kidnapped children were taken by family members. Another 58,200 were taken by someone other than the family.
  • The remaining 58,200 were taken by someone who was a stranger to them.

What Are We Doing About This Problem?

There are international laws as well which have been put in place to protect the rights of the custodial parent. The law strives to help the parent who has lost their child. By passing laws at federal, state, and international levels the government is helping to make punishment more severe for the illegal abduction of a child from the custodial parent.

Stronger laws have been instituted for the prosecution of child kidnappers as well. This has become a problem in the U.S. as every year children are kidnapped by pedophiles. There are many task forces across the country being educated and informed on how to deal with this problem. The large number of children abducted for this purpose was beginning to be an epidemic problem.

The 1980 Hague Conference established laws for the sovereign nations to set up one central authority to investigate international kidnappings. They are ultimately required to do anything possible to return a child taken illegally to their rightful parent or guardian. As laws continue to get tougher and more strict, one can only hope the number of kidnappings decreases.

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