May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day.
By on May 17th, 2011

Every year in America an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing.  This is more than 2,000 children each day. Of those children, 200,000 are abducted by family members and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members.

It is horrifying to think that many of those 58,000 non-family abductions are taken for sex.

You can help by looking at the alerts and praying for a child to be brought home.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a list of ways to get involved…

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day. Each year the Department of Justice (DOJ) commemorates Missing Children’s Day with a ceremony honoring the heroic and exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals to protect children.

This year Detective First Class Dana Ward Jr. will receive the 2011 Missing Children’s Child Protection award at the National Missing Children’s Day ceremony in Washington, D.C. Ward investigates an average of 100 cases a year and makes about 25 arrests during that time for cases of child, sex, mental health and elder abuse.

A bulletin board at Ward’s desk is covered with homemade cards, pictures, and colored pages that remind him of the cases he has worked in the past 16 years.  One of his cases included a teen who was locked in her attic and repeatedly abused by her father. Siblings were hooked up to an electrical contraption and punished. Two girls were forced to watch their father sexually assault their older sister.

There is also a picture of 2 year old Darisabel, before her body was covered in 72 bruises and lacerations.  Darisabel Baez died April 6, 2008, after being beaten by her mother’s boyfriend, Harve Johnson.  “The cases are difficult, they always are,” Ward said. “But I have a lot of support from my family, my co-workers. I can look up at the wall and know I’ve helped people.”

Working with and for abused children takes every ounce of strength and courage.  Orphan Justice Center honors and respects all of those who give so much to speak up for the vulnerable.  We hope that you will join us in praying for these heroes… asking that they will have wisdom and strategies in how to bring help and freedom, knowledge in how to go forward, and loving support from family and friends to help them through the difficult situations that they face every week.

May 25th is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school. Etan’s story captivated the nation.  His photo was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the country and around the world.

The powerful image of Etan has come to symbolize the anguish and trauma of thousands of searching families.  The search for Etan continues.  He is still missing.

An analysis of attempted abduction cases by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) found that in 82% of the cases, children escaped would-be abductors through their own actions, by yelling, kicking, pulling away, running away or attracting attention.

There are things we can do that help keep children safe and we urge you to take 25 minutes to talk to children about safety.  Here are tips from the (NCMEC) site

At Home

1. Teach your children their full names, address, and home telephone number. Make sure they know your full name.

2. Make sure your children know how to reach you at work or on your cell phone.

3. Teach your children how and when to use 911 and make sure your children have a trusted adult to call if they’re scared or have an emergency.

4. Instruct children to keep the door locked and not to open the door to talk to anyone when they are home alone. Set rules with your children about having visitors over when you’re not home and how to answer the telephone.

5. Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbors. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing.  Ask children how the experience with the caregiver was and listen carefully to their responses.

On the Net

6. Learn about the Internet. The more you know about how the Web works, the better prepared you will be to teach your children about potential risks. Visit for more information about Internet safety.

7. Place the family computer in a common area, rather than a child’s bedroom. Also, monitor their time spent online and the Web sites they’ve visited and establish rules for Internet use.

8. Know what other access your child may have to the Internet at school, libraries, or friends’ homes.

9. Use privacy settings on social networking sites to limit contact with unknown users and make sure screen names don’t reveal too much about your children.

10. Encourage your children to tell you if anything they encounter online makes them feel sad, scared, or confused.

11. Caution children not to post revealing information or inappropriate photos of themselves or their friends online.

Going to and from School

12. Walk or drive the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. If your children ride a bus, visit the bus stop with them to make sure they know which bus to take.

13. Remind kids to take a friend whenever they walk or bike to school. Remind them to stay with a group if they’re waiting at the bus stop.

14. Caution children never to accept a ride from anyone unless you have told them it is OK to do so in each instance.

Out and About

15. Take your children on a walking tour of the neighborhood and tell them whose homes they may visit without you.

16. Remind your children it’s OK to say NO to anything that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused and teach your children to tell you if anything or anyone makes them feel this way.

17. Teach your children to ask permission before leaving home.

18. Remind your children not to walk or play alone outside.

19. Teach your children to never approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they know the owner and are accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult.

20. Practice “what if” situations and ask your children how they would respond. “What if you fell off your bike and you needed help? Who would you ask?”

21. Teach your children to check in with you if there is a change of plans.

22. During family outings, establish a central, easy-to-locate spot to meet for check-ins or should you get separated.

23. Teach your children how to locate help at theme parks, sports stadiums, shopping malls, and other public places. Also, identify those people who they can ask for help, such as uniformed law enforcement, security guards and store clerks with nametags.

24. Help your children learn to recognize and avoid potential risks, so that they can deal with them if they happen.

25. Teach your children that if anyone tries to grab them, they should make a scene and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.

The Missing Children’s Day poster contest provides an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and other community organizations to engage children and their parents in informative discussions about the problem of missing children and how to prevent it.  Here are a few of these posters… you can view others at

OJC celebrates these children who are learning to speak up for other children…

Emily Nelson, Redmond, Washington

Taylor Methany, Shreveport, Louisiana

Brooke Allen, Rogersville, Missouri


Thomas DeLeon, Flagler Beach, Florida

Haley VanNada, Flippin, Arkansas

Emma Korosei, Anchorage, Alaska









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