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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77752 Find in a Library
Title: Characteristics of Parental Child Stealing Offenses (From Parental Kidnaping Prevention Act of 1979, S 105 - Addendum, P 61-75, 1980 - See NCJ-77751)
Author(s): M W Agopian
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 15
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Information on parental child snatching in Los Angeles is reviewed, and the extent, mechanisms, and rationale for this act are discussed. Both offender and victim data are provided.
Abstract: Fathers steal children twice as often as mothers, due, perhaps, to the fact that custody awards almost always favor mothers. Caucasians composed 68 percent of the offenders and 69 percent of the parental victims. Both offenders and parental victims are generally young (between ages 27 and 31) and within the same age group; a total of 85 percent of the cases involved ex-spouses. April and September are the peak months for parental child snatching and a large number (55 percent) occur during weekends. A total of 67 percent begin at the victim's residence and 12 percent at the child's school. Parental child thefts are rarely characterized by surprise abductions and the use of force. The offender's use of court-approved visitation privileges to gain possession of the child suggest that such compliance is incorporated into the crime plan and may illustrate the offender's desire not to frighten or harm the child. Occurring in 47 percent of the cases, communication between offender and parental victim involves announcing the offender's intentions and safety of the child or attempts to influence the relationship between the offender and parental victim and/or rationalize the child theft. Generally, offending parents appear to want to maintain a parental relationship with the child or to reestablish the ruptured marital relationship. A total of 19 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): California; Child Abduction; Child welfare; Crime Causes; Domestic relations; Offender profiles; Parental rights; Victim-offender relationships
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