The statistics are well-publicized: 2,000 children are reported missing every day in this country; nearly 800,000 children disappear for at least a time every year; one in four girls and one in eight boys will be sexually exploited or abused before reaching adulthood.

Ever since Adam Walsh was abducted and murdered in 1981, we have been barraged with images of children taken, molested and sometimes murdered. Every region of the country has a name that personifies these tragedies — Jacob Wetterling, Jimmy Ryce, Sarah Ann Wood, Melissa Brannon, Polly Klass and many more. Much of what is known, however, is misunderstood, and this leads to unnecessary fear on one hand and dangerous complacency on the other.

While nearly 800,000 children are reported missing for a while each year, according to FBI statistics, 99% are found through law enforcement efforts. This still leaves a staggering 8,000 to 10,000 missing despite a...

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