If you are trying to find a friend or loved one who has gone missing, aside from the pressing question of exactly where they are, the most worrying concern is why. Why did they go missing? What happened? Finding people in the UK is a great deal easier if a reason for their absence can be determined. If, for example, it is known the person has run a way from a particular person or situation, it’s easier to predict where they might avoid and where they might end up, than it is if the reason they left is unknown.
Almost half of the people who go missing in the UK each year are aged between 15 and 21. While the majority of them are found well and safe, the process of finding them can be tricky and understanding why they left is a great help.
Generally speaking, the fact that a person has gone missing is a symptom that there is something wrong. The majority of runaways are fleeing an unhappy or unhealthy situation at home, or wherever they are living in care.
Arguments with parents, friends, relatives and spouses frequently trigger a person going missing. But the cause could be something more serious, such as emotional or physical abuse. The reasons people go missing can be very complex. Nearly two-thirds of missing people have intentionally run away, yet that doesn’t necessarily mean they wanted to leave.
In all likelihood, the cause of someone leaving is the need to escape a problem – with a relationship, a financial difficulty, or some issue relating to their wellbeing. Up to 80% of missing people have mental health issues.
Young people and children in foster care and care homes are more likely to run away than individuals living with parents, due to the fact that their home environment isn’t as settled. Unfortunately, many of these young people are sent to live away from the area in which they grew up. When they leave, they often return to familiar faces and places and this can be a crucial insight to help find people who are missing.
Despite returning to familiar places, missing people are still at greater risk of sexual exploitation and other violent crime. Many fall in with manipulative older people who force them into compromising positions for money. It’s not usual for the runaway to come to see these abusers as boyfriends and girlfriends and choose to stay with them, or even run with them, if they are found.
Finding missing people in the UK can be difficult and emotionally draining, but we’re here to help – don’t delay, get in touch today.