Peter Senese who defrauded Indian parent by assuring return of abducted child charged with wire fraud in New York


September 29, 2016

Source: americanbazaaronline.com

Senese ran the I Care Foundation.

NEW YORK: Peter Senese, 49, the founding director of the I CARE Foundation (I CARE’), which advertises itself as a “self-funded non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abduction and trafficking”, was charged with one count of wire fraud, earlier this week.

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Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announcing the said since at least 2013, Senese allegedly defrauded parents whose children were victims of international abduction by falsely representing that he, working with the worldwide resources of I CARE, could rescue their children and return to them to the United States in exchange for money for his purported rescue operation expenses.

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“As alleged, Peter Senese fed a pack of lies to desperate parents by telling them, among other things, that he and his company could, for a price, locate and recover their internationally kidnapped children. In fact, he could do no such thing, but that didn’t stop him from allegedly repeatedly reaching out to the parents for more money to fund his non-existent rescue mission. This type of alleged fraud that preys on the especially vulnerable and desperate is a top priority for us, and we will work to ensure those who commit these outrageous crimes are held to strict account,” said Bharara.

Through his websites (www.stopchildabduction.org and www.petersenese.com) and elsewhere, Senese, of Brooklyn, New York, promotes I CARE as “a self-funded not-for-profit 501-C-3[sic] corporation” that “does not accept outside financial contributions and has reunited numerous internationally kidnapped children while preventing an exponentially larger number of children from abduction,” reported the Justice Department.

Senese also represents that I CARE includes “some of the leading figures in the world dedicated to protecting children from abduction and trafficking” and that “there have been many, many children of international parental child abduction who have been reunited and returned home due directly to the great efforts, financial, legal, and investigative resources” of I CARE.

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Between at least November 2013 and February 2015, Senese specifically represented to victims that he could recover their children from other countries by working with a team of former members of the U.S. Army component Delta Force, of which Senese claimed to have also been a member.

Senese repeatedly represented to one victim (“V-1”) that he could recover V-1’s child (Child-1) from India in a matter of weeks, but that he needed a few thousand dollars from V-1 to cover his operational expenses. In the months that followed, he repeatedly represented that he was very close to recovering Child-1, appeared on a local radio program with V-1, and sent numerous text messages and emails stating, in part, that he was either in India or an unspecified “remote location” and that Child-1 would be returned to the United States in a matter of hours or days.

During the same period, Senese repeatedly asked for additional funds, typically ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per month to cover his operational expenses.

In fact, Senese has not traveled outside of the country for years. While Senese represented that he was in foreign locations, he was actually in Miami, Florida; New York, New York; or Los Angeles, California. He also has never had any affiliation with the United States military, and the children Senese promised to recover have not been recovered.

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Lawyers in child abduction cases advise parents to put travel bans on children


October 12, 2015

Source: The National

DUBAI // Lawyers in child abduction cases are advising parents to apply for travel bans on their children, to stop them being taken overseas to live if relationships break down.

Lawyers Child Abduction Parental Kidnapping

The ban is being used more often by parents who fear their spouses could take the children out of the country without warning.

“Michael”, a Briton who moved to Dubai five years ago with his wife and two children, aged 11 and 8, has not seen them for a year after his former wife took them for a trip home.

“My wife was on holiday in the UK and messaged me to say she was not coming back,” he said. “She was keeping the children and filing for divorce.

“I was shocked and bewildered. It felt as if the ground had fallen away beneath my feet.

“The fact that she didn’t speak to me and just planned it behind my back is what hurt the most. The one thing I regret is not seeing the signs and putting something in place.”

The incident was reported to Interpol because the children were no longer in UAE jurisdiction.

“If anyone is going through any kind of relationship problem and there are children involved, I would strongly advise getting a travel ban as a safety net,” Michael said.

He was granted custody of the children after the divorce was finalised, and expects to be reunited with them in Dubai within a couple of months.

Fighting_parents_Child

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Steps to take if you think your spouse is planning to leave the country with your child or children:

• Act quickly and obtain any evidence that you have of your suspicions, ie, messages, emails, Facebook, etc, and have this translated into Arabic.

• Appoint and provide a lawyer with all the evidence and documents. The lawyer will in turn make an application to the local UAE court for a judge to apply a travel restriction on the child/ren to prevent them from leaving the country; they will be stopped at immigration in any UAE airport.

