My friend, journalist and awesome blog talk radio host of Cubanarama Missing N America and Cold Cases Marta Sosa wrote this beautiful poem last year for a cold case show. I wanted to share this with you. Thank you Marta.
Where Have the Children Gone?
by Marta Sosa
In the shadows of the night, you will hear my voice. I had a life to live, I had a destiny to fulfill. A mission to accomplish and a dream to carry out. In the eternity of the dark you will feel my cry. You, you with your selfish desires and venereal appetite murdered me without mercy. In the midnight hour; You, you will remember my plea. You imprisoned my soul for a time and quelled my essence. Now and forever may your spirit be nauseated with the memory of your sin. In the shadows of the night; I promise you, YOU will hear my voice!
* * *
In 2008, I was just finishing up my master’s degree in criminology and I was working on a paper about juvenile crime and punishment. I came across some staggering statistics about missing children and it really made me stop and think about the real reality of it. I couldn’t believe that approximately 800,000 children are reported missing every year.
It was a pivotal moment that spurred me to write my Emily Stone Thriller Series. This fictional heroine not only hunts down serial killers but child abductors as well.
Below are yearly statistics of missing children according to The U.S. Department of Justice reports and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
- 797,500 children (younger than 18) were reported missing in a one-year period of time studied resulting in an average of 2,185 children being reported missing each day.
- 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions.
- 58,200 children were the victims of non-family abductions.
- 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. (These crimes involve someone the child does not know or someone of slight acquaintance, who holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently.)
Statistics in regard to online exploitation:
- Approximately one in seven youth online (10 to 17-years-old) received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet.
- Four percent (4%) received an aggressive sexual solicitation – a solicitor who asked to meet them somewhere; called them on the telephone; or sent them offline mail, money, or gifts.
- Thirty-four percent (34%) had an unwanted exposure to sexual material — pictures of naked people or people having sex.
- Twenty-seven percent (27%) of the youth who encountered unwanted sexual material told a parent or guardian. If the encounter was defined as distressing – episodes that made them feel very or extremely upset or afraid – forty-two percent (42%) told a parent or guardian.
* * *
Scary and sad, but thank you for publishing this. A neighbor’s kid just told my son about a website he saw from another friend – porn, of course – and the neighbor boy told my son, “You should really go look at it!” Thank God my son talks to me!
This is such a disturbing issue. A couple of years ago I was doing research on a novel and spent some time on the website for missing/exploited children. It is haunting. And just last week we had a young boy disappear less than 10 miles from my home. I didn’t let my own out of my site until that other boy was found.