May 25 was declared International Memorial Day by U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983. In New York City, the body of a six-year-old boy, Etan Patz, who was wanted for half a year in 1979, was found that day. He was the first to have a photo posted on milk cartons.
23 countries currently commemorate Missing Children Day: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa. the Republic of Africa, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Hungary. World Day aims to raise awareness of missing, abused children, prevention and cooperation between countries on this issue.
In Hungary, thousands of children are reported to the police every year, the vast majority of them are teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18. According to statistics, 30 percent of minors appear within 1 day, 30 percent within 1 week, and 35 percent within 1 month, meaning they return home in 95 percent of cases. Already on the internet, social networking sites can help you find it. However, it is shocking that hundreds of people disappear in Hungary every year.
Reményi Csekeő Csekeő psychologist, the professional leader of the Line Children’s Crisis Borbá Blue Foundation, told the Index that he also comes to them every 2-3 days, which he visits by phone and partly in writing. This meant 166 consultations in 2021.
“They’re primarily teenagers on the phone, with plans to escape, who’re in some kind of family crisis. We are often approached by relatives or orphanage professionals. All in public care 5-6. teens are not where they should be. An orphanage has no discretion, if they do not return in time for a weekend family visit, for example, to report it immediately to the police. According to statistics, far fewer children disappear from the family, ”he explained.
When do we have to worry?
The psychologist drew attention to the fact that we always need to know where we are, with whom, and where our teenage child is going.
The specialist told the Index: if the child is trustworthy, it has never happened to be late before, an hour after the scheduled time it is worth calling, first if he is not reached, we will call the friends he went with. For this age group, it is mainly a matter of the limits of their freedom elsewhere, staying longer in a nightclub, not paying attention to time in company, or their mobile phone running low. Whether we have cause for concern always depends on the personality of the child. However, a child can be “self-sufficient” if I take responsibility for myself, if I can judge emergencies.
According to Borbála Reményiné Csekeő, teaching about this should start at an early age so that she knows who the adults she can trust, dare to ask for help on her own, and can recognize if a stranger is approaching her maliciously. This is not expected at a certain age without adequate maturity and experience. Disappearances are much less common in young children and are usually back to their parents after a couple. They can get lost in a shopping mall or hypermarket, there are times when they do not come for them at the agreed time, unfortunately accidents can occur in a few hours, or the child may have traumatic experiences.
“It’s important to emphasize that young children need constant attention. If the child is lost in the crowd, in some larger complex, on the beach, the staff, the security service and then the police must be notified immediately, usually within 1-2 hours. In the case of separated parents, it is also the case that a party who does not have the right to parental responsibility unlawfully removes a. Last year, we asked us for help in 10 such cases, ”explained the head of the Children’s Crisis Foundation.
It can be tragic if we act too late
The psychologist added that although criminalization is rare, the chances of it increasing over time increase.
Wanderers can quickly encounter a medium, adults, who can take advantage of inexperience. They are helped, but in return they can be forced into prostitution, given drugs, or enshrined in law.
Most of the disappearances come from escape, and it is the parents ’job to provide for the safety of their children. A bad certificate can never be good for an escape or a fatal move. Adolescent suicide attempts are often caused by mental illness or adolescent depression, the symptoms of which appear earlier. The family may not provide a safe environment for the child if abuse occurs or there is regular physical, verbal abuse in the family, even if it affects the spouse or other relatives, it is considered child abuse because it also causes mental harm to the minor.
Constant quarrels at home also provide an unpleasant atmosphere for the child to feel the need to escape. But it is important for them to know that there is help available, they can influence the Family Support and Child Welfare Service in their place on their own, or they can call the Blue Line Child Crisis Foundation at 116 111. If we are faced with a situation where the environment is not safe for the child, child protection officers should take the necessary action at home.
Said the specialist.
What can be done if the child is missing?
Borbála Reményiné Csekeő drew attention, as the first few hours are the most critical, it is important to act quickly.
If you do not have access to your teen’s phone, call your friends or the last person you are with. Ask relatives, acquaintances, school, schoolmates if they have seen, talked to him, indicated where he wants to escape, and where he is going. We can also use the social network to obtain information. We are looking for places you would like to visit. In the case of a chronically ill patient or a child with a mental illness who is in a bad state of mind, if there is any suspicion that he is using the substance or feels that he is in danger, immediate action should be taken.
Said the expert.
He added that we should notify the police on 112, then we can turn to the Blue Line for advice on 116,000. “Most cases are usually circumvented within 24 hours, but the time factor plays a big role in the chance of that,” the psychologist said.
According to the psychologist, from their experience, when a child who has escaped from a bad family environment comes out, unfortunately few people look for the reasons and typically do not change them.
“If a teenager is received back not with fearful love but with scolding, it only confirms that the escape was not a bad move,” said the professional head of the Blue Line Children’s Crisis Foundation.
(Cover image: rbkomar / Moment RF / Getty Images Hungary)