Total Number Of International Parental Child Abductions Report: Soon To Be Released

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Through the combination of stewardship of sharing the message of international parental child abduction and the actual growing number of child kidnappings that are occurring each year, society is slowly but surely becoming aware of the existence of the international parental child kidnapping crisis upon us, and surely coming to terms that when a parent illegally removes or detains a child in another country without permission of the other parent, the child taken is not simply with their other parent, but with an abusive criminal kidnapper.

So, you would think that the total number of international parental child abductions would be made easily available upon, in the very least, signatory countries of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction in lieu of the urgent worldwide dilemma at hand.

But they’re not. Not even close.

In fact, many member states of the Hague Convention to not publish their statistics.

Why?

It is beyond me.What To Do If Your Child Has Been Internationally Abducted This Holiday Season

The I CARE Foundation has been spent a great deal of time researching the question, ‘What is the Total Number of International Parental Child Abductions?’  Of course, there are many ancillary questions that stem from this question.

In the near future, and as the I CARE Foundation prepares to announce a series of legislative initiatives, we will be releasing a shocking report that addresses the issue of how many international parental child abductions exist each year worldwide that is so concise, measurable, and sadly, alarming.

If you are a journalist interested in receiving a copy of the report prior to its publication, please contact the I CARE Foundation. If you desire to be placed on an e-mail list in order to receive a copy of the report, please click here.

What will be shared is remarkably alarming. And it affects everyone.

– Peter Thomas Senese –
On Behalf Of The I CARE Foundation

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Peter Thomas Senese: Discussing The I CARE Foundation’s First Year

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It has been a little over a year that the I CARE Foundation began our formal operations working toward trying to dramatically reduce the number of children who are fallen victims of the crimes of international parental child abduction or child trafficking.

The I CARE Foundation has had success on many levels, including reuniting numerous internationally kidnapped children with their parents while also preventing an even greater number of abductions from occurring.   Due to the nature and sensitivity of many of the cases we are involved in, we are mindful not to discuss any role we play or our involvement even after a child is returned because children of abduction, sadly, are considered high-risk targets for an attempted second abduction.

Nevertheless, I know I speak on behalf of the I CARE Foundation’s entire board of directors when I say that we always keep in mind the wonderful words shared with us by many of the parents who we have assisted.  Their words of thanks and appreciation move us deeply while reminding each of us how important our work is.

But our work protecting children is not simply found in successfully assisting the many dozens of families we have over this past year.  And before I go any further, I will be the first to say that reuniting children of abduction or preventing a child’s international abduction is not easy: the laws are not helpful, the scheming parents seem to have a hidden playbook on how to abduct, countries often do not uphold international law, and the financial costs of recovery or prevention is incredible: thus, there are times when despite our capabilities, our efforts may not result in a recovery or prevention of abduction.

Fortunately, there have been many successes, while remaining committed to those we seek to help.

However, our primary mission is to conduct research in the area of international parental child abduction and child trafficking, publish and widely disperse our findings, and then use our data to help drive new policies and laws that will help protect children.  Considering the I CARE Foundation is a non-profit organization fueled by the financing made available by our board of directors, it is encouraging at this point just how far we have come in a year.

You know, one person’s voice really can make a difference.  And humbly, it was during the time that I was ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ of international parental child abduction that I thought one day I would use my skills and capability as a best-selling author to help other parents and children facing a world of abduction that does not make any sense: the world of international parental child abduction. Fortunately, I had a starting point that would allow me to set the wheels of advocacy in motion because I had a platform to stand on: you see, it took a great deal of everything, but I was able to reunite with my child despite unthinkable hardships and challenges, and in doing so, I also learned a great deal about child abduction.

Using my skills as a writer, I then wrote the deeply personal fiction novel ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ that was overwhelmingly inspired by my life’s experiences that book critics have praised.  I am very proud of ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ because, as it has been properly stated in the press, it is a book that creates miracles.

Now you might be asking yourself how does a book create miracles?  To begin, the knowledge shared with other targeted parents has helped many reunite with their children or helped them protect their kids.

In addition, I have donated 100% of all of my various books proceeds and ancillary income to the I CARE Foundation, including 100% of my revenue generated from all e-book sales of ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ (hardcover will be released in early 2013: 4.8 Star Rating: 40+ Reviews) to the I CARE Foundation.  Fortunately, I have been blessed to be able to make several important donations to the foundation that has unquestionably rescued and protected many children.

As for the I CARE Foundation, some of our successes include but are not limited to:

  1. Reuniting numerous abducted children with their families.
  2. Assisting in the prevention of the international kidnapping of many targeted children.
  3. Conducting and publishing important research in the area of child abduction.
  4. Using our research findings to either drive or initiate new laws and policies geared to protect children and their families.
  5. Creating a nation-wide attorney network of lawyers capable of assisting families in crisis due to actual or potential abduction.
  6. Launching a successful campaign seeking attorneys to join the U.S. Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network.

