This page is dedicated to the many parents who find themselves at a complete loss when the other parent has taken off with their child. It is a harsh reality that is growing in numbers, even worse, is when your partner runs to another state or country with your child and you then become a 'chasing parent'. It is a nightmare beyond measure when our children are taken. Where do you go to seek help and who are the defenders of your child's right to have both of you in their lives?
Unfortunately I had to experience this madness first hand. Not only did my children's father take off with them without my knowledge once, but after I had moved near him and continued the battle to get them back; he ran off with them again. I had already left one state and chased after them. After I was around them for about two years, and had established a life and regular visits with my children; he then took off again and put them in grave danger. My greatest fears became reality as I was kept apart from them for more than 6 months before they returned to their familiar area. It would be another year before I regained custody.
The growing fear in our present day, is that with the use of social networking and more travel throughout the world, people from different areas of the globe are uniting and then having children together, rather through adoption or by natural means. These same couples are also getting separated or divorced and the vicious circling battle of child custody and support begins. What happens when a parent takes off with that child and you are then left to fight across international borders for the return of your child?
This is left for the experts and the team I want to dedicate this entire page to is the I CARE Foundation. This foundation was started by a man I call a 'Miracle Worker and Hero'. Best Selling Author and devotated Child Advocate, Peter Thomas Senese is a very admirable man for all that he gives to help families of international parental abduction. He and New York attorney Joel Walter have teamed up with an excellent network of attorneies and specialist to conduct studies and provide educational videos and other material to help you through. They have attended special meeting with the United Nations Committee and testified of the many alarming statistics of this growing epidemic. They continue to fight to establish and modify existing laws held to protect our children through the Hague Convention Treaty and the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. This is a highly dedicated team that have built a website for you filled with all of the in's and out's of this horrible abuse. Make no mistake that Parental Abduction is Child Abuse. The abductor detroys the bond that the child holds with the other parent. They use alienation techniques to ensure that the child relies fully on them and believes the other parent wants nothing to do with them. They will use false claims of child abuse and/or domestic violence against the other parent, as these tatics are used to ensure the other country and the legal resources will be less likely to assist the chasing parent and will disregard orders to return the child.
**Please note however; According to the studies completed by I CARE Foundation & staff, there are approximately 6% of these cases when it is absolutely a life or death case of domestic violence or abuse and the parent has no other option but to flee the state or the country in order to protect themselves and their child/children.** In no way do I want this to be miss respresented in any form. I am a survivor of some of the most horrific abuses and attempted murders against me, so I know there are those very crucial times when you have no assistance from legal resources or shelters or other means of help and running is the only option you have left. It is vital to note that staying alive and keeping your child safe is of the utmost importance.
This being said it is the false claims of abuse that make it impossible for actual abuse cases to be handled properly and accordingly. I urge you to report any false claims of abuse, just as I urge you to report any act of abuse. If we allow abuses to be falsely charged then we in turn are being used as a tool of abuse by the accuser. Never let any form of abuse go ignored or unreported. It is impertive that we all make the effort to protect those around us and within our families. We cannot allow ourselves to be used as a tool of abuse against another party in any means, especially in these particular cases of parental abduction.
You'll find an in-depth interview with Mr. Senese; an incredible man who is commonly seen as a modern day Peter Pan. Rescuing children and advocating for laws to protect from illegal abdcution and crossing borders to other countries without proper protected documentation for our children, this is truly the picture of what every advocate should aspire to become!!
UPDATE FROM MR. SENESE & I CARE Foundation: December 4, 2012 - Senate Committee passes unanimously Senate Resolution 543 - "December 4th, 2012 a Senate vote. Previously, Senator Boxter stated before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Business Meeting presided over Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) that, “The International Parental Child Abduction Resolution condemns the abduction of a child by one parent to another country. It also calls on our nation and the international community to do more to resolve current and future abduction cases.” Senator Boxter also stated she “Introduced this resolution to help shine a light on child abduction and to urge immediate and sustained action to address it.”