Why do children and young people go missing?
There are a wide range of reasons why adults and children go missing, with varying levels of intentionality, and often more than one cause. The charity is keen to enhance understanding of these factors further, which will require further research.
Among the most common reasons for children to be missing are:
- Conflict, abuse and neglect at home: more than half of missing children have experienced this and 1 in 5 children felt forced to leave
- Sexual exploitation: 7 in 10 young people who have been sexually exploited have also been reported missing
- Mental health issues: at least 1 in 10 missing children
The most common issues raised in conversations with the children contacting our helpline are (in order of commonality):
- Problems at home
- Abuse, domestic violence or child sexual exploitation
- Mental health issues including risks of suicide or self-harm
- Living in care
Research about the reasons why people go missing can be found in Lost from View (pg. 14-26)