Interstate and International Parental Abduction Support

  1. 1.Each year, over 1.8 million children are abducted in the U.S.. Only 1% are stranger abductions, the rest are abducted by a family member, usually a parent.

  1. 2.The biggest motive for family abduction is revenge against another parent, not the child's safety.

  1. 3.More than half of abducting parents have a history of violent behavior, a criminal record, or a substance abuse problem and most of them can be diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder (sociopaths).

  1. 4.Children abducted by family members often suffer severe lifelong emotional and psychological damage.

  1. 5.Nearly 70% of law enforcement agencies do not have a written policy on how to respond to a family abduction. Law enforcement considers a family abduction a civil matter and therefore, most abductions are not put in the missing children’s database. Therefore, no one in the US has an accurate account of how many children remain in abduction in the US.

  1. 6.Most Law Enforcement agencies do not investigate an abductor’s where about due to budget cuts. Parents usually have to hire a private investigative agency to find their children.

  1. 7.The unofficial policy of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Children’s Issues when it comes to prosecuting international abductors is to do nothing. Once a police report is made to local authorities about a family abduction, the police officer investigating is directed by the D.A. to call the U.S. State Department’s office of Childrens Issues. That office then tells the officer not to investigate the matter. The abductor often goes uncharged for abduction.

  1. 8.Interpol is a 178-nation police communications network that enables police forces around the world to coordinate international criminal investigations

  1. 9.The FBI is the U.S. law enforcement agency responsible for investigating international parental kidnapping cases

  1. 10. International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children launched in 1999 as a global response to the problems of international child abduction and child sexual exploitation. This global network transmits images, updated daily, of missing and exploited children

  1. 11. The parent whose child has been abducted cannot expect much help from his/ her own government. Do not call the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues for help. They will not help you... especially if you are an American parent.

  1. 12. 1970s, the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues have been contacted in the cases of approximately 16,000 children either abducted from the United States or prevented from returning to the United States by one of their parents.

  1. 13. U.S. State Department only acts as a information resource by attempting to locate and contact the child, providing the parent information about the other country, and completing applications for The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. They will not help you in any other way.

  1. 14. The U.S. government DOES NOT intervene in civil legal matters, DOES NOT enforce U.S. custody agreements overseas, pay legal fees, act as a lawyer, or take custody of children (U.S. Department of State 2001)

  1. 15. Abductions in progress can sometimes be stopped at a border or airport

  1. 16. Governments may be responsive to a Hague application if it is transmitted as urgent



Family abduction Is child endangerment

        The reality of family abduction is that it is a form of child endangerment and ABUSE. Children abducted by family members are often forced into the nomadic, unstable lifestyle of a fugitive: they are taught to hide their real identities under a false name, and to avoid and distrust law enforcement and authority figures. Family abductors often deprive their children of education and medical attention to avoid being tracked down via school or medical records.

Motives Behind Family Abductions

While many abducting parents claim that they were driven by love and concern for the child, studies have found the following as the primary motives behind family abductions:

- To force a reconciliation or to continue interaction with the left behind parent;

- To blame, spite, or punish the other parent;

- Out of fear of losing custody or visitation rights;

  1. -In rare cases, to protect the child from a parent who is perceived to molest, abuse, or neglect the child.

Source: Chiancone, Janet. Parental Abduction: A review ofthe Literature, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

         The abusive nature of family abductions goes much beyond the already devastating damage caused by a lack of education and medical attention. The trauma of being torn from familiar settings away from loving family and friends carries on long after recovery and reunification. Even after coming home, children have difficulties establishing trusting relationships with other people.

         Numerous studies have documented the emotional scars caused in children by family abductions. In a 1983 study, 89 percent of sampled children who suffered or were threatened with family abduction showed symptoms of grief and rage toward the left-behind parent, as well as “mental indoctrination” perpetrated by the abductor. Another study revealed that the majority of recovered children experienced symptoms of emotional distress, often in the form of anxiety, eating problems, and nightmares, as a result of being abducted.

The Current System’s Response

70 percent of law enforcement agencies reported that they did not have written policies and procedures governing family abduction cases, and 63 percent did not receive formal training on the handling of family abduction cases.


            CONTACT US

           USEFUL LINKS