abducted adj : (of persons) seized and detained unlawfully, often for ransom; "the father restored the kidnapped (or abducted) child to the mother" [syn: kidnapped, kidnaped]
- (RP) /æbˈdʌktɪd/
- past of abduct
Scope of application in the United StatesIn criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or asportation of a person against the person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority. This is often done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime. A majority of jurisdictions in the United States retain the "asportation" element for kidnapping, where the victim must be confined in a bounded area against their will and moved. Any amount of movement will suffice for the requirement, even if it is moving the abductee to a house next door. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, however, the asportation element has been abolished. Note that under early English common law, the asportation element required that the victim be moved outside the realm of England or overseas in order for an abduction to be considered "kidnapping."
Kidnapping for money is almost non-existent in the United States of America today, due in great part to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's aggressive stance toward kidnapping. The Bureau made kidnap for ransom a special priority, and continues to do so today. It pursues kidnap cases ferociously; agents who have rescued kidnap victims have been known to describe these rescues as personal high points of their careers.
There are several deterrents to kidnapping in the United States of America. Among these are:
- The extreme logistical challenges involved in successfully exchanging the money for the victim without being apprehended or surveiled.
- Harsh punishment. Convicted kidnappers can expect to face lengthy prison terms. If a victim is brought across state lines, federal charges can be brought as well.
- Good cooperation and information sharing between law enforcement agencies, and tools for spreading information (such as the AMBER Alert system.)
The harsh sentences imposed and the poor risk-to-benefit ratio compared with other crimes have caused kidnap for profit virtually to die out in the United States. One notorious failed example of kidnap for ransom was the Chowchilla bus kidnapping, in which 26 children were abducted with the intention of bringing in a $5 million ransom. Kidnappings for profit that do occur in the United States today are often connected to other criminal activity.
In the past, and presently in some parts of the world (such as southern Sudan), kidnapping is a common means used to obtain slaves and money through ransom. In more recent times, kidnapping in the form of shanghaiing (or "pressganging") men was used to supply merchant ships in the 19th century with sailors, whom the law considered unfree labour.
Kidnapping can also take place in the context of deprogramming, a now rare practice used to convince someone to give up his or her commitment to a new religious movement, called a cult or sect by critics, that the subject's family members consider harmful, prompting their hiring of a deprogrammer.
Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe the relationship a hostage can build with their kidnapper.
According to a 2003 Domestic Violence Report in Colorado, out of a survey of 189 incidents, most people (usually white females) are taken from their homes or residence by a present or former spouse or significant other. They are usually taken by force, not by weapon, and usually the victims are not injured when they are freed.
Kidnapping versus abductionIn the terminology of the common law in many jurisdictions (according to Black's Law Dictionary), the crime of kidnapping is labelled abduction when the victim is a woman. In modern usage, kidnapping or abduction of a child is often called child stealing, particularly when done not to collect a ransom but rather with the intention of keeping the child permanently (often in a case where the child's parents are divorced or legally separated, whereupon the parent who does not have legal custody will commit the act, also known as "childnapping"). Today, the term is no longer restricted to the case of a child victim.
Child abduction can refer to children being taken away without their parents' consent but with the consent of the child. In England and Wales, it is child abduction to take away a child under the age of 16 without parental consent.
Kidnapping in English lawThis is a common law offense requiring:
It would be difficult to kidnap without also committing false imprisonment, which is the common-law offense of intentionally or recklessly detaining the victim. The use of force to take and detain will also be regarded as an assault, and other, related offences may also be committed before, during, or after the detention.
Alongside murder, kidnapping is the last really significant offence under the common law which has yet to be codified into statute.
- Bride kidnapping is a term often applied loosely, to include any bride physically 'abducted' against the will of her parents, even if she is willing to marry the 'abductor'. It still is traditional amongst certain nomadic peoples of Central Asia. It has seen a resurgence in Kyrgystan since the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent erosion of women's rights.
- Tiger kidnapping is taking an innocent hostage to make a loved one or associate of the victim do something, e.g. a child is taken hostage to force the shopkeeper to open the safe; the term originates from the usually long preceding observation, like a tiger does on the prowl.
Kidnapping todayKidnapping for ransom is a common occurrence in various parts of the world today, and certain cities and countries are often described as the "Kidnapping Capital of the World." As of 2007, that title belongs to Baghdad. In 2004, it was Mexico , and in 2001 it was Colombia (which continues to have very high levels of abduction due to the ongoing conflict). Haiti also has frequent kidnappings (starting several years ago), as do certain parts of Africa.
- Insight News documentary: China's Kidnapped Wives
- Court TV's - Criminal Psychology of child abduction
- Kidnap news
abducted in Czech: Únos
abducted in German: Menschenraub
abducted in Spanish: Secuestro
abducted in Esperanto: Homforkapto
abducted in French: Enlèvement
abducted in Scottish Gaelic: Toirt am bruid
abducted in Galician: Secuestro
abducted in Korean: 유괴
abducted in Hebrew: חטיפה
abducted in Italian: Sequestro di persona a scopo di estorsione
abducted in Dutch: Kidnap
abducted in Japanese: 誘拐
abducted in Norwegian: Kidnapping
abducted in Occitan (post 1500): Sequestracion
abducted in Portuguese: Sequestro
abducted in Russian: Киднеппинг
abducted in Simple English: Kidnapping
abducted in Finnish: Kidnappaus
abducted in Swedish: Kidnappning
abducted in Ukrainian: Кіднепінг
abducted in Chinese: 綁票