Best Practices in Trauma Reporting

Some stories about violence or trauma lend themselves to a broader discussion about solutions, not just involving stories of personal recovery, but also of larger societal responses that might improve a particular social problem.

For example, in “Children of the Underground” (1998), one part of the story was titled, “Some Believe Abductions Would Decline if Punishments were Harsher.” It was a relatively short aside about the possible correlation between the lack of punitive repercussions and the number of child abductions. “[S]ome experts think the reluctance to prosecute only makes the abduction problem worse,” the article states. “It encourages more people to take off with their children, knowing they won’t be punished, they say.”

The article says that according to a Justice Department report, “there are approximately 350,000 parental abductions each year, but that includes incidents where a child is returned home a day late from a visit. A smaller number, about 163,000 cases, involve more serious kidnappings – parents who actually attempt to conceal the child’s whereabouts or prevent contact.”

This article gives readers a number of open-ended issues to consider and suggests a variety of public policy issues to think about.