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Similar to kidnapping, abduction is the unlawful taking of a child or adult by fraud, persuasion or violence. Some state laws add the taking for "immoral purposes" as part of the legal definition of abduction.

The crucial element in the crime of abduction is the presence of "restraint." The victim must be restrained for an abduction to occur. Restraint is the act of forcefully restricting a person's movements, without consent, by moving the person from one place to another or confining the person. Kidnapping usually requires an abduction.