Saturday, September 12, 2009

Abductions are Rare. Kidnappings are Very Rare.

To follow up on Atrios's response to concerned parents, child fatalities in car crashes are significantly more common than stranger kidnappings. In 2002, the DOJ estimates that there were approximately 115 "stereotypical kidnappings". Now, "kidnapping" is narrowly defined to mean holding the child overnight and/or transporting them 50 miles or more and/or ransoming/assaulting/killing them. Obviously having your eleven-year old whisked into a van, molested, and then put back on the street is something parents would be rightly concerned about. But among juvenile victims, a stranger perpetrates sexual assault in just seven percent of all cases. As best I can do the math on this, a child's odds of being sexually assaulted by a stranger are about the same as their odds of being killed in a car crash. To be sure, both of these are bad, but one of them is much worse.
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