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National Human Trafficking Hotline Call 1-888-373-788 (TTY:711) Text 233733


Abduction Awareness

This is NOT her Parent

What is a Child Abduction?

Child Abduction is the offense of wrongfully removing or wrongfully retaining, detaining or concealing a child or baby.

Abduction is defined as taking away a person by persuasion, by fraud, or by open force or violence.

There are two types of child abduction: parental child abduction and abduction by a stranger.

Every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted.

Abduction Lures

  • Ask the kid to help to find a lost pet.
  • Ask the kid to get close to their car to give them directions.
  • Tell the child that their parent sent them to pick them up.
  • Bribery - candy or a puppy.
  • Emergency - tell the child their parent is hurt & they need to go with them right away.
  • Fear - scare them into coming with them.

Who Abducts Kids?

1. Family

2. Acquaintance

3. Stranger

Only about one child out of each 10,000 missing children reported to the local police is not found alive. However, about 20 percent of the children reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in nonfamily abductions are not found alive.

Watch this Social Experiment 

Ways to Prevent Child Abduction

Children should:

  • never say they are alone if they answer the phone: they can offer to take a message or say their parents will phone back.
  • never answer the door if they are alone.
  • not invite anyone into the house without the permission of a parent or babysitter.
  • not go into people's houses without letting anyone know where they are.never get into anyone's car without permission.
  • not take candy or other gifts from strangers or anyone else without asking a parent first.
  • never play in deserted buildings or isolated areas.
  • scream and scatter books and belongings if they are forced toward a building or car.
  • move away from a car that pulls up beside them if they do not know the driver.
  • be taught their full telephone number and address.
  • be taught that it's all right to say 'no' to an adult if the person wants them to do something you've taught them is wrong.
  • know that no one has the right to touch any part of their bodies that a bathing suit would cover.
  • tell you, school authorities or a police officer about anyone who exposes private parts.
  • tell you if someone has asked them to keep a secret from you.
  • go to the nearest cashier if lost or separated from you in a store or mall.

Parents should:

  • avoid clothing and toys with your child's name on it. A child is less likely to fear someone that knows his/her name.
  • background check all babysitters
  • stay off your cell phone when in public with your kids
  • never leave a child alone in a public place, stroller or car. Not even for a minute and don't turn your back on your kid
  • always accompany young children to the bathroom in a public place and advise them never to play in or around the area.
  • always accompany your child on door-to-door activities, i.e. Halloween, school fundraising campaigns, etc.
  • point out safe houses or homes with the Block Parent sign where children can go if they are in trouble.
  • keep an up-to-date color photograph of your child, a medical and dental history, and have your child fingerprinted.

Watch another Social Experiment

General safety Tips


  • Know your name, address, and phone number(s)
  • Know your parents/guardians cell numbers
  • Know where your parents/guardian work
  • Learn how and when to call 911
  • If you are scared of someone, RUN to safety
  • Never give directions to an adult. This may be a ploy to get you close to their car to abduct you
  • It’s okay to be RUDE to a grown-up if you feel you are unsafe
  • Learn the difference between an “OKAY” secret and a “NOT OKAY” secret
  • Don’t let anyone on the phone or at the door know that you are home alone
  • If you ever get lost in a mall, ask the closest store clerk for help and then stay where you are until you are found
  • Avoid shortcuts when you are walking from one place to another, stay in public
  • If you are ever “grabbed" by someone, scream, kick, bite and FIGHT as hard as you can to get away!
  • NEVER go with a stranger or adult you know even if they tell you your parents/guardians told them to come get you unless they use the family code
  • Tell your parents/guardians or a trusted adult if someone is asking you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Listen to your "gut". Those knots and twists in the tummy are telling you something doesn't seem right
  • Always ask your parents/guardians for permission before getting on the Internet
  • Never talk to people online without your parents/guardians permission, including online kid games
  • Always tell your parents/guardians if someone is scaring, threatening or intimidating you online or in person
  • Tell your parents/guardians or a trusted adult if a person makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Never accept candy or gifts from a stranger
  • Say "NO" to anyone that tries to make you do something you do not want to do


  • Establish trust & open communication with your kids
  • Make sure you always have a current photo of your kids on your phone
  • Tell them you love them every day
  • Build up your kids self-worth
  • Tell your kids the things you like about them
  • Teach your kids to never accept candy or gifts from a stranger
  • Avoid dressing your kids in clothes with their names on it
  • Do not get backpacks or items with their names on them
  • Make sure your kids medical & dental records are up-to-date
  • Don't focus on the wrong things your kids may do
  • Teach your kids how to listen to their "gut"
  • Never leave kids unattended in a car, stroller or store, even for just a minute
  • When shopping with little kids, never let go of the shopping cart or stroller
  • Make sure you know how to find & contact your kids at all times.
  • Know who your kids friend are & how to contact them
  • Have a “Call List” of emergency contacts and make sure your kids know the numbers for who to call if they can’t reach you
  • Develop a family code that will be used in the event of an emergency & another person has to pick them up from school
  • Take an active role in your children’s activities & get to know who the instructors are
  • Take the time to listen intently to your kids when they tell you they had a bad dream. There could be a reason
  • Trust your instincts
  • Question and monitor anyone who takes an unusual interest in your kids
  • Teach your kids that they can be rude to an adult if they feel threatened in any way
  • Teach kids the difference between an “OKAY” secret and a “NOT OKAY” secret
  • Have your kids practice their most annoying scream just in case they need to use it someday
  • Log onto Family Watch Dog and register to be notified if sex offenders move into your neighborhood
  • Talk to your kids about the type of people to stay away from and why
  • Keep your family computers in a central location that is easily monitored and avoid letting your kids have internet access in unsupervised areas (i.e. computers in their bedrooms, etc.).
  • Teach your kids to say "NO" to anyone that tries to make them do something they do not want to do
  • For younger kids makes sure they know the houses they can go to if they need help or a safe place to go
  • Try to remember daily what your kid was wearing