There are no words that I could ever use to explain the heart-felt joy I feel knowing that so many children have been assisted because of the I CARE Foundation’s work.   Nor could there ever been words that could mirror the hurt I feel when I come to learn of a parent and child’s suffering due to abduction.  It is what drives all of us to make a difference.

In little over a year, the I CARE Foundation’s accomplishments have had a positive social impact.  It was an honor to participate in the United States Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program at the United Nations.  It was an honor to accept a magnificent American Flag that was flown over the United States Capitol in my honor, and I sure am looking forward to traveling to the Hague and visiting the Peace Palace in the early part of 2013.

When I look out at the number of lives the I CARE Foundation has knowingly touched, and consider the number of individuals we will have a positive impact for that we will never know or meet, the writer inside of me smiles because I know without my desire to write ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ the I would not have sought to create the foundation.  Clearly, the power of books and writing are alive and well.  And I am thrilled to know that the foundation’s operations, board of directors, advisory board, and international reach and presence will be expanding in 2013.

On a personal note, and outside of the joy I feel knowing of the children we have helped, it has been richly rewarding to develop friendships with some truly remarkable, loving parents who it is my honor to call ‘friend’.

In the spirit of friendship, I know that 2013 is really going to be the Year of the Child.

On a final note, please remember, Christmas is Child Abduction Season.  Educate yourself so that you and your family can have a Happy Christmas.  And as for me: I will continue to stand up to kidnappers of children . . .

Peter Thomas Senese

Founding Director
I CARE Foundation

Peter Thomas Senese Discusses International Parental Child Abduction and Murder

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An Abduction That Won't Happen This Holiday SeasonWith the festive Christmas Holiday Season upon us, this is not the kind of information that I want to have to share, however it’s a very serious reality that Christmas is one of the most prominent times of the year when children are internationally abducted from one parent by another.  And sadly, as various government studies indicate, a large percentage of children who are murdered have their lives taken by one of their parents.

When child abduction prevention advocates, such as those that are a part of the I CARE Foundation, raise our voices and try to raise awareness of international parental child abduction, I think many of us are not only trying to prevent a child’s severe abuse from occurring, but what we are trying to do is prevent the murder of an innocent child.

Patricia Hoff, now with the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, and who oversees the State Department’s Hague Convention Attorney Network has been a long-standing and tremendous child advocate who has clearly dedicated her life to helping children: I cannot say strongly enough that children all over the world have benefited from Ms. Hoff’s indefatigable dedication to making a positive difference in their lives and pushing back the mountain of child abduction. Previous to her role at the United States Department of State, Ms. Hoff was the Legal Director for the Parental Abduction Training and Dissemination Project sponsored by the American Bar Association on Children and Law.

In the much heralded report titled International Parental Child Abduction is Child Abuse written by Nancy Faulkner, Ph. D. that was presented to the United Nations Rights On The Child (Special Session, 1999), the report begins with Ms. Hoff’s statement that, “Because of the harmful effects on children, parental kidnapping has been characterized as a form of child abuse.” Dr. Faulkner also share Ms. Hoff’s statement that, “Abducted children suffer emotionally and sometimes physically at the hands of abductor-parents. Many children are told the other parent is dead or no longer loves them. Uprooted from family and friends, abducted children often are given new names by their abductor-parents and instructed not to reveal their real names or where they lived before.”

But is there a correlation between parental alienation, international parental child abduction, and murder of a child by a parent (Filicide)?

Yes. All that needs to be done is view the long arch of severe act of child abuse a topic none of us ever what to think about: the reality that hundreds of children each year in the United States and Canada are murdered by one of their parents. One of the main reasons why innocent lives are taking? Family disputes, including separation and divorce.

In fact, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) reports on their website that a report cited by Marlene Dalley Ph.D. (2000) indicates that of all the child murders that occurred at the hands of a parent “the findings of a two-year research project indicates that over 5% of all children murdered in Canada were related to a custody dispute. Additionally, the findings showed that 23% of the killing incidents were influenced by divorce and separation stressors and mental instability.”

Did you notice the words “mental instability?”

Going back to the Faulkner report, Dr. Dorothy Huntington, who was one of the leading advocates warning how abduction is severe abuse, and who published the article Parental Kidnapping: A New Form of Child Abuse states that, “child stealing is child abuse . . . in child stealing the children are used as both objects and weapons in the struggle between the parents which leads to the brutalization of the children psychologically, specifically destroying their sense of trust in the world around them.”

So, do parents who abuse their children and who kidnap them abroad, stealing their identity and sense of self have the capacity of taking their life?

Clearly. And it has happened too many times.

In late 1993, the Criminal Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office undertook a 3-1/2 year research project, partially funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, to study the investigation of child abduction murder cases. Their study was updated in 2006.

In this first research project, published in 1997, researchers reviewed more than 600 child abduction murder cases across the United States, then interviewed the investigating detectives. The 2006 updated report the Attorney General’s Office released included 175 additional solved cases. One of the glaring findings in this study is that in 44% of the cases studied, the victims and killers were strangers, but in 42 percent of the cases, the victims and killers were friends or acquaintances and about 14% of the cases studied involved parents or intimates killing the child.

