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BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor

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Help Find Missing Children in Your Community


A new year is closing and children are still missing. What can you do to help missing children? People who want to help look for a missing child can help right from their home. Get in the habit of actively looking at children you see when you are out in your community. Visit the The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) website and read the stories of the children in your area who are missing.

Read the stories of any child who happens to catch your heart. Parents who abduct a child often move across the country. This is to prevent detection and capture from law enforcement. Therefore, a child kidnapped in California could land in the Midwest or even out East. A missing child can be anywhere.

Go to the Code Amber - The Web's Amber Alert System website, and learn what an amber alert means in your area. The helpful websites suggested in the article have links provided at the end of the article for easy access. Sign up for amber alerts. This way you can help keep an eye out in your community for an abducted child at the time an Amber Alert sounds.

Print off flyers of missing and abducted children in your area. Ask the stores, gas stations, and banks you visit for if you can hang one of the flyers up. Yes, the family is still putting up flyers, keeping their childís name out their but often they are 60-80 miles from your location, and in reality, no one can cover hundreds of miles every day or week. You will be an angel for the child and the family. Keep a flyer in the window of your van or car of the missing or abducted child, if you can do so safely with out hindering your driving. Many vans have side windows where a small 8 Ĺ by 11 sheet of paper printed missing or abducted child poster would not interfere in any way with driving or backing up.

Always be sure to report anything suspicious to law enforcement when it comes to a child or children in your area. If you suspect child abuse do not turn away or doubt what you are seeing or hearing. Listen to your heart. If you feel something is wrong then it probably is. Call the National Child Abuse Hotline; you can make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect anonymously.

When calling the National Child Abuse Hotline hot line, never make a call out of revenge. To tie up the child abuse investigators with a fake complaint is the same as calling 911 and using them to take you to the hospital for an ingrown toenail. That means the workers are not available when an abused child needs their services.

However, one last note of caution, err on the side of safety versus not calling. If you are constantly feeling something is wrong with a particular child most likely there is something going on. It is better to call the National Child Abuse Hotline and find out later you were wrong, than to not call and find out later the child died or lived three extra years in hell because you were not sure what to do.

Finally, if you see a child and the abductor, call your local authorities immediately, through 911. Get as much descriptive information as possible, including what type, color, make, model, and license plate the abductor is driving. If you are able to detain the child and abductor with out placing yourself in jeopardy then try to keep them there until authorities arrive. This however is risky, as most abductors are hypervigilant and can easily sense when something is going on and may become violent if they feel the law is closing in on them. Please do not place your self-at risk.

There is a saying it takes a village to raise a child; I believe it takes a community to bring a lost, missing, runaway, or kidnapped child home. We are all responsible to watch out for the children in this world. There is evil out there, and the big people need to help the little people stay safe and come home safely at night. Until next time I give each of you a challenge, find a child that is missing and adopt them. Adopt their cause. Learn their story. Print their posters and put them up in your community. When someone takes those down, put new ones up. Keep an eye out and know that until that child comes home you will forever look for that boy or girl as if he or she was your own.

I send all of you angels to keep you safe, angels above you, angels below you, angels all around you 365 days and nights in the New Year ahead.
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The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
Code Amber - The Web's Amber Alert System
National Child Abuse Hotline
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Content copyright © 2014 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.

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