The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Celebrates 25 Years of Service

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 8
More than 675,000 Reports of Child Sexual Exploitation and More than 135,000 Missing Children Recovered
ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 8 PRNewswire-USNewswire More missing children come home safely today than any other time in American history. And more offenders who prey upon children are identified and successfully prosecuted than ever before according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). The organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and states that despite that progress there is much more that needs to be done to keep children safe.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children was born from tragedy following a series of high profile missing child cases. In 1979, six year old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school and was never seen again. Two years later six-year old Adam Walsh was abducted from a Florida shopping mall and found brutally murdered. And there were others.
In 1984 President Ronald Reagan announced the creation of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S. Congress passed the historic Missing Children’s Assistance Act which resulted in the designation of NCMEC as the National Resource Center and Clearinghouse on Missing and Exploited Children and the creation of a national 24-hour, toll-free missing children’s hotline.
Twenty-five years later NCMEC has become one of the most respected and trusted charities in America with nineteen separate mandates from the U.S. Congress.
Although well known for its work to recover missing children, the organization does a broad range of other work that is lesser known. For example, few people may be aware that:
• It is the only charity in America with online access to the FBI’s NCIC databases, with FBI agents, US Marshals and others assigned to its headquarters.
• The organization has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of 135,000 children, and in 2008, helped recover more children than any other year in its 25-year history, raising its recovery rate from 62% in 1990 to 97% today.
• Its toll-free, 24-hour national missing children’s hotline has handled more than 2.5 million calls for service.
• It operates a missing children’s photo distribution system including 400 companies which have played a significant role in the recovery of thousands of missing children.
• The organization dispatches its Team Adam, a group of retired law enforcement officials who are experts in the investigation of missing child cases, directly to the scene of the most serious cases to advise and assist local law enforcement.
• It is the central data and information hub for the national AMBER Alert program, which has rescued 432 children.
• It has a team of forensic artists who create age progression photos, images of what a 2-year-old looks like ten years later, with 830 children recovered. And its artists create facial reconstructions from skeletal remains or morgue photos to identify deceased children.
• It has a Cold Case Unit that has resolved 380 long-term cases, including one from 1947.
• It has trained more than 253,000 police and prosecutors
• The organization operates the CyberTipline which is the 9-1-1 for reporting suspected child sexual exploitation. It has handled more than 675,000 reports.
• It operates a Child Victim Identification Program which reviewed and analyzed more than 8.6 million child pornography images and videos in 2008 alone in the attempt to identify the child victims.
• The organization heads a coalition with 31 financial and Internet companies which has virtually eliminated the use of the credit card for purchasing child pornography, and is now targeting new methods of payment.
• It operates a new Sex Offender Tracking Unit which has already located 350 missing sex offenders, who have been arrested and brought to justice.
“The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has made remarkable progress during the past 25 years,” stated Ernie Allen, President & CEO of NCMEC. “However our progress is a collaborative effort with law enforcement and a direct result of the extraordinary support we have received from Congress, the Justice Department, corporate sponsors, the news media and the public. Yet despite that progress, more needs to be done because every child deserves a safe childhood.”
Missing Children. An estimated 800,000 children are reported missing each year – that is more than 2,000 children every day. Of that number, 200,000 are taken by family members, and 58,000 are the victims of non-family abductions. The vast majority are recovered quickly. However, each year more than 110 children are the victims of the most serious abductions.
Sexual Exploitation of Children. An estimated 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized before age 18. Yet, only 1 in 3 will tell anyone about it.
1 in 7 children who are regular Internet users are sexually solicited online.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
NCMEC is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The headquarters of NCMEC is located in Alexandria, VA. Other offices include Tustin, CA; Naples, FL; Lake Park, FL; Naples, FL; Kansas City, KS; Rochester, NY; Utica, NY; Columbia, SC; and Austin, TX.
For more information NCMEC go to Source: NCMEC


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