Kidnapping is the act of taking a person against their will by force, fraud, or deception. It is a serious crime that can result in significant legal consequences. The term “kidnapping” has been used for centuries to describe this act, but where did the word come from? In this article, we will explore the origins of the term “kidnapping” and its evolution over time.
Origins of the Term
The term “kidnapping” can be traced back to the 17th century, where it was first used in the context of child abduction. The word “kid” originally meant “child” and “napping” meant “snatching” or “taking away.” Therefore, “kidnapping” was originally used to describe the act of snatching a child away from their parents or guardians.
Evolution of the Term
Over time, the meaning of “kidnapping” expanded to include the abduction of adults as well as children. The word “kid” became less specific to children and more commonly used as a slang term for a person or individual. As a result, “kidnapping” became the term used to describe the act of taking any person against their will.
Legal Definition of Kidnapping
Today, the legal definition of kidnapping varies by jurisdiction, but generally involves the use of force, threat of force, or deception to take a person from one place to another against their will. Kidnapping is a serious crime that can result in significant legal consequences, including imprisonment and fines.
Types of Kidnapping
There are several types of kidnapping, including:
Traditional kidnapping: The victim is taken by force or threat of force and held against their will for a period of time.
Parental kidnapping: One parent takes a child away from the other parent without permission or legal authority.
Kidnapping for ransom: The victim is taken and held for the purpose of extorting money from their family or associates.
Express kidnapping: The victim is taken for a short period of time, typically for the purpose of robbing them or stealing their identity.
Prevalence of Kidnapping
Kidnapping is a serious crime that can have a devastating impact on the victim and their loved ones. According to the FBI, there were 8,952 reported kidnappings in the United States in 2019. This includes both traditional kidnappings and parental kidnappings.
In conclusion, the term “kidnapping” has its origins in the 17th century and was originally used to describe the act of snatching a child away from their parents or guardians. Over time, the meaning of the term expanded to include the abduction of adults as well as children. Today, kidnapping is a serious crime that can result in significant legal consequences, and there are several different types of kidnapping that can occur.