• Your lawyer can contact the local court and make an emergency application for a custody order based on your concerns. The court will then contact your spouse to discuss the matter further and refer the matter to a judge to review the evidence and the concerns of the parent and impose an order.

• Speak to your and your spouse’s local embassy or consulate to report your concerns and also provide them with any evidence that you have and any evidence of any court orders/travel bans that you are applying for. The embassy or consulate could possibly ontact the embassy of the country your spouse is from and inform them.

* Source: Alderson and Associates, Dubai

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Parental child abduction is a criminal offence in the UAE, which has the highest rate of divorce in the GCC, Dubai Statistics Centre data shows.

“At least 20 per cent of cases we deal with, or about five a year, are related to child custody and alleged parental child abduction,” said Samara Mir of Alderson and Associates in Dubai, who was trained in UK and UAE law.

“This has suddenly increased over the last six months but it is difficult to say why. If you are concerned that your wife or husband may be threatening to leave the country with a child then you can go to any local court to apply for a travel ban.”

The order requires marriage and birth certificates, and written reasons why there are concerns that a child could be abducted.

A judge could also ask for a Dh50,000 guarantee.

To have the ban lifted, a parent would have to apply to the court with reasons why they need to take the child abroad.

Such cases can leave an emotional mark on families and are often played out in long legal battles.

Anne Jackson, a life coach who offers counselling for people in these situations, has established a support group called Leaves Dubai, where people can share their experiences and offer advice.

“There are so many extra considerations to be taken into account when facing marriage difficulties as an expat,” Ms Jackson said.

“These considerations can lead to many more fears in this situation, which can lead to irrational decision-making.”

There are no statistics for parental child abduction in the UAE, but in the US each year more than 203,000 children, or 78 per cent of all missing children, are abducted by family member, usually a parent.

The UK’s foreign and commonwealth office says mothers were responsible for 70 per cent of abductions of British children globally.

There were 477 British children abducted by parents and taken abroad last year, up from 226 in 2005.

Since 2009, divorces in the UAE have increased by 40 per cent for expatriate couples, 7 per cent for Emirati couples and 25 per cent for Emiratis married to expatriates.

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A rise in UK child abductions – Nearly 900 cases of child kidnapping recorded in UK last year


February 22, 2015

Source: International Business Times

More than 1,400 girls were abused by Asian gangs in Rotherham for 16 years.

rotherham UK

There has been an increase in the number of child abductions and kidnappings in the UK, with almost 900 reported cases last year.

Figures gathered from police forces by the charity Parents and Abducted Children Together (Pact), reveal that abductions of children under 18 rose by 13% between 2012-13 and 2013-14 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The charity was unable to acquire figures from Scotland.

The rise in the number of children abducted by someone other than their parents rose twice as much as parental abductions, with a 14% increase.

Over the same period, there was an 18% surge in kidnappings, which involve the use of force or fraud against the victim.

The figures come after revelations last year that 1,400 children had been sexually abused in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, between 1997 and 2013, with police forces under pressure to overhaul the way they treat abduction and kidnapping offences.

According to the report, 158 children were abducted by parents, 401 children were abducted by people other than their parents, and 321 children were kidnapped during 2013/2014.

Kidnappings are defined as the use of force and fraud to take a child, and include cases where a child is ransomed or held by members of a rival gang.

Rates of child abduction were highest in Northern Ireland, with 11.6 offences per 100,000 children, while London and Yorkshire and Humber had rates of 9.8 and 9.3 respectively.

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Smaller forces recorded a greater surge in cases.

“Offences in Lancashire doubled (an increase of 20 offences) and Kent, North Yorkshire and Northumbria each recorded increases of 14 offences – at least three times the number recorded in 2012-13,” the study found.

“These increases in offences recorded by small and medium-sized forces have led to some surprising findings in the rates of child abduction and kidnapping. Lincolnshire has a rate of child abduction/kidnapping 2.5 times the national average at 18.5 per 100,000.”

Geoff Newiss, a director of Pact, said that the increase might be explained by the pressure on police to overhaul the way they deal with kidnapping cases.

“I would imagine that [Rotherham] is something to do with it. I wouldn’t be surprised if forces are more sensitive now to the need to record what comes their way,” he told the Independent on Sunday.

