Nicola Bulley's family say private information about her vulnerabilities was released because of people threatening to "sell stories about her".
In a statement issued through Lancashire Police, the family of the missing mother said they believed "the public focus has become distracted from finding Nikki, and more about speculation and rumours into her private life”.
Their plea for an end to the “speculation and rumours” about her private life came after Lancashire Police were criticised for disclosing that the mother-of-two suffered “some significant issues with alcohol” in the past, which had resurfaced over recent months.
In the "unusual step", Lancashire Police released a statement to clarify why they deemed the mother-of-two as a "high risk" after she went missing on Friday 27 January.
But the force was heavily criticised for revealing the missing mum's struggles with alcohol, and the menopause by MPs and campaign groups.
In a new statement, Nicola's family said: "It has now been three weeks since Nikki went missing.
"We, as a family, believe that the public focus has become distracted from finding Nikki, & more about speculation & rumours into her private life.
"As a family, we were aware that Lancashire Police, last night, released a statement with some personal details.
"Although we know that Nikki would not have wanted this, there are people out there threatening to sell stories about her. This is appalling and needs to stop.
"The police know the truth about Nikki and now the public need to focus on finding her.
"Due to the peri menopause Nikki suffered with significant side effects such as brain fog, restless sleep and was taking HRT to help but this was giving her intense headaches.
"The public focus has to be on finding her and not making up wild theories about her personal life.
"Despite what some media outlets and individuals are suggesting, we are being updated daily and receive support from our family liaison officers.
"Nikki is such a wonderful daughter, sister , partner and mother and is missed dearly - we all need you back in our lives.
"Nikki, we hope you are reading this and know that we love you so much and your girls want a cuddle.
"We all need you home. You can reach out to us, or you can contact MissingPeople.org.uk. Don’t be scared, we all love you so very much."
Lancashire Police said: "As we approach the three-week anniversary of Nicola Bulley going missing on Friday, 27 January, we remain committed to doing everything we can to find her.
"Our sole focus has been to find Nicola & to support her family. The most important person in all of this is Nicola. Nicola’s family have asked us to issue a statement from them.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has said they have made contact with Lancashire Police over information made public in a press conference about missing mother Nicola Bulley’s private life.
In a statement, a spokesman for the IOPC said: “Following information that was made public by Lancashire Constabulary yesterday, we have made contact with the force to determine if a referral to the IOPC may be required.”
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