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What should a parent do when his child goes missing? The police are one thing, but a support hotline has also been established

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The Palace of Culture and Science highlighted in blue, on the facade of the National Stadium and one of Warsaw's skyscrapers – the number 116,000 is displayed. This is the telephone number where you can get support in searching for a missing child.

The largest buildings in large cities, stadiums, screens in buses and trams. You can learn from them that there is already a 24-hour telephone line for families whose children are missing.

– The number 116000 is a 24-hour number. At this number you can get support in searching for a child, information on how to look and what to do, but also psychological and legal support – says Izabela Jezierska-Świergiel, vice-president of the Itaka Foundation.

“It's like hitting a train”

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Every year, approximately two thousand missing children are reported in Poland. Fortunately, most of them find each other quickly. – It's like a collision with a speeding train. They are lying on the boards and don't know what to do – Daniel Dymiński, father of the missing Krzysztof, describes the situation of parents of missing children. – Such families feel shame, withdrawal, why this happened to us, they do not know how to behave, how to find their way in this situation – says Agnieszka Dymińska, the mother of the missing boy.

A year ago, the 16-year-old son of the Dymiński family, Krzysztof, disappeared in Warsaw. – We hope he's alive. We just want to find out, because the worst thing about what we are in is this suspension, this ignorance that we don't know whether our child is alive – says Agnieszka Dymińska.

The missing Krzysztof DymińskiDyminski.pl

Families of missing children never give up, they are still waiting and looking for their loved ones. 30 years ago Ania Jałowiczor disappeared in Simoradz, Silesia. She was 10 years old then.

– We also hope that we will meet and find Ania alive. (…) We also take into account that the worst version may be that we are looking for Ania's body – says Dominik Jałowiczor, brother of the missing Anna Jałowiczor.

Missing Anna JałowiczorThe larger illustration simulates Anna's appearance as an adult. In the corner there is a photo of Anna as a girl.Archives

What are police procedures like in the event of a missing child?

The investigation into Ania's disappearance is still ongoing. – In 1995 there was no help. There was no Internet back then, there was no mobile phone, so it was impossible to quickly provide information – recalls Dominik Jałowiczor.

There are quick police procedures in the event of a missing child. Alarm phones. Special search departments. In individual cases, the Child Alert procedure is implemented – a very quick dissemination of the image and information about the missing child. However, some families of missing persons believe that Child Alert is triggered too rarely.

– Krzysiek met all the conditions. It has not been started. We begged the police to activate it. It has not been started. We don't know for what reasons – says Daniel Dymiński, father of the missing Krzysztof Dymiński.

READ ALSO: How children go missing and how they are searched for. Today is the International Day of the Missing Child

– We must be convinced that publishing the message on such a large scale, i.e. alerting the entire society in the country and sometimes abroad, will bring results – explains Małgorzata Puzio-Broda, junior inspector from the Center for Missing Persons at the Police Headquarters.

There is more to improve. Despite the very difficult situation, no one offered psychological help to the family whose son was missing. – This family is left alone. In the sense that she would report, just like we reported our son missing, we returned home and didn't know what to do next. We had no help – recalls Agnieszka Dymińska.

Main photo source: TVN24

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