He said that the real figure was probably far higher, with the study finding the majority of parental kidnappings going unrecorded.

Susannah Drury, director of policy for Missing People, said: “This Pact report provides valuable insights into the scale of child abduction and kidnapping in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The report has uncovered worrying increases in child abductions and kidnapping offences – highlighting the importance of a quick and effective national response to these crimes.”

“The report has uncovered worrying increases in child abductions and kidnapping offences – highlighting the importance of a quick and effective national response to these crimes.”

A spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers said: “There has been a considerable focus in the police service in recent years to improve our crime recording practices. This has led to a significant increase in the recording of these types of crime.”

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Parental Kidnapping – We can recover your abducted child


The effects of parental kidnapping are being taken into account in more court cases world wide due to the rapid increase in the number of children being abducted.

Child_Recovery_Services_Snatchback

Child Recovery – Your child`s safety is our number one priority

Our intelligence and investigative capabilities combined with our ability to dispatch personnel to most locations in the world offers a safe and strategic solution to protecting what is most important to you, your child and/or children.

Unfortunately in the present climate, parental kidnapping occurs all too frequently and we are here to help you through what can be an extremely traumatic time.

Re_Kidnap_Recovery_Abducted

We are aware that parental child abductions can be difficult to resolve but through the use of professional operatives we work hard to find a solution. We collaborate with numerous organisations to help return your child safely and as soon as possible.

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Parental Kidnapping – Dad walks 400 miles for vital cause – “He raises awareness about parental alienation”


December 14 , 2014

Source: theacorn.com

Parental Kidnapping

ON A MISSION—Patrick Glynn of Old Agoura completed a 400-mile “Walk for Lost Kids” that started Oct. 15 in Boston and ended returned Nov. 14 at the U.S. Capitol.

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The divorced father is raising awareness about the issue of parental alienation. With him is Sherry Palmer of Fix Family Courts, who arranged a rally in an effort to change how child custody decisions are handled in family court. Some parents call it legalized child abduction. Others call it kidnapping or emotional child abuse.

Parental alienation by any name wreaks devastating consequences on children throughout the nation, who, through family court decrees and psychological manipulation by one parent against the other, find themselves emotionally unmoored, distrustful and eventually broken as adults.

Divorce creates enough drama for children, but when one parent pits their vulnerable child against the other parent, the consequences can be devastating.

Patrick Glynn should know. The resident of Old Agoura went through a harrowing divorce, but he never dreamed that he, a devoted caregiver of his two daughters since they were born, would be seen as the enemy by his wife and the court system.

Abducted_Children_USA

To raise awareness of the impact of parental alienation on mothers and fathers throughout the nation, Glynn spent a month on a walk, speaking about the phenomenon that, at times, can be a form of brainwashing.

Called the Walk for Lost Kids, he trekked 400 miles from Boston to the U.S. Capitol from Oct. 15 to Nov. 14 to raise awareness and possibly enact some common sense laws to protect the rights of both parents.

Glynn’s story, unfortunately, is typical. Glynn was not deemed by the court as the primary caregiver to his daughters. Yet, nobody, including his ex-wife, could say he wasn’t there for his children.

“My financial situation forced me to find work 300 miles from my kids so I was forced to move,” Glynn said.

The long distance didn’t stop Glynn from seeing his girls every weekend.

“I drove the 10-hour round trip each weekend religiously,” he said. “Every break, every weekend was with my kids. When my case hit the courts, I learned firsthand how family court had little to do with justice. Simple assumptions, like expecting 50 percent access to my kids, were quickly swept away. My ex, probably egged on by her attorney, tried to declare my custody at 7 percent—an occasional dad. And from day one in court I had to prove myself a worthy father,” he said.

Glynn isn’t just railing against partners who play dirty in divorce court. He is furious at how the court system aids and abets in the agony of divorce and child custody cases.

“I went from being an involved, hands-on dad to the courts relegating me to seeing my two daughters for six weeks a year, all because my wife wanted a divorce,” he said. “Now I pay her support and alimony in return for her keeping my children away from me.”

losing money

Parental alienation is more than just keeping children away from their parents. In the most severe cases, a parent subtly turns children against a parent through psychological manipulation. Although Glynn’s divorce was thorny, he has a relationship with his children although it’s been diminished by the legal battles.

Regardless of whether the alienation is slight or severe, children suffer, he said.

