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NCJ Number: 68554 Find in a Library
Title: CHILD SNATCHERS - CONCERNED PARENTS OR CRIMINALS?
Journal: LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNICATIONS  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:(JUNE 1980)  Pages:26-28
Author(s): M WALLOP
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 3
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SENATE BILL (105) HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO THE 95TH CONGRESS TO PROVIDE UNIFORM LEGISLATION CONTROLLING PARENTAL KIDNAPPING, A SERIOUS FORM OF CHILD ABUSE.
Abstract: THE RECENT YEARS HAVE SEEN A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN PARENTAL KIDNAPPING. APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CHILDREN ARE ABDUCTED ANNUALLY. THE RISING DIVORCE RATE IS CITED AS A MAJOR REASON FOR ABDUCTION; ONE CHILD THEFT OCCURS FOR EVERY 22 DIVORCES. ANOTHER REASON LIES IN THE EXISTING LAW, WHICH DOES NOT DETER, BUT ACTUALLY ENCOURAGES A PARENT TO STEAL THE CHILD FROM THE SPOUSE. STATE LAWS ARE NOT UNIFORM, AND EXTRADITION REQUESTS ARE OFTEN DENIED IN THE CASE OF PARENTAL KIDNAPPING. MOREOVER, THE CUSTODY DECREE OF THE HOME STATE COULD BE IGNORED IN ANOTHER STATE, AND A NEW DECREE CONTRADICTING THE HOME STATE RULING CAN BE ISSUED. THE ABDUCTED CHILD, WHO IS USED AS A WEAPON IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE SPOUSES, EXPERIENCES THE SAME EMOTIONAL STRESS ASSOCIATED WITH ALL KIDNAP VICTIMS. THE 'HOSTAGE MENTALITY' CHARACTERIZED BY A LINGERING SENSE OF FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, GUILT, AND A WITHDRAWAL FROM HUMAN CONTACT, IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP. NEW METHODS, UNIFORM FOR ALL THE STATES, NEED TO BE DEVELOPED TO DEAL WITH ABDUCTING PARENTS, WHO DO NOT FIT THE MOLD OF THE USUAL OFFENDER. SENATE BILL 105 OFFERS A THREE-PRONGED APPROACH TO THE CHILD SNATCHING PROBLEM: (1) ALL STATES WILL BE REQUIRED TO ENFORCE CUSTODY DETERMINATIONS MADE BY OTHER STATES; (2) THE PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, WHICH NOW SUCCESSFULLY TRACKS PARENTS WHO HAVE DEFAULTED ON CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS, WILL BE USED TO SEARCH FOR ABDUCTING PARENTS; AND (3) PARENTAL KIDNAPPING, WHICH IS NOW EXEMPTED FROM PROSECUTION, WILL BECOME A FEDERAL MISDEMEANOR, PUNISHABLE BY A MAXIMUM OF 30 DAYS IMPRISONMENT OR $10,000 FOR 'CONCEALING A CHILD.'
Index Term(s): Child Abduction; Child custody; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Kidnapping; Legislation; Psychological victimization effects; Rights of minors
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68554

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