One is never too old to be taught and bad habits can be broken when it comes to advocating for missing persons. When an Amber Alert is issued, most caring people fervently share the information on media sites, pay attention to the highway notifications, and take notes of the details that scroll across the bottom of the television. Law enforcement agencies are on alert, request that local news stations get it reported, and canvass neighborhoods in search of the missing child. According to a recent report, American have approximately 90 thousand missing person in America as of 2014 and over half of this huge number of missing persons are male. Based on the NCIC Database, there were almost 900.000 missing persons entered in 2004. Almost eleven years later, the numbers have grown and one must wonder why are men that are reported missing given less urgency as missing children and women?
In American, males are expected to grow up to be providers, show strength, and groomed from childhood to be able to take care of themselves. What really happens when men become missing in America? As a attempt to offer an explanation, let’s look at how to learned to break bad habits as an advocate for missing persons. A page was put on social media for Diamond and Tionda Bradley and got many caring people to join in to help raise awareness about them and others missing. Being eager to get them shared on others pages, a petition was made asking others to sign. The petition got many signatures, but one person that have an adult son missing never signed the petition. An email asking why would she not support my efforts, that is when the lesson began. She in a very calm tone replied ” Sorry , I cannot support this petition”. This loving mother of a missing son, then posted on that social media page, “Because my son is not a child, a girl, or a woman does not mean he is not loved and is missing”! The bulb finally came on in my mind and changes were made on the petition to say, All Missing Persons Deserve To Be Found. Not only was this a lesson on how selfish those of us with missing children or woman are, but this should also be a lesson that even law enforcement agencies, and media outlets must learn.
Most men are not reported missing by family members because they also hold to the stereotype, that men can take care of themselves. Even though one may accept an immediate change of heart, an experience while advocating on behalf of missing Nicholas Brown from Chicago; completely changed even the mind set. It was found that, no matter how much media attention many begged for on behalf of Nicholas Brown, law enforcement was not welcoming the idea that Nicholas didn’t just walk away or is gone because he has a right to be gone. An advocate also faced many obstacles, when her mentally disabled nephew was missing. This young man was functional in the mind of our family, but those closely around totally underestimated the reality that he could become missing. According to family members, they thought he was staying at another family members home, when all the time he had not been seen in a month. A police report had been filed but no Silver Alert issued for my nephew in all that time. Of course, one would think a Silver Alert would have been put out, not in this case. Not only was he an adult man but also vulnerable. After posting his flier on social media, practically arguing with law enforcement, and many tears, someone on social media informed the advocate that he was seen near a nursing home. For this advocate to already have missing nieces and advocating for other missing children and women, she found this experience to show a drastic difference in the way authorities and media responded when it comes to missing men.
This missing person was finally traced to a nursing home, to know he was taken there, after he had been found disorientated sleeping on a bench. To this day, Nicholas Brown and so many other missing men cases are unsolved. No matter how much media attention is given in any missing person case, if law enforcement does not view reported missing men as just as important as missing children and women, many more will remain missing. Missing Men of America are not weak or strong men, they are missing men. Strong men can become missing, please help find them.