Ernie Allen is the co-founder and president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Since the center opened in 1984, it has helped recover more than 110,000 children.
So what is really going on with child safety in this country? "The laws have failed America's children," Ernie says. "This is a problem that's touching millions of kids and millions of families."
Ernie says some of the facts to consider are:
- Of the more than 600,000 convicted and registered sex offenders living in the United States, 100,000 are missing.
- California is the state with the highest number of registered sex offenders at 109,000. Second is Texas, with 50,000. Ranking third is Michigan, with 40,000.
- Only 1 in 3 sexual offenses against children are ever reported.
- 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized in some way in the United States before they turn 18.
- Forty to 50 percent of those who victimize girls are family members, but only 10 to 20 percent of those who victimize boys are in the family.