Not every child that goes missing is abducted. Some children leave home for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, not every child that goes missing is found. Sadly, not every missing child is found alive. And not every child that goes missing is a toddler or baby.
Teenagers go missing. They leave home for a variety of reasons, ranging from arguments with family members to refusing to abide by house rules. Subsequently many of them may find themselves on a slippery downhill slope, sometimes involving prostitution and drugs.
Some person, will seek out the vulnerable runaway and use that teenager, who has no money and no place to stay, as a means to earn income. When that teenager has nowhere to turn, some unscrupulous person will use this person’s vulnerability to suit their own agenda.
Many missing children, end up on the streets and in a situation where they are too scared and too frightened to runaway.
Too scared to escape and too scared to return home for fear of what their parents may say.
Yes there are incidents where children go missing and the parents don’t care, but thank god, they are in a minority.
But one thing the McCann case has taught a lot of people is how to use the media to your advantage when you have a missing child, especially social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook.
I was driving home today from Bluewater and some sad thoughts crossed my mind.
We have all seen the vilification of Kate and Gerry McCann on sites and blogs. We have all seen the creation of a Foundation where some of the group stand on street corners distributing leaflets accusing the parents, of a missing child, of being complicit in that child’s disappearance.
We have seen this group target the neighbours of a missing child’s family by delivering leaflets through their doors telling them their neighbour, namely the McCanns, are not speaking the truth and could be involved in their daughters disappearance, all based on a theory by a convicted ex-detective.
We are now witnessing a so-called Profiler from America promoting her e-book, that is flawed and basically lacking in research.
This is not finding the truth of what happened to a missing child, this is nothing but a witch-hunt against the parents of a missing child.
Just imagine if you had a missing child, and upon seeing how effective the McCann campaign to find their daughter is, and searched and found these sites and blogs that orchestrate such a hate campaign against the McCanns, how would you feel?
My sad thoughts on driving home today were, how many people might not be able to face a barrage of abuse, accusations and spite?
How many parents might deter from starting online campaigns to find their missing child, for fear of those that will accuse them of being bad parents or even worse, accuse them of harming their missing child?
How many parents might be fearful of using the media, in case the media started to turn on them?
It is so easy to say, “I wouldn’t care what people said about me.”
Well that is easier said than done. They won’t know what affect it will have on them until they find themselves at the end of the abuse. It takes a very strong person to ignore. And sadly human nature, has this awful tendency to make you wonder what people are saying and that drives you to read the vitriolic comments being made about you and your family.
When you are not having to deal with the heartbreak of having a missing child, to read nasty comments about you, is bad enough, personally I think of Kate’s words about the people that write them, “F**king T*sser”.
But just imagine having to deal with online abuse as well as suffering the torment of not knowing where your child is or if your child is alive. It doesn’t seem humane, does it, that people put others through added torment by writing such vitriolic comments?
It is a sobering thought, if just one family of a missing child deter from using the Internet and Social Networking to find their child, for fear of what others might do. A very sobering thought indeed, isn’t it?