Instruction Manual Details Kidnapping Techniques

October 28, 2016


JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli security forces came across an instruction manual for Gaza-based terrorists detailing the art of kidnapping Israelis. It’s not the first ever discovered, but the meticulous details reveal a new level of sophistication.


Security forces discovered the manual on a suspect’s computer, Israel Hayom reported, quoting a Channel 10 news segment aired earlier this week.

According to the report, the “abduction manual” guides jihadists on how to successfully kidnap Israelis without being caught.

Suggestions include finding an isolated target away from police stations, IDF bases or checkpoints, with multiple escape roots and few patrols. Terror cells should choose slim targets for easy transport and should keep the victim sedated at all times.

Terror cells should select optimum times for abductions, preferably at night and not during high security alerts. Inclement weather and natural disasters are a good time to strike, according to the manual, and kidnappers should make every effort to “blend in with their surroundings and speak Hebrew with people around them.”

The manual even suggests avoiding times when global attacks are grabbing all the media attention.

Cell members must be physically fit, experienced in hand-to-hand combat, and have prior experience in carrying out terror attacks.

“The place where the captive is held must be spacious and have many rooms so not to arouse the landlord or neighbors’ suspicions,” while kidnappers should “be sure to provide sufficient logistical equipment for the captive’s imprisonment, including food, water and clothing, as well as sedatives to keep the captive in a constant state of sleep,” Israel Hayom reported.

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My daughters were abducted to Dubai – and I won them back under Sharia Law

June 5, 2016


Michelle’s daughters were both under four when their father abducted them to Dubai. She describes her monumental effort over five years to win them back in a foreign court system.

When my husband left with my girls, my world was without purpose. My family was my world.

Family Services in Australia told me that there was no agreement with the United Arab Emirates [UAE], and that the only way I would see my girls again was to go there myself. They could not help me.

I was very successful in my career as a university lecturer at Queensland University of Technology. I ran a successful training business, we had a mortgage, a house, a car – but my family was everything to me.

Ostensibly, I saved face with family and friends as much as possible. I didn’t want them to know there was anything wrong.  I was successful, I knew how to be successful. I didn’t know how to fail at anything.

I always believed I could, I never believed I couldn’t.  I had been brought up in a Christian family, we had faith: I was strong, I could do this.

My husband got his job at a women’s college in the UAE on the premise he was a family man so our three visas were all on his visa.  We were dependents to him.  This was a blessing as it meant I had a visa and a ticket to the UAE even though he did not want me to come and didn’t send the paperwork to me.

I appealed to him that the girls needed to know their mother, but to no avail – he kept stalling.  With only 48 hours left before I was due to travel, I contacted his work, where fortunately an incredibly helpful woman sent through the paperwork to me immediately, quite angry with my husband that he had not done this for his wife!  So thankfully I was able to go and live and work in the UAE.

When I arrived, I could not get a phone, a drivers license or a lease without my husband’s written permission (which he would not give me) and under Sharia Law, daughters automatically go with the father/husband. Traditionally it is believed he can look after daughters best, as a provider and a father figure.

Early in our marriage, we had agreed that any disagreement was ours, and that the girls would be protected from distress caused by adult altercations.

This meant that my husband and I did our fighting through the court.  Yes I got angry.  No I did not agree with him, but I would not fight with him in front of the girls.  So I got my own flat and ending up getting my own visa, which took nine months after arriving in the UAE.


We filed for divorce in the Dubai Court, which he was very confident he would win.  He was the man, so in Dubai he had to pay for both of our court fees: the man was the one who was considered responsible for his family.

Over the ensuing five years I stood in the court every 2 weeks to fight for custody under Sharia Law. Twice I won and twice my husband appealed, so for the divorce, and both appeals, I showed that I was the better carer, and I won custody each time.

To complicate things, we both re-married in Dubai within a few months of each other.  Although it seemed a good decision at the time that would help my custody case, in retrospect it wasn’t.  However, life is full of twists and turns; we don’t always make straight-line decisions, and life does not solve things as they do in a half hour TV show.

I am glad I followed the law, even though it meant every 2 weeks in the court.  I am glad I never saw myself as a victim, and I never portrayed to the girls that we were victims of anything.  My attitude has always been: “you got yourself here gal, now you get yourself out”.  Full responsibility, no blame, no victim mentality; work it out, communicate, do the right thing.

It has been a blessing looking back, that we fought in the court. We had to jointly manage the girls, we both organised their birthday parties, for the first couple of years.

I wanted them to know their father, and I didn’t want them to ask me why I took them away too young to remember him.  I always spoke well of their father to them, even though at times, that was difficult, I never used them as a weapon.  Even to this day, I always put their father in a positive light.

I also didn’t want to have to repeat the process and do everything again once I returned to Australia.  I did not want to win the fight in Dubai, and then have another court battle when I returned to Australia.  My goal was to do this once, properly, legally, and then to come home for good.  I was patient and successful in all my goals.

For the first few years when we returned to Australia, I wept every Sunday in church, just loving the hymns, the sermons, the security of being home and the realisation of how it could have gone.  I never let myself think of the alternative. I knew I would only return legally with my girls in my custody.

My girls are lovely inside and out.  They are responsible and well-balanced.  Ebonyi, the younger one, was very clingy to me for many years, as she was separated from me at three and a half years of age.  Many people have mentioned to me over the years, “Wow, they are so balanced, you wouldn’t know they’re from a broken home.”

After we returned to Australia, the girls and I became a foster family and over seven years we fostered approximately 34 children, some for a weekend, some for over a year.  This gave us all a huge job to do.  I had no money, but I had time. We had a family of three so we could give back to the community as I was so happy and thankful for what I had.  It gave the girls company as kids, community support at times, and stopped us thinking about ourselves as we served the community instead.

Personally, I came back to Australia broke – financially and emotionally.  It took me years to re-build my strength. Sometimes I cannot believe what I went through actually happened. I have never seen myself as a victim, only as making bad decisions at times.  But I have raised two wonderful girls, and we live in Australia, so we have everything to be thankful for.

Michelle and her daughters Mia and Ebonyi are guests on this week’s episode of Insight, looking at how the children are affected in cases of international parental abduction. 

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Parental Abduction – How it`s like to be THE LEFT-BEHIND PARENT

December 14, 2015

Source: lilaclane

Your Experience of Missing-Child Trauma

Your child has been kidnapped or is missing, and here on the internet you’ll find a lot of valuable support, legal information, and contacts. However, there will be many difficult hours where you will feel very much alone — and this page is meant to help you get through those times.
Most child kidnappings involve a parent or relative as kidnapper, and that is the experience of our family. However, if your situation is different — the child has been kidnapped by a stranger, or is missing due to other circumstances (such as a runaway) — this page will speak to your experiences too, so please read on….

The first few days are incredibly confusing. You’ll receive a lot of advice. Here’s a little more.

You need a cool head to guide you. As the left-behind parent, you’re going to be in shock, so your intellectual capabilities will be compromised. Enlist a relative or friend to be your crisis Guardian — you will need them to stay with you and accompany you to all appointments. Ideally, they should take a week off from work to be by your side.

If you have a current spouse living with you, they should not try to fill this role. They can’t — they’re in shock too. You need a third person, someone with enough emotional distance to stay calm.

We can help you recover your abducted child

Start an activity log and keep it up every day. This will be difficult because the world’s going to be pulling you in ten directions at once, but as the hours and days pass, everything’s going to become a big blur — so you absolutely have to keep track. Get a blank book, notebook or ledger; and every day, record the important points of each meeting with police, phone calls with organizations, etc.  If you don’t have an answering machine, pick one up so that you won’t miss any incoming assistance.

Sleep when you’re able to sleep. Eat when you’re able to eat.

Your body is going to go haywire. Eating will be difficult. Your stomach will often be churning. Carry Tums with you at all times, and nibble them when necessary. Your ability to digest food will disappear, so you’ll need to adapt your eating habits. Keep a wide selection of snacks available, and try to eat at every opportunity. For meals, you’ll have better luck if you try lighter fare than usual. A chicken salad will stay down better than a heavy steak. Drink constantly — dehydration causes disorientation.

Child Recovery Agents Parental Kidnapping

Often, you’ll be awake all night, then exhausted the whole next day, so grab your Z’s whenever you can. If it’s 3 pm and you have a gap before a 4 pm meeting, grab the opportunity and lie down. If necessary, take a sleeping pill at bedtime (particularly if nightmares are waking you repeatedly). Sleep deprivation leads to slowed mental processes and, later, paranoia — so you absolutely must get sleep, whenever and however possible.

Since your body and mind are going to be stretched to the limits of endurance, it’s strongly recommended that you go to a 24-hour clinic (or emergency room) and have them prescribe something to stabilize your emotions. A doctor will know what kind of medication can help you get through this trauma. It’s very important that you maintain your sanity no matter how nightmarish the experience becomes.

Your emotions will change after the first few days of the crisis. The initial agony is from not knowing from minute to minute. Later, the agony is not knowing day after day.

Most of the time, you’ll find yourself in one of three coping states:

1. INTELLECTUAL STATE. This is the state you need to be in when you’re talking with police, touching base with your lawyer, researching information on what to do, etc. You have to be mentally focused, which usually means that at times you have to push your emotions underneath and try not to think too much about your child except in abstract terms. This state is sometimes forced on you (due to appointments) even when you don’t feel ready. Other times this state will come to you naturally, and you’ll find yourself actively digging through documents and reading information paks.

2. EMOTIONAL STATE. In this state of mind it’s very difficult to focus on anything mentally. Your thoughts are with your child, where they might be, how they might be doing, you miss them and want to comfort them. Crying relieves physical stress, and you’re under tremendous stress, so don’t cut your tears short. If you start to cry, try to sob it out of your system without holding back. Don’t restrict your crying. Enlist your guardian to comfort you — and if you feel the need, hug one of your child’s stuffed animals.

There will be times when you are caught in your reeling emotions, unable to respond to intellectual challenges around you. At these times it will be important for your crisis Guardian to be with you, so they can answer authorities’ questions, help make decisions, etc.



Seeing the child’s photos or toys around the house may become too painful. Don’t feel guilty if you decide to put away these toys, move the photos, or close the door to the child’s room. You are not abandoning their memory. After all, your thoughts are with them constantly. But you do need some control over your emotional cycles, especially when it’s time to gather information or make decisions — at times like that, a photo within sight may be unnecessary torment. Make adjustments in your home if you feel the need, and don’t feel bad about it. You need to keep your head together, in order to fight for your child’s well-being.

3. DRIFTING STATE. There will be times that you’re so exhausted or in such shock that you don’t feel anything at all. You’ll find yourself staring blankly at a wall, or drifting with no thought as you look right through the book or screen in front of you. This is a natural result of the trauma. It’s a time when your system can regroup — recharging your batteries, so to speak. Your intellectual and emotional states burn extraordinary amounts of energy out of your body, so if and when you enter a listless state, don’t fight it. Drift and let your thoughts remain unfocused. Your body and mind can use this time to recover.

All three of these states will be useful to you, and should occur as a natural cycle. If you find yourself stuck in a counterproductive state for longer than one day, go to a 24-hour clinic and have a doctor prescribe medication to help you cope.

There will be times when you can do nothing — times when you’re supposed to wait for a callback or the next step in the proceedings. Such times are painful as you wait for the world to acknowledge the urgency of this situation… and the wheels of justice grind so slow they’ll seem to have stopped. If you’re at a waiting point, it’s important not to work yourself into hysteria over these empty minutes. You need to seek distraction, or you’re just going to overstress yourself. You’ll particularly need distraction on Saturdays and Sundays, when cases are often placed on hold.

Television is usually a great relaxer, but at this time it won’t be. As you flip the channels you’ll see cartoons, children’s shows, commercials with children — everywhere you look there will be children, including children who look like or remind you of your own child. So don’t channel-surf. Get a TV guide and select a specific show to watch, then turn directly to that program. Choose shows that won’t assail you with family-focus commercials. Good bets are CNN, Animal Planet, nature shows, or non-family movies. Even better, pick videotapes to watch.



Much of the work of regaining your child will have to do with your phone. You’ll be calling people and waiting for return calls, checking in with lawyers and detectives, and giving updates to family members. Consequently you will frequently find yourself trapped at home. Over time this will make you feel like a freak in a cave. You need to get outside once in a while.

When you go into public with the intention of re-charging your emotional batteries, try not to put yourself into stressful situations. Don’t go to fast-food restaurants; you’ll see many children that remind you of your missing child. Money is an issue now due to the costs of the search, but don’t discount your need to reduce stress. Two visits to McDonalds can be traded for one visit to a nice restaurant, late in the evening, when there won’t be any children dining there.

Parental Child Abduction Kidnapping

Shopping is a major source of stress. Malls and supermarkets are full of child-reminders. Ask your Guardian to do the shopping for you. Alternatively, shop at 7-Eleven late in the evening.

Lest this sound like we’re discounting natural emotion:  there’s nothing wrong with allowing your emotions full expression. But it’s much more comforting to let those feelings flow when you want to (instead of when the world forces it on you), in the security of your home, where your loved ones can comfort you and you can express yourself fully.

Good luck with your search.  May you soon be happily reunited with your beloved child.

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ABP World Group`s special task force, specialized in recovering children from The ”Safe havens of child abductions”

November 29, 2015

ABP World Group Ltd.

For more than over 12 years, ABP World Group has been the world`s leading child recovery company, we have gathered experience during child recovery operations in a number of different countries on all continents.

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We know that some countries are seen as ”Safe Havens” for child abductors – mainly because of the legal system, but also the fact that to recover a child from many of these countries has been close to impossible and combined with a too high risk for all the involved.

We can work together with your lawyer,to make sure your case is not delayed for years.

If ABP World Group™ finds the risk extremely high and that launching an operation will lead to personal danger or damages we will stand down. Instead ABP World Group is ready to start a negotiation process immediately and without any bureaucracy delay.  This is most important because time is critical when it comes to any child abduction.

Child Abduction Recovery Services

Our specialists in the new task force have formed more than 12 years of experience from IPCA cases in mind. The operators in the task force are the best of the best- Team leaders from many different countries Special Forces units, and are trained to do whatever it takes, wherever it takes, whenever it takes. This means that recovery operations in countries like Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan Philippines, Middle East and North Africa etc. will be done with a great aspect of safety and success.

Prevention of Parental Abduction – Recognizing the Warning Signs

Parental Abduction Child Recovery Services

We will under these operations use any necessary means and type of logistics solutions ,to be sure that no criminal child abductor should never again feel safe and out of reach from our justice.

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Police: Parental Abduction Suspect Located

November 9, 2015


Fairfax County Police officers located the woman who went missing with her 6 month old son on Nov. 5, 2015. She was reported missing by her husband and believed to have been headed to El Salvador.

Nelly Bonillas de Cordon

Police say Nelly Bonillas de Cordon was found in the Reston area after being notified by Child Protective Services, according to a Nov. 6, 2015 police announcement.

Cordon was charged with one count of abduction.

Child Protective Services is working on arrangements for the care of the child and he appeared to be unharmed, according to police.

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Patricia Nunez has appealed to her ex to bring her abducted children home

May 22, 2015


IT HAS been almost a year and a half since Patricia Nunez last saw her two boys.

Patricia Nunez

And not a day goes by that she doesn’t think about their smiling faces — or if she is going to get them back.

