"Although abductions by nonfamily members receive more public attention, a significant number of child abductions are committed by family members or noncustodial parents - commonly called parental kidnapping." Contrary to common belief, a parental kidnapping can have a deeply traumatic effect on the child. They must suffer the consequences of being uprooted from the home, deprived of the other parent, and forced to spend a life on the run. Child abductions are difficult and complex to deal with when they occur within Canada. When they involve other countries, which is quite often the case, they are even more so. There are a number of methods, and steps, that may be considered when making provisions for the safety of children. After a child has been abducted there is an even more defined series of steps that should be taken. This is a bewildering and often prolonged experience. When it is suspected that a child may be abducted, or has already been so, there is a proper way to handle the situation which will be discussed here through preparation and prevention, and also search and recovery.
Preparation and Prevention.
Knowing Who, Why & When.
The act of parental kidnapping is often provoked in some way by the break-up of the child's father and mother. It may be the actual courtfiling of divorce papers; the remarriage or serious emotional involvement of one parent with another partner; conflict over child support; child custody; or visitation. If there is the possibility of divorce, separation, or dissolving a non-marital partnership, do not ignore threats of abduction made by the partner. They may be indicating a growing frustration that may motivate him or her to disappear with the child. It may help to consult a family counsellor to explore the problems of co-parenting and abduction fears.
Healthy Home Atmosphere.
The most important means of prevention is one that is to be worked on everyday whether there is the possibility of abduction by family members or nonfamily members; and that is healthy communication.