Creative Conscience

After losing interest in the original subject I chose for myself for the creative conscience brief I decided to abandon it for something I had more curiosity in researching, I felt morally compelled to an issue that has recently been in the media. After watching a channel4 documentary about missing persons I was left in shock and with lots of questions. It is an issue of which its awareness is very rarely raised and only in very certain cases, for example, Madeleine McCann, April Jones. Every year around 140,000 children and 250,000 adults go missing, some of which are unreported to police. The latest crime figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, show 532 cases of child abduction reported to police in 2011/12. Children and young people are more likely to go missing than adults with approximately two thirds of reports relating to children in 2009/11. Research has shown that children are more likely than adults to go missing, placing them in risky situations and increasing their vulnerability to a whole range of issues, including homelessness, becoming a victim or perpetrator of crime and, as we are increasingly aware, placing many of these vulnerable young people at greater risk of child sexual exploitation. Approximately 12,000 individuals are reported missing from NHS care every year and a very high proportion of these will have a mental health problem or learning disability, will misuse substances or have dementia.
Only around 1% of missing people remain missing after one year, approximately 2,000 people and some missing people never return, approximately 20 people per week are found dead after being reported missing. These are scary statistics and although there are many appeals for missing people I feel there is not enough awareness being raised for the amount of people that go missing and remain missing. Media can be used for a short while to raise awareness although after some time many missing people become forgotten and become just another figure in the ever-growing list of missing persons.
I’m questioning why and how? Why are so many people disappearing and is it their own choice? How is it possible to disappear in a world which is so heavily armed with CCTV? and is there more we can do to help? I have been using ‘missing people’ for my research, a charity which help people search for their loved ones and offer 24 hour support. My aim is to use my artistic skills to create a poster raising awareness of the statistics involved around missing people and the variety of people that go missing, from people of different cultures and ages.

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