Peyton, 11, and Nathaniel, 7, set off for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disneyland with their father Dariwn Lee in January last year.

Despite her reservations, Ms Nunez agreed to let her children take the overseas holiday in a bid to keep the peace following a lengthy and sometimes “poisonous” custody battle.

But she never imagined they would not come home.

“The last time I spoke to my children was the day before they were due to fly back to Australia,” Ms Nunez told “I have had no contact since.”

Patricia Nunez abducted

But what has been even more heartbreaking as well as frustrating for the Sydney mum is that her children are believed to be in Taiwan, a country which is not signed up The Hague Child Abduction Convention.

This means the Taiwanese authorities are not obliged to return Ms Nunez’s children to Australia.

But even if the country was signed up there is still very little authorities here can do.

While she has managed to obtain court orders for sole custody, she still has to lodge an application with the Taiwanese authorities to prove her ex has breached those court orders by failing to return the children to their mother. And that can take months.

There is also the fact parental abduction is not a crime in Australia.

While it is an offence to remove a child from Australia without the permission of the court or the other parent, it’s not a criminal offence if there are no court proceedings or orders preventing them from taking out of the country.

That is not to say authorities don’t do their utmost to find the abducted youngsters, its just they have less legal grounds to retrieve them.

According to figures from the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre, more than 400 children are abducted by a parent or family member every year — that’s around two or three children every single week.

And Australia has the highest rate per capita of international parental child abductions in the world.

In response, the Federal government in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police have developed an app for parents to alert police if their child disappears or is abducted.

The free technology allows families to store photographs and vital information about their children on their mobile phone, and features advice and checklists on what to do in the crucial few hours when something happens.

But once a child has been taken overseas, the process of getting them home is long, and in Ms Nunez’s case, almost impossible.

But she says she is extremely grateful for all the help she has received over the past year but feels the system renders parents helpless.

She explained she has spoken to “anyone that could possibly help” more than once and learnt how to navigate the complex legal process with help from family, friends and her lawyers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 22.50.11

And while she says focusing on trying to bring her kids home has helped “numb the pain”, it is always present.

“I feel like I am a victim of domestic violence,” she said. “I may not get beaten everyday but I am in pain every single day. I am a victim of domestic violence every single day because of this, and my children are victims of child abuse because of this.”

Ms Nunez says she has also thought of using other tactics such as hiring private investigators or “mercenaries” to bring her boys home but decided against them not just because of the cost but also because of the complications that could arise.

She says she is trying to keep faith that the path she has chosen will lead to the outcome she desperately desires.

She also says she hopes her children know she will never stop looking for them.

“I want them to know that I have never stopped loving them, I have never stopped looking for them and that I will find them,” she said. “I can’t wait for them to come home. I want them to know that things will go back to normal. And that I now promise that they can have a puppy.”

She also says she wants her ex to make contact with authorities.

“I just want him to know that it makes me really sad.,” she said. “I trusted him. He did the wrong thing. The boys need their mother and their father. I never denied him that. The boys deserve better. Do the right thing and bring them home.”

Any information regarding the childrens’ or husband’s whereabouts should be given to the Australian Federal Police in Sydney on 02 9286 4000 or 131 444 or at their local police station if in Victoria.

May 25 is International Missing Children’s Day. For further information or to show your support

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Mom Convicted of Attempted Parental Kidnapping From Dulles

March 7, 2015

Source: NBC Washington

A mother whose plane was turned around after she tried to take her 4-year-old son to China was convicted Friday of attempted international parental kidnapping.

Wenjing  Liu

Wenjing  Liu, 32, was convicted by a federal jury in Alexandria on Friday.

She was arrested in September 2014 after she and her son boarded United Airlines Flight 897 en route for Beijing.

Authorities say she and the boy’s father, an American citizen, had separated in 2013 and that a joint custody order had forbidden either parent from taking the little boy outside the United States without the other parent’s consent.

Authorities said that less than 90 minutes before their flight took off, Liu emailed the boy’s father, William Ruifrok III. She told him that her grandmother was dying, and she and the boy were returning to China immediately.

Ruifrok responded via email that the child “is not going, u cant take him to school, I will pick him up. He will stay with me until u return.”

Authorities said Liu, also known as Linda Liu, took the boy anyway, and Ruifrok went to Dulles International Airport and alerted officials. The plane was in Canadian airspace when it was ordered to return to Dulles.

Liu was arrested at the airport, and the boy was given to his father.

At the time, Liu told investigators she intended to return the boy to the U.S. in about three months, but there were no records for any return flight for the child.

She faces up to three years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 5.

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Parental Kidnapping – Rise in abductions of Boston’s migrant children

October 23 , 2014


Law firms have reported a rise in the number of abduction cases involving Boston’s migrant children.

Parental Child Kidnapping

Both Sills and Betteridge and Ringrose Law say they have noticed an increase in the number of children being taken to another country by one parent without the other’s consent following family breakdowns.

They have also seen a number of parents deliberately take their child abroad, often under the premise of a holiday, then fail to return.

Yvonne Clarke, a solicitor and partner at Sills and Betteridge and based in Boston, said cases have increased along with Boston’s population over the last three to four years.

 Parental Kidnapping

“I don’t think before then we had any,” she said.

“Abduction is a very emotive word, but if you are taking a child without the other parent’s consent, particularly if they have parental responsibility and equal rights to you, you are abducting them.

“You are taking the child away from another parent. Anybody should think twice before doing that and should take legal advice before leaving the country.”

Both Yvonne and Lincoln-based Sills and Betteridge colleague Chrystal Theofanous have earned resolution accreditation for international child abduction cases.

It means they will deal with cases handed down by the International Child Abduction Unit at the Ministry of Justice.

“If a child has been abducted inside of the UK then any cases dealt with through the unit which are nearest to Lincoln will come through our firm and be dealt with by either Yvonne or myself,” Ms Theofanous said.

Most cases don’t become criminal investigations, as the parent can apply for their child to be returned using the Hague Convention and get help from solicitors.

However Nichola Skayman, children’s legal adviser for Ringrose Law, said the firm wanted to work with police to help prevent abductions happening in the first place.

“I am trying to organise a conference as this is happening more and more,” she said.

“If they are aware of the implications, they may be able to assist us and say don’t leave, go and get separate legal advice.

“It is really trying to get the word out. We probably get one a month where this is happening. I have never had one that is not from the migrant community. It ranges from babies to 10 and 11-year-olds.

“You are taking the child from everything they know.

“They might have been brought up in a Polish family in England where they have lived and went to an English speaking school and that is where their friends are, so it is very alien for a child.”

She added: “The main thing is that we don’t want the child out of the country. As soon as the child is gone it is harder.”

Joanne Orton, advice line co-ordinator for child abduction charity Reunite, said preventative measures could help.

“It is so cheap now to get flights into and out of the country,” she said.

“Where possible, if there is a real imminent threat of a child being taken, speak to the police and see if they can put an alert in place.

“If you know where it is, hide the child’s passport. If not, it is down to a lawyer to get in court orders in place.”

Legal help is automatic for child abduction cases in countries which are part of the Hague Convention, using civil action to help the parent who has applied for their child to be brought back.

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Intense Child Custody Disputes are Rarely About the Best Interests of the Child

October 4 , 2014

Source: socialworkhelper 

Child custody disputes are rarely about the best interest of the child, and the stories are all too common. A parent is reported to have abducted their child as part of a long-standing custody and access dispute. Indeed, a quick Google search reveals almost 500,000 hits for the term parental abduction.The term parent alienation yielded over 1 million hits.


