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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Did you know that there are about 1,500 articles on this site? Yup. There are. No, I haven’t written them all…not by a long shot. There is a great host of contributors who have helped make this site grow so much. As of the writing of this post, though, I have either written or edited each and every one. That’s a lot of words.

For the most part, writing/editing a post has gotten fairly easy. I have, after all, done a lot of them. But every now and then a topic causes me to hesitate. This post is one of those.

It would be very easy to hit you with a bunch of facts, share a few links with important information, cheerily wish you a lovely day and be done with it. But that wouldn’t give this particular topic the attention it is really due.

I was all set to just write something quick and be done with it, when I read this article about the impact of child abduction by a family member.

Folks, I had no idea.

The California Child Abduction Task Force has begun an effort to help raise awareness on family abduction. That’s where I read the aforementioned article. Really, you should read it.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Can you imagine? Wow. There just really aren’t words.

The reason that the task force was created is that in California, child abduction is prevalent. An average of 5 children a day are reported as victims of family abduction. While “stranger danger” is an important tool to teach children, they may actually face greater risks from people they know, and even those closest to them.

Studies show there are approximately 115 stereotypical kidnappings by strangers each year in the U.S., but over 200,000 family abductions. To make matters worse, law enforcement isn’t always notified when children may be in danger. In fact, less than a 1/3 of all victims of parental abductions are reported as missing children.

In an effort to raise awareness on just how common family abduction is and the importance of getting involved, a public service announcement (PSA) has been released. This PSA offers a unique look at the living nightmare a parent faces every day that they are away from their children. Learn more about family abduction and how you can make a difference in the life of a child.

The task force site has other resources for the parents of an abducted child, including international situations. It is based in California, but parents in any US state could at least get some information that may help, as there is a tab with nationwide resources.

Here are a few ways you can spread the message on child abduction by a family member: