Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25 is National Missing Children Awareness Day

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice help shed light on the problem.

Missing children

•An estimated 797,500 children were reported missing each year.

•More than than 2,000 children are reported missing every day, but thankfully the vast majority of them are recovered quickly.

Non-family abductions

•An estimated 58,200 children were taken in one year by someone outside the family
•An estimated 115 children experienced a stereotypical kidnapping, the rarest type of abduction potentially posing great risk of serious harm.

Family abductions

•An estimated 203,900 children were victims of family abduction, where the child was taken by a noncustodial parent.

•24 percent of these abductions lasted one week to less than one month.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

US State Department notes "epidemic" of child snatching

"Parental kidnapping is one of the worst forms of child abuse." --US State Department

The U.S. State Department has recognized that parental and family abductions in the USA are occuring at epidemic rates and provides information (see excerpts) through the web link below:

"Sixty percent of all children in the United States now spend some time in a single parent home. In these single parent families (354,000 cases reported in 1988), one parent has taken unilateral action to deprive the other parent of contact with the couple’s child, in half of these cases (163,200), according to one study, the intent of the abducting parent was to alter permanently custodial access by concealing the child or taking the child out of the state or out of the country."

"The rise in international child abduction can be attributed to the increase in marriages and divorces between bi-national couples. These marriages, by their nature, come with cultural, ethnic, and religious differences. The ease of international travel and the fact that many dual national children possess two passports facilitate abductions."

"When non-custodial parents resort to kidnapping, they believe they are acting in the best interests of their children. Although a minority of parenta1 kidnappers may actually save their children by taking them out of the reach of the other parent, the motives of most parents who steal their children are not at all altruistic. Parents find a myriad of reasons or self-justification for stealing a child from another parent Some abductors will find fault with the other parent for nonsensical transgressions; others will steal a child for revenge."

"Although most parents who steal their children attempt to justify their actions as the only way to ensure the best interests of the child, the child’s best interests are usually not considered. In fact, the best interest of the child mandates that parents ask themselves what the consequences of the abduction will be on the child. If parents had the foresight and emotional empathy of the impact of lying to a child across time and deriding the custodial parent, then they would not do it."

"Parental abductors have several common characteristics: the abductors are likely to dismiss the value of the other parent to the child. They believe that they know, more than anyone else, including a judge, what is best for their child. Second, the children abducted are likely to be very young (2-3 years old), since they are easy to transport and cannot verbally protest or tell others of their history. If older, such children, often manipulated, have colluded with the abducting parent. Finally, the abductors work with an extensive social network of other persons for practical assistance and to keep their whereabouts hidden."

US State Department: Parental child snatching "one of the worst forms of child abuse."