“I’ve experienced the atrocities and injustice firsthand, and that’s why I decided to walk 400 miles,” he said. “On my journey, I heard countless stories of lost kids—all eerily similar. Family law attorneys and courts perpetuate an adversarial situation, pitting two parents against each other to battle over their kids and the profits that result from being ‘awarded’ custody rights.”

Glynn’s efforts are making headway. The Walk for Lost Kids was sponsored by Divorce Corp., a group that hosted a divorce reform conference in November.

But the battle for divorce reform has a long way to go since most of it resides in the hands of state legislators.

At the conference, Glynn and other parents stung by parental alienation tactics learned how other countries handle divorce and child custody cases. Flawed economics of the U.S. child support system, corrupt family courts and even racketeering between judges and attorneys were also discussed at the event.

Tragic tales of loss predominated but a few success stories were shared. Alimony laws have been reformed in Massachusetts, and a reportedly corrupt judge in North Carolina lost his seat to a man dedicated to reform in child custody cases.

According to the National Parents organization`s report, which rates each state’s shared parenting legislation, most earned a C or a D grade.California earned a D and New York an F.

When Glynn ended his 400-mile walk at the steps of the U.S. Capitol, he gave a speech. He talked about the defeat of divorce exacerbated by the humiliation of being driven into poverty by the family court system and “selfish” ex-spouses. But the most pain, he said, comes from having the children you have adored and raised since birth taken away.

“It’s this very humiliation that has allowed so much corruption in family courts to blossom,” he said. “What the courts are doing to remove loving parents from our children’s lives is unconstitutional, illegal but most of all, it’s just plain unethical.”

Glynn is proposing a 50/50 custody solution, where divorce automatically gives each parent 50 percent custody without court intervention. The option to relinquish time would be allowed on an annual basis. The law would eliminate the tendency for one parent to discredit the other in order to “win” the child custody battle.

“In the current system, the likelihood is that one parent will merely eliminate the other,” he said. “This is in the interest of the ‘winning’ parent, the lawyers and the judges but not in the interest of either the children or the ‘losing’ parent.”

In his speech, Glynn asked some pertinent questions. “What kind of people remove a loving parent from a child’s life,” he asked. “What kind of government puts a financial incentive in place to encourage the practice? There is not a single more destructive thing you could do to a child’s life than remove a loving parent.”

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New Brazilian Law defines and punishes parental alienation


Breaking news: Brazil has ratified a law that defines and punishes parental alienation as a form of child abuse

On the 26th of August 2010 the Brazilian Parliament has ratified with immediate effect a law against parental alienation. The law defines parental alienation as a form of child abuse. It provides Brazilian judges and courts with seven measures to deal with parental alienation. Amongst those are fines, contrary custody and/or care and residence decisions and care supervision orders.

Peter Tromp
Father Knowledge Centre Europe 

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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Three out of every four children who are internationally abducted are never returned to the parent left behind.


Three out of every four children who are internationally abducted by one of their parents are never returned to the parent left behind.

Despite violating US custody laws, parents who manage to run away with their children across national borders often find it relatively easy to hide behind complicated international conventions and bureaucracy. The Japanese abduction cases highlighted in one of our previous blog posts provides an excellent example of just how difficult it can be to resolve international abduction cases. These discouraging facts emphasize how fortunate one father is after being recently reunited with his 5-year-old daughter who was taken to Europe by her mother 10 months ago.

The young girl and her mother were found by authorities in Germany, after the child’s father was alerted as to their whereabouts by an informant. The father had published information about his missing daughter on the Internet, which promoted a German citizen to recognize the child’s face and contact her father.

The 5-year-old’s mother violated the couple’s custody agreement last June, when she reportedly told the girl’s father that they were taking a vacation to Arizona. The father first became concerned when he found himself unable to contact his ex-spouse and the police started investigating the case after the mother sent an email confessing that she had taken their daughter “somewhere else.”

Fortunately, thanks to the informant’s tip, authorities were able to track down the mother-daughter pair and placed the child with a temporary German foster family while she waits to be extradited back to the US. The girl’s father described their reunion as an emotional, joyous event for both himself and his daughter.

The girl’s mother will face felony charges for breaking the family’s legal custody arrangement.

