The Serious Side of Paradise: Santa Barbara’s Missing Kids

Cervins Central Coast

This blog is about the happy aspects of traveling to the California Central Coast: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey. But that doesn’t negate the seriousness of the article I wrote originally for the Santa Barbara News-Press for National Missing Children’s Day. My hope is that any of you who read this, regardless of where you are in the world, will be more aware and attuned to this global problem – our kids who go missing. Please share this information – and be mindful of what is happening in your community. Please.

It’s a sad commentary that we even have a National Missing Children’s Day – May 25th – but we do. Every day in the U.S. approximately 2,300 children under the age of 18 go missing, most voluntary, but many not. It’s estimated that 200,000 children annually are abducted by family members, and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members. The recent kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian girls by Boko Haran has highlighted a staggering problem not only across the globe, but right here in Santa Barbara. Our kids are at risk: from abduction, online predators, and physical sexual abuse which often is the root cause for kids to go missing in the first place.

Tim Hale is a Santa Barbara based attorney with the firm of Nye, Peabody, Stirling, Hale & Miller, LLP who represent victims of childhood sexual abuse in lawsuits against individuals and entities including the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, and public and private schools that have either failed to report or have actively tried to cover-up sexual abuse committed by their employees and volunteers. He knows firsthand the devastating effects our kids suffer. “Every child reacts differently – some withdraw and shutdown emotionally, some act with anger, sometimes with inappropriate sexual behavior, sometimes with self-medication through substance abuse,” he says. “Our lawsuits seek not only a monetary recovery for our clients’ injuries, but also the public release of a perpetrator’s personnel file where his employer’s cover-up has allowed him to escape criminal prosecution, rendering him unidentifiable to the public as a threat to children,” says Mr. Hale.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.