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Frequently Asked Questions

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According to 2019 data, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children assisted law enforcement in 29,000 cases of missing children and less than 1 percent of those cases were nonfamily abductions.

Also see the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Nonfamily Abducted Children: National Estimates and Characteristics

Visit the Report a Crime section of the U.S. Department of Justice website to learn how you can report child pornography or cases involving the sexual exploitation of children.

You can also report suspicion of child sexual exploitation to your local police, your ICAC Task Force or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline (www.cybertipline.com or 1–800–843–5678).

Information on the phenomenon known as the "cycle of violence," in which a childhood history of physical abuse may lead the survivor to be more likely to commit violence in later years, is available in the National Institute of Justice resources:

To learn more, visit the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, a series of publications funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

If you have not yet contacted law enforcement officials to report your missing child, please do so immediately. Ask them about the issuance of an AMBER Alert. Through AMBER Alert, law enforcement agencies and broadcasters activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child abduction cases. Request that law enforcement put out a Be On the Look Out (BOLO) bulletin. Ask them about involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the search for your child.

Additional helpful information for families about what to do when a child is missing is available in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention report, When Your Child is Missing: A Family Survival Guide and the Missing and Exploited Children page. Also contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 800–843–5678 and view their Missing-Child, Emergency-Response, Quick-Reference Guide for Families.

Also visit the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) website. NamUs is a clearinghouse for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. This free online system can be searched by law enforcement officials, other allied professionals, and the general public to solve these cases. To enter a missing persons report into the NamUs database, visit the registration page.

Information on children found at methamphetamine labs can be found in the OVC publication, Children at Clandestine Methamphetamine Labs: Helping Meth's Youngest Victims.

For additional information, visit the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children site.

Missing and exploited children statistics are available in resources from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Statistics section of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service's Missing Children Special Feature.

For additional information, visit the Child and Youth Victimization section of our website and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website.

When Your Child is Missing: A Family Survival Guide, an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention report, contains helpful information for families about what to do when a child is missing.

For additional information, visit the Child and Youth Victimization section of our website.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has created A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping, which provides information about and guidance on what to do if an international parental kidnapping has occurred.

Also, the U.S. Department of State has an International Parental Child Abduction page to assist the parent of an abducted child. Assistance may also be obtained from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

For additional information, visit the Child and Youth Victimization section of our website.