Finkelhor’s research has found that stranger crimes against children make up about 10 to 20 percent of the crimes committed against kids. She may have been truly freaked out. “This is a very unusual and perhaps implausible kind of abduction scenario,” Finkelhor said. And so? And versions of this scenario have been debunked by other law enforcement officials across the country, including Michigan and California.

Now parents are asking: Do human traffickers kidnap children? “It’s not happening overnight or as some people have described ‘in a matter of seconds or minutes,’” she said. March 30, 2017 / 5:13 PM Recently the fear has been massively reinforced on Facebook, where lots of moms are writing about how sex traffickers nearly snatched their children at Target/Ikea/the grocery store.

“I think it’s more likely these are parents who are concerned about a person behaving suspiciously and go to the possibility that this is for reasons of abduction or sex trafficking … ,” Finkelhor said. That’s not because I don’t trust the lady. More than 31,650 total cases of human trafficking have been reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in the past decade. “I’ve seen them take as long as a year or two years before they lure their victim away. … (No one ever mentioned that most were runaways or taken by non-custodial parents in a divorce case.) That doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t worry about their children. And for context, the federal government estimates nearly 74 million children under the age of 18 live in the United States. One of the claims that garnered the most attention from her post was that their actions were signs they wanted to abduct her children for sex trafficking. While at Sam's Club, one Facebook mom posted, "a man came up to us and asked if the empty cart nearby was ours.…He was an African American with a shaved head.…It seemed like an innocent encounter." No, he replied. “These types of stories perpetuate misinformation, which leads to people being misinformed about how human trafficking happens in real life,” she said. REPORT: Tell your children that even if the creep makes them promise/swear not to tell anyone, that doesn’t matter. “The most typical kind of kidnapping is of a teenage girl for the purposes of sexual assault,” Finkelhor said. “Sometimes -- very rarely – [it’s] for the purposes of abducting them into sex trafficking, but even that is very rare.”. Family members and family friends as well as other adults that kids have regular contact with and other children are all statistically more likely culprits than strangers when it comes to child abuse and assault. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. But that doesn’t mean Toyos didn’t have reason to be concerned. Mehlman-Orozco has conducted over 2,000 interviews with human traffickers and victims, and she says she’s never heard of a situation where someone was trafficked or kidnapped from a public place like IKEA. “But I’m not an expert (nor do I claim to be).”. “Anything is possible,” Mehlman-Orozco told CBS News. Demonstrators gather for Women's March in Washington, D.C. New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern wins second term in landslide, Federal government to execute first woman since 1953, Suspect in teacher's beheading in France was Chechen teen, "Big pile" of eels dumped at lake in Brooklyn park, Shark Lab tags record number of sharks off Southern Calif. coast, Battleground Tracker: Latest polls, state of the race and more, 5 things to know about CBS News' 2020 Battleground Tracker, CBS News coverage of voting rights issues. Rather than worrying about kidnapping, keep your kids safe by teaching them how to deal with any unwanted advances. Be in the know. © 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. What's the status of another stimulus check? Often, the molester will leave. Child kidnapping is a tough fear to shake. “They build a trust with their victims to make it seem like they’re consenting participants,” Mehlman-Orozco explained. If you look at evidence in cases of convicted human traffickers, kidnapping is very rare, Mehlman-Orozco explained. It seems to be the favorite topic of every cop drama, newscast, talk show—and an entire decade of Liam Neeson movies. But what I trust is data, and David Finkelhor, head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, is the data guy I turn to. But I don’t think that’s a very realistic scenario.”. Recently the fear has been massively reinforced on Facebook, where lots of moms are writing about how sex traffickers nearly snatched their children at Target/Ikea/the grocery store. When she was growing up, pictures of missing kids appeared on many milk cartons.

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