It's traumatic for those left behind when people go missing
When someone goes missing it can be very traumatic for family and other people left behind. In some ways the experience can be similar to a bereavement - people are left with unanswered questions about what has happened to their loved one and about whether or not someone they care about has been suffering. People also have to deal with the fact that they have to continue living without someone who has been an important or significant part of their lives.
Because we have been supporting people bereaved by homicide for a long time, we understand feelings like this. We also have experience of helping people through many of the practical problems caused when someone disappears suddenly. However, because we were set up as a charity to help victims of crime, we have to focus our time and resources on supporting people affected by crimes. That's what we were constituted as a charity to do and we are bound by charity law in terms of meeting our oubjectives towards victims and witnesses of crime.
This means that when someone has gone missing and there is clear evidence that a crime may have taken place (such as a murder or abduction or where the missing person is aged 15 or under) then we are able to help those left behind as we would any other victim of crime. If police are involved in the investigation of a related crime, we will normally get a direct referral to contact the family from the police. However, if someone has simply gone missing with nothing to suggest that they have been taken through a criminal act, then unfortunately we're not able to provide our normal support service. However, we will of course be able to direct people to other sources of help, some of which are listed in the links on this page.