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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Most child custody violators do not consider their actions illegal or morally wrong

Family abduction of children has become a serious concern in the United States. Coincident with the rapid rise in divorce and the increase in children born to unmarried parents, approximately 60 percent of all children spend time in a single-parent home A national incidence study revealed that in an unprecedented number of these single-parent families (354,000 in 1988), one parent took unilateral action to deprive the other parent of contact with their child. In almost half of these cases (163,200), the abducting parent intended to permanently alter custodial access by concealing the child or taking the child out of his or her home State or country.

Abducting parents are likely to have very young children (the mean age is 2–3). Such children are easier to transport and conceal, are unlikely to verbally protest, and may be unable to tell others their name or other identifying information. Older children who are taken or retained in violation of custody orders are usually those who are particularly vulnerable to influence or have colluded with the abducting parent.

Most abducting parents (except those characterized as paranoid delusional) are likely to have the support of a social network—family, friends, cultural communities, cult-like groups, or an underground dissident movement—that provides not only practical assistance (money, food, lodging) but also emotional and moral support to validate the abducting parent’s extralegal actions. Read the study:
Family Abductors: Descriptive Profiles and Preventive Interventions

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