TRUE or FALSE. Kidnapping committed by a family member is considered child endangerment.
 a. True
 b. False

“ &one day (when I was 11 years old) I was taken out of class by my principal and escorted to his office& the woman sat me down and pulled out a milk carton with a picture of me when I was four with my real name underneath it and asked me if I knew who it was. I naturally said no, and she explained it was me.” 
-- Rebekah, Take Root Member
abducted at age 4
Poll Results

A national poll of 1,021 adults conducted by Harris Interactive in January 2004 on behalf of the Polly Klaas Foundation revealed that:

  • Approximately 80 percent consider stranger abductions to be as dangerous (56 percent) or more dangerous (24 percent) than family abductions.
  • Approximately 81 percent underestimate the percentage of children abducted by a family member out of all child kidnappings in the United States (78 percent of all abducted children in 1998 were taken by a family member).
  • After being informed about the pervasive nature of family abductions and the emotional damage caused among victims, more than 80 percent of respondents expressed support for federal assistance for law enforcement training on family abductions and prevention education among parents and families.

1. Which one of the following do you believe to be the greatest danger for American children?

  • Abduction by a stranger (24%)
  • Abduction by a family member (19%)
  • They are both equally dangerous (56%)
  • Don't know* (1%)
2. Based on everything you may know, what percentage of children abducted in the U.S. are taken by a family member? Would you say...?.
  • 0 to 24 percent (15%)
  • 25 to 50 percent (30%)
  • 51 to 74 percent (36%)
  • 75 to 100 percent (16%)
  • Don't know* (3%)
After the first two questions, respondents were read the following statement:

“The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention estimates that approximately 203,000 children a year are abducted by a family member, which accounts for 78 percent of all child kidnappings in the U.S. Victims of family abduction are often deprived of medical care and education, and psychologists now classify family abduction as child abuse because of the intense secrecy, isolation and separation of the child from their loved ones and the long-term emotional trauma.

The federal government currently makes limited training available to state law enforcement, and nearly 70 percent of law enforcement agencies do not have guidelines or the resources to respond to family abduction.”

They were then asked:

3. Do you believe the federal government should do more to support state training of law enforcement of family abduction and investigation of those crimes?
  • Yes (83%)
  • No (15%)
  • Don't know* (2%)
4. Do you believe the federal government should assist states in informing parents on how to prevent family abductions?
  • Yes (81%)
  • No (17%)
  • Don't know* (2%)

* Volunteered response.

Represents the findings of a telephone survey conducted January 2-4, 2004 by Harris Interactive, Inc. among a nationally representative sample of 1,021 adults (comprising 511 men and 510 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States). The margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 3.1%.

The Polly Klaas Foundation is dedicated to making America safe for all children. Take action today to help stop family abductions now!

© 2004 Polly Klaas Foundation
P.O. Box 800, Petaluma, CA 94953
(800) 587-HELP

Photos on this Web site are models used for illustrative purposes only.

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