The news have been dominated by the images of a beautiful, blond , English girl.
The reason is that she now has been missing for some weeks.It happened while she was sleeping in a resort's room in the Algarve.
Waves of solidarity and compassion towards the desperate parents come from all the Portuguese and English people. The police are looking for the little Maddie, effortlessly. However, there's no sign of her .
Unfortunately, there are thousands of cases of children disappeared all over the world. Many of them are never to be found.
Children are victims of abuse, kidnap and traffic. Child abuse is a crime that is often perpretated by someone who is nearby to the child's families and routines.
Child abuse is a very complex and dangerous set of problems that include child neglect and the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children.
From the early 1970's when a national data bank was created, the yearly number of reports of child abuse has risen progressively. Initially, 700,000 incidents of child abuse were reported annually. Now there are approximately 2 million cases reported every year.
The frequency of documented child abuse increases with the age of the victim: children less than 2 years of age (6 per 1000) versus 15 to 17 years of age (14 per 1000). This statistic may reflect an increase in abuses or a rise in reporting. Obviously, very young children are incapable of verbally communicating the harm inflicted on them. Other factors such as fear, guilt, or confusion about the abuser's erratic behavior may also hinder younger children from informing on their abuser.