In 2005, NSW Police recorded 393 abduction/kidnapping incidents. Due to the intense public attention given to the most notorious abductions, the public could be forgiven for assuming that most abductions are of the most serious type. This study reviews the cases of 238 abduction victims recorded between January and June 2004 in order to characterise the nature of these offences. Only 57 per cent of these victims were actually abducted; 32 per cent of victims experienced an attempted abduction, the experience of four per cent of victims did not concur with the legal definition of abduction and for seven per cent of victims, either no abduction took place or a false report was given to police. The diverse circumstances behind the actual abductions are described and attention given to victim age and gender, victim-offender relationship, physical and sexual violence and the motive for the abductions. While strangers were the most likely perpetrators, they made up less than half (43%) of all offenders. The three dominant motives for actual abductions were sexual desire (35%), robbery (29%) and retribution (24%).