For the children, these battles between parents can be scary, particularly when they involve some form of abduction. They are being taken away from a parent who loves them by a parent who also professes the same thing. How can this be? But the abduction is rarely a unique event in the lives of children. They typically have faced years of conflict between parents. The list of what children are exposed too is long:

parental child abduction 300x170 Intense Child Custody Disputes are Rarely About the Best Interests of the Child• Parents yelling at each other;
• Arguments in public at custody exchange places;
• Put downs of the other parent;
• Denial of financial support as a means of getting back at a parent;
• Refusal to allow a child to bring favourite toys or clothes to a visit;
• Efforts to get the child to take sides.

It doesn’t take much imagination to come up with a variety of other ways that parents seek to get back at each other. Too often, courts become part of the toolbox used by an angry parent. Anyone who has worked in this area can tell stories of a parent (too often representing themselves in court) filing petition after petition against the other parent. There are also the tragic cases where a parent kills the child. Here in Alberta, we recently saw the death of 9-year-old Amber Lucius. It is believed that her mother killed her. The media reports a six-year custody battle.

Courts are typically more focused on parents who can manage to get along or at least will honour the orders of the courts. They are not as effective with cases where the parent simply ignores the court orders. While this will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, there is no doubt that the defiant parent will have created much havoc before the court holds that parent to task. Many will never get held accountable as the other parent just gives up – they can’t manage the battle any longer or they are out of money to defend themselves in court.

Child protection systems are often reluctant to get involved. They feels that a competent justice system is in place through family and divorce courts. Yet, these more extreme cases carry on creating damage to the child. A study just published in the journal Development and Psychopathology researchers Raver, Blair and Garrett-Peters showed that children who are exposed to verbal and physical aggression between parents have long term negative effects which include the ability to identify and regulate emotions. In other words, they suffer from a form of emotional abuse. Conflict between parents warring over custody and access can fit this description.

Child protection should get involved in these cases. They can bring another force of control against the non-compliant parent. In more extreme cases that might lead to more intrusive arrangements by child protection where a child is removed to kinship or foster care. These child custody disputes, while under the guise of the best interests of the child, are far from it. Society needs to be willing to protect the child and child protection may need to be one way to do that when other court based interventions fail.

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Parental Abduction: Mother wins bid not to return with her child to Germany

September 24

Source: The Sydney morning herald 

A woman who unlawfully took custody of her daughter from her German husband has successfully argued in court that she and the child should remain in Australia because returning to Germany would expose her to “psychological harm”.


The 35-year-old Australian woman travelled to Melbourne from Germany with her 61-year-old husband and five-year-old daughter in December last year to visit her family.

But when it was time to return to Germany, she told her husband she wanted a separation and refused to leave the country.

When the father refused to leave, the woman and her family called the police and obtained an interim intervention order against him.

Soon after arriving back in Germany, the father formally sought return of the child to Germany and launched proceedings for custody, armed with expert evidence that he had “a close and loving relationship with the child”.

However, the mother presented evidence that she had been anxious and depressed since 2007 and this was so severely exacerbated by returning to Germany there was a grave risk her daughter would be “exposed to an intolerable situation”.

“[I] had frequent anxiety attacks, was experiencing feelings of intense fear and worry, my heart would race,” the woman told a psychiatrist of her experience of being in Germany.

She said her husband was “unsympathetic and dismissive” of her illness and, as a result, she had to abandon taking medication or seeking therapy and her condition began to deteriorate.

The woman said she had been a victim of violence and emotional abuse by the father, who drank heavily and tightly controlled her access to the family’s finances.

German football fan

He also allegedly isolated her from her family and made it difficult for her to make friends in Germany.

The husband strenuously denied these allegations and argued that mental health treatment was available in Germany, which would at least enable her to return to take part in a custody hearing.

But Justice Kirsty Macmillan of the Family Court of Australia disagreed.

“I am satisfied … it is not possible to fashion safeguards which would adequately protect the mother from a major depressive episode and ultimately from the effects of a major deterioration in her mental health,” Justice Macmillan found.

This was “likely to impact on the mother’s parenting capacity”.

Her honour rejected demands that the mother returned to Germany, allowing her and the child to remain in Australia.

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