This article reports on the results of a national survey of 10,544 households containing 20,505 children as part of the National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children. On the basis of the survey, and using a broad, legal definition of abduction that includes many short-term violations of custody arrangements, the authors estimate that, in 1988, approximately 354,100 children were abducted by a family member. Using a more restrictive definition that is closer to the popular stereotype--that is, a situation where there is concealment, transportation to another state, or an intent to keep the child or to permanently alter custodial privileges--they estimate that there were 163,200 family-abducted children
Children Abducted by Family Members: A National Household Survey of Incidence and Episode Characteristics
Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., & Sedlak, A. (1991). Children Abducted by Family Members: A National Household Survey of Incidence and Episode Characteristics. Journal of Marriage and Family, 53(3), 805-817.