Abduction means the crime of taking away of a person by persuasion, by fraud, or by open force or violence. Originally abduction applied only to such taking away of women and children, but now in most states also apply it to an adult male. Abduction is distinguished from kidnapping, which requires an element of force or threat of force.
Abduction may occur when a parent involved in a domestic relations case removes a child from the jurisdiction of the court. Abductions by others may prompt an "Amber Alert", which is increasingly used to promote public awareness and aid in the return of missing children.