Missing Persons Week: Follow your instincts
35,000 Australians are reported missing annually – that’s one person every 15 minutes.
This week is National Missing Persons Week and the Salvos are joining with the Australian Federal Police to raise awareness of the myths and facts surrounding missing persons. One common myth is that you should wait 24 hours or longer before reporting someone missing so this year’s campaign encourages people to follow their instincts and report immediately.
Today around 2,000 requests are received every year by the Salvos Family Tracing Service and up to 80 per cent of cases are successfully “solved.”
Since 1885 The Salvation Army has operated a Family Tracing Service which is now at work in more than 100 countries. Our service searches for and aims to locate missing relatives and also offers mediation for the reunion and reconciliation. We often play an advocacy role when the people concerned might not know each other or the relationship is strained. If the missing relative is not located, then support is offered which could include professional counselling referral.
To locate people we check databases across the 127 countries where The Salvation Army operates, call home shelters and rehab clinics, visit potential leads, write letters to neighbourhoods and petition TV shows, governments and emergency services.
Over the weekend we helped to reunite two sisters at Adelaide Airport, who had lost contact with each other for 28 years – read the story here.
For more information about Missing Persons Week and other common myths surrounding missing persons click here.
To find out about The Salvation Army’s Family Tracing Service click here.
Family Tracing Service Director, Major Phia Gibb