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International child abduction to Mexico


Mexico is amongst the world’s most popular sources and destinations for international child abduction while also being widely regarded as having one of the least effective systems of protecting and returning internationally abducted children within its borders.

To help protect abducted children Mexico signed on to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in 1991,[1] and the Inter-American Convention on the International Return of Children

Since adhering to the Hague Abduction Convention, the world’s most recognized and utilized instrument for addressing international child abduction, Mexico has been repeatedly criticized for enjoying the benefit of having its treaty partners protect Mexico’s own internationally abducted children, while being consistently non-compliant in fulfilling its reciprocal obligations to protect and return children abducted to Mexico. To date its procedures for enforcing its treaty obligations are unpredictable and entirely ineffective. The Centre for International Family Law Studies in Cardiff, Wales compared seven jurisdictions, including Mexico. The conclusion was that Mexico was by far the worst offender in its failure to return abducted children.

Merely because a country is a party to the Hague Convention does not mean that it will effectively enforce its treaty obligations. For example, the U.S. State Department has asserted that Mexico is “non-compliant” with the terms of the Convention. U.S State Department Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 2004. Mexico’s noncompliance results from the following problems:

  • Mexico has not enacted any legislation to implement the Hague Convention, which has not been integrated into the Mexican legal system.
  • The Mexican Central Authority has no law enforcement powers and Mexican law enforcement agencies make no serious efforts to locate parentally abducted children.
  • The burden of finding an abducted child in Mexico is left entirely to the left-behind parent. Mexican authorities provide no effective help and if the child cannot be located, nothing happens.
  • There is an apparent lack of understanding of the Convention among the judiciary in Mexico.
  • The Mexican Central Authority does not have adequate resources to perform its functions under the Convention.
  • The “amparo” (a special appeal in Mexico claiming a violation of constitutional rights) is used by taking parents to block Hague proceedings indefinitely.
  • Mexican courts are able to reconsider the facts of a Hague at any stage of the proceeding, which allows proceedings to be prolonged substantially.

Accordingly, custody orders concerning parents with strong ties to Mexico must be drafted so as to minimize the risk that the child will be taken to that country. It would be reckless to permit a Mexican parent who has expressed a desire to move to Mexico, and who has strong family or business ties to Mexico, to take a child into that country for a visit, regardless of the conditions that may be imposed to encourage the parent to bring the child back to this country.

The State Department’s 2004 report establishes that similar concerns exist with respect to Austria, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mauritius, Turkey and Romania and, to a somewhat lesser extent, several other countries.

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Parental Abduction – When Parents Kidnap Their Own


By: Carma Haley 

An estimated 355,000 children are abducted from their homes each year, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). These children can go days, weeks, months or even years with no contact from anyone except their abductor. And many of these children are not taken by strangers: They are abducted by their own parents.

There are some who claim kidnapping their own children is the only option they have, but what about the other parent — and what about the child?



Mark Samrodan, spokesman for NCMEC, says parental kidnapping is the practice of a noncustodial parent taking a child from the custodial parent from one state to another without court permission or in violation of court orders obtained through a divorce or custody hearing. The practice of parental kidnapping is forbidden by both federal and state laws in the absence of a provable emergency situation and can result in the noncustodial parent being charged with felony kidnapping. But often this threat does not stop parental kidnapping from occurring.

Who Kidnaps?

Research completed by the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrown-away Children (NISMART), which was founded by the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, states there are many reasons parents may resort to abducting their children. These reasons include using a child as a “pawn” in contentious divorce proceedings, as an extension of battering, to control their spouse or ex-spouse by depriving them of custody or visitation of the child, or to protect the child from abuse. 

“My husband and I obtained legal custody of our granddaughter when it was determined that her mom was unable to take care of her,” says Shirley Sunderland, from Altoona, Pa. “When the baby was 3 months old I was working at the local hospital and often had difficulty finding a sitter for the evening shift. [My daughter] offered to take care of her for that one night. When I got home, the baby was gone and so were some of her belongings. I got a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach and then realized that the baby had been kidnapped by her own mother.”

