Missing Children and Women Crisis in SA

Over the years, many children and women have gone missing, but it seems that this problem is getting worse and worse as the years go by. You would be shocked and horrified at the actual number of people who go missing every day. The actual numbers are much higher, as many of these crimes go unreported. Where are these women and children and why does this happen?

Some of the reasons children go missing

There are many children out there, especially in rural areas, who just don’t have proper supervision. Both parents have to be away at work in order to bring in enough money to support the family. Without adequate care, these kids are left to wander the streets, unaware of the dangers lurking around the corner.

Those who come from poor homes, sometimes have no choice to leave and hope for something better elsewhere. Only to get into situations, which may be even worse than what they left, such as being forced into slavery. The worst about this situation is that the parents or guardians usually don’t have access to the proper resources or cannot contact the police in order to locate their missing family member.

Human Trafficking is on the rise and is a problem that is found worldwide. Often you hear of an attempted kidnapping at a shopping mall or school, where predators prey on the innocent. Child molesters are also on the prowl, many times living in the same neighbourhood as you.

There are even those who kidnap children, purely for financial gain. Asking the parents for ransom money in exchange for their child. Whatever the reason a child or women goes missing, it is about time something is done about the matter. How many of the perpetrators are actually caught, and do they remain behind bars?

“One missing child is one too many” John Walsh

Here are some ways you can be proactive:

  • Always be alert around your children
  • Teach kids safety tips. Make sure they know your number off by heart and know the correct person to ask help from.
  • You can even go as far as attaching a GPS tracker to their clothing, this is especially helpful for the younger children who cannot yet understand.
  • Learn who your children’s friends are and their contact numbers
  • Teach them about ‘Stanger Danger’
  • Create a password only family members know, so when somebody tries to pick up your child from school, the child will know not to get in that car.

Where can you go for help?

The first thing to do is to report any missing person to the police. Make sure to take a recent photo with you and provide a description of them, such as what they were wearing at the time they disappeared and where they were last seen.

There are also some non-profit organizations that help the public in cases of missing people.

Here are a few links:

The role of  social media

Social media also plays a huge role nowadays in finding missing women and children. Of course, there are also online dangers. Almost everyone has access to the internet, even kids. There are those who use this to their advantage and lure vulnerable people to them.

On the other hand, social media helps where every second counts. Facebook gets communities together and helps to spread the word around. Many of the social pages have hundreds, if not thousands of followers. Each of these followers can then share on their page, broadening the number of people being reached.

The world is unfortunately not as safe as we would like it to be. There are always those who wish to take advantage of others who are vulnerable, like women and children. We should bring awareness and communities together, become aware of those in need around us, helping and supporting those in need.

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