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New book helps families and friends of missing persons

Issued: Wednesday, 6 August 2014
[Accessible PDF, 294kb]


Attorney General Brad Hazzard today launched a new free publication to improve support for families and friends of people who are missing.

Missing people: A guide for family members and service providers has been produced by the NSW Government as part of National Missing Persons Week, which is being held from Sunday 3 August until Saturday 9 August.

“The subject of missing people and the impact on those left behind is little understood and rarely talked about,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Every year 35,000 people go missing in Australia – while the majority are located quickly, the Australian Federal Police estimate there are currently 1600 long-term missing people cases across the country, 650 of these are from NSW.

“This book - which was written by counsellors at the Families and Friends Missing Persons Unit in consultation family members who have someone missing in their lives - will play a vital role in reducing the trauma friends and families experience when a person goes missing.”

“It provides information and guidance for family members, friends and service providers from the initial stages of making a missing persons report to coping with the rollercoaster of emotions of ‘not knowing’ what has happened to their loved one.”

Key facts:

  • Currently 1600 long-term missing people cases in Australia (650 in NSW).

  • People under 18-years-old account for over half of all missing persons reports in Australia (females aged 13 to 17 years are a high risk group).

  • People experiencing mental health difficulties and older people with dementia or memory loss are also at increased risk of going missing.

“Researchers estimate that for each person who goes missing at least 12 people will be affected,” Mr Hazzard said.

“This resource will address the many questions that may arise when a loved one is missing and allows us to better understand the difficulties families and friends face.”

Missing people: A guide for family members and service providers is available online for free at http://www.missingpersons.justice.nsw.gov.au/​​ or in hard copy by calling 1800 227772 or 02 86888173. It will also be available in all libraries across the state.