Stereotypical stranger abductions of children are rare.
- In 1997, the estimated number of stereotypical stranger abductions* was 115, according to the second National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway Children (NISMART).
Abductions are considered "stereotypical" when the perpetrator is a stranger and any one of the following occurs: 1) the child is gone overnight; 2) the child is killed; 3) the child is transported a distance of 50 miles or more; 4) the child is ransomed; or 5) the perpetrator evidences intent to keep the child permanently.
- An estimated 58,200 short-term abductions occurred to children mostly in the course of sexual assaults and other crimes.
Teenage girls are the group at greatest risk for non-family abduction.
- Two-thirds or more of abduction victims were female, and a majority were adolescents, ages 12 through 17.
Finkelhor, D., Hammer, H., & Sedlak, A. (2002). Nonfamily abducted children: National estimates and characteristics. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
In police reports of abductions, juveniles are kidnapped as often by non-family acquaintances as by strangers.
Finkelhor, D., & Ormrod, R. (2000). Kidnapping of Juveniles: Patterns from NIBRS. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.