The Missing Children’s Registry of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada has developed an overall profile of parental abductions. The profile was constructed to assist those whose child has been abducted by a parent and includes facts such as:

  • Either parent, mother or father, will abduct his or her own child.
  • Mothers tend to abduct children after a court order is completed while fathers do so before the court order.
  • Mothers who abduct their children will keep the children for a longer period of time then fathers who abduct.
  • The “average” age range for parents who abduct their child is 28 to 40 years of age.
  • The fathers who abduct their children are likely to have employment while the mothers who abduct are more likely to be unemployed.
  • The majority of children who are abducted by their own parent but kept within the United States are between 3 and 7 years of age, but children who are taken out of the country tend to be 8 years of age or older.
  • Both male and female children are abducted equally.
  • The majority of children abducted by their own parent are done so from the home and not from areas such as a babysitters, daycare or schoolyard.
  • The abductor, both mother and father, typically makes contact within 48 hours of abducting the child to inform the searcing parent of the child’s well being.
The Other Side of the Coin

The typical reasons are not the only reasons a parent may feel they have no alternative but to kidnap their own child. Many believe the justification of parental abduction go beyond any of the reasons listed above as well as beyond the courtroom.”Dispelling typical myths that parents who kidnap their own child are doing so to get even with society and/or hurt their ex-spouse has proven quite difficult,” says Bonnie Russell, advocate for parental abduction prevention and former victim of a parental kidnapping from Solana Beach, Calif. “While some cases of parental abduction are due to this, it is more the exception then the rule. Other reasons include abuse, neglect, endangerment, unjust hearings or simple injustices. Until the underlying reason parents resort to kidnapping is addressed, no one will understand the subject.”

Some parents feel they have been treated inappropriately before, during or after a custody battle and this treatment played a role in losing custody of their children. For some of these parents, taking their child was their only option.

“My husband physically abused me for years,” says Carolyn Hawkins, a mother of two originally from Medina, Ohio. “And even though I reported him to the police numerous times, had a medical record as thick as a dictionay and had left him twice before, he was awarded custody of my children because he had more money and could hire a lawyer where mine was court appointed. The abuse I suffered led me into a depression and that was used against me in court. What else could I do but get my kids away from him?”

Alternatives to Kidnapping

Many services are available to help in the event of a situation that may be dangerous or harmful to a child. Social service departments, health departments and area chapters of Child Abuse Prevention agencies or even a school counselor can all help a parent who fears for their child’s welfare and safety.

In the event of a disputed divorce or custody order, a parent can move up the chain of command to find assistance or to have additional evidence heard, Samrodan says. If a parent is not in a financial situation to afford an attorney, local chapters of Legal Aid or free legal assistance can be found through social service offices.

“There is always something else that should be tried or attempted before a parent resorts to kidnapping their child,” says Samrodan. “Whether a local, state or federal organization, if a parent truly feels they need assistance, then they can and will find it — all they need to do is ask.”

If a parent suspects the noncustodial parent may abduct their child, they should file an order with the court to investigate a possible parental kidnapping which can assist them in getting a visitation order held until the threat has passed. In the event of a continued threat or possible attempts to abduct the child, the custodial parent should file an order with the court to have the noncustodial parent’s visitation revised to prevent an abduction from taking place, Samrodan says.

“It only takes a few minutes and a little bit of effort to et help when a parent fears their child may or will be abducted by their noncustodial parent,” says Samrodan. “If they need assistance, anyone at the courthouse would be happy to help — again, all that needs to be done is to ask.”

The Effects on the Child

Recent research conducted by NISMART states children endure adverse consequences from being abducted. Besides emotional turmoil, children may suffer from inadequate schooling, poor nutrition, unstable lifestyles and neglect. Some are abandoned, only to be discovered living in foster homes. In the most egregious cases, children suffer long-term harm that may leave them scarred for life. The belief that a child is safe with a parent lessens the chance of aggressive investigation by law enforcement, NISMART states. Yet one study reported 49 percent of abductors have previously established criminal histories and 75 percent of abducting fathers have a history of violent behavior.

After the child is located, researchers suggest that the police encourage both the parent and the child to receive a psychological and physical evaluation.

While Samrodan says parents may feel there is no other alternative, parental kidnapping only adds to the problems. He says parents can often avoid the situation if they are willing to work together and through the courts to find what the best schedule or routine that offers the child time with both parents.

“The system is not perfect and may not always offer the perfect solution the first time around,” says Samrodan. “But taking a child away from what they know as home; what they know as friends; and what they know as stability can and will only add to the hurt and trauma of all those involved. There are other ways and there are people to help you find them. Think before you take your child.”

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