The Denver Post published an article about parental child killing a few years ago. The article cited Dr. Phillip Resnick, director of forensic psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland who stated, “Historically, one out of 33 homicides is a parent killing a child younger than 18.” Dr. Resnick, who conducted a study on filicide in 2005 states “Filicide is the deliberate act of a parent killing his or her own child, is the third-leading cause of death in American children ages 5 to 14.”

The Denver Post reports, “Researchers estimate 250 to 300 children are murdered by their parents each year in the U.S.

The Denver Post’s statistics are reflected in FBI Uniform Crime Reports indicating the murder of sons and daughters accounted for 3.1 percent of the 90,869 homicides in the U.S. from 1995 through 2000.

Now in a highly publicized report on the United States Department of State’s website written by the highly respected Honorable Judges William Rigler (Dec.2012) and Howard L. Wieder, “Parental kidnapping is the abduction and/or concealment of a child without the consent of the other parent child snatching, child stealing, and child abduction are synonymous with parental kidnapping. Id. at 364 n. 13.. Parental kidnapping one of the worst forms of child abuse.McKeon, “International Parental Kidnapping; A New Law, A New Solution,” 30 Fam. L.Q. 235, 244 (1996); see, Note, “Access Rights: A Necessary Corollary to Custody Rights Under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,” 21 Fordham Int’l L.J. 308, 318 & n.64 (1997). The mere threat of child abduction is also a form of patent abuse. People v. Beach , 194 Cal. App. 3d 955, 240 Cal. Rptr. 50 (1987).”

The State Department report continues, “When non-custodial parents resort to kidnapping, they believe they are acting in the best interests of their children. Although a minority of parental kidnappers may actually save their children by taking them out of the reach of the other parent, the motives of most parents who steal their children are not at all altruistic. Parents find a myriad of reasons or self-justification for stealing a child from another parent. Some abductors will find fault with the other parent for nonsensical transgressions; others will steal a child for revenge.”

Did you notice the keyword, “revenge?”

The Honorable Judge Rigler and Judge Weider’s report further states,“A representative of Child Find said at a congressional hearing on missing children: “Searching parents worry and wonder, constantly tormented by this act. It is revenge far sweeter and longer lived then a beating or even murder, for it never ends. “Note, “Children as Pawns in Their Parents’ Fight for Control: The Failure of the United States to Protect Against International Child Abduction,” 21 Women’s Rts L. Rep. 129, 132 (2000).

Again the keyword here is “revenge.”

But what if the act of revenge fails and a child is going to be returned back to the targeted parent? What type of “revenge” will be served?

Remember, the narcissistic and sociopathic behavior of an abductor removes all rational thinking.

Back to the Honorable Judge Rigler and Wieder report, the judges state,”A kidnapping parent may also be controlled by feelings of frustration and inadequacy and thus, may want the children to reassure his or her worth. Often, children who are abducted are placed in the role of the other spouse and receive the emotional and, sometimes, physical abuse meant for the non-abducting parent. Moreover, because the children are stolen in a fit of anger or revenge, the abductors eventually realize that they do not want the child once their anger has subsided.”

The reality of international parental child abduction is, as cited by Judge Rigler and Wieder that, “Although most parents who steal their children attempt to justify their actions as the only way to ensure the best interests of the child, the child’s best interests are usually not considered. In fact, the best interest of the child mandates that parents ask themselves what the consequences of the abduction will be on the child. If parents had the foresight and emotional empathy of the impact of lying to a child across time and deriding the custodial parent, then they would not do it.”

Clearly, in the vast majority of cases of international parental child abduction, we are dealing with severe instability, narcissism, and sociopathic behavior.

New  York attorney Joel Walter, who is a board of director member of the I CARE Foundation, and who has a long and extensive history  that stretches nearly 40 years of fighting to protect children and their rights, including protecting children from international child abduction, added, “Who suffers because of a kidnapper’s uncontrollable rage and desire to hurt the other parent? The innocent child does! Once removed from their home, the child becomes a hostage who is put into more danger than being alienated from their other parent and family, being forced to live the life as a fugitive, having their identity stripped away – no, there is much more at risk than all of this: there is the risk that filicide – the murder of a child at the hands of one of their parents – will occur. And this is the reality that we all keep in the forefront of our thoughts: child abductors have demonstrated their cleverness and willingness to scheme and break the law as exhibited by their criminal act of kidnapping, the vast majority of abductors kidnap their child because they have lost control of their emotions and use the child as a pawn for revenge against the other parent and are willing to go to nearly any length to cause pain and suffering to their target, even if it is at the expense of their own child, and conceivably, as has been demonstrated in various forms and ways as exhibited by the number of filicide cases, a parental child abductor could murder their own child as the ultimate act of revenge – especially when a child’s return to their country of original jurisdiction has been ordered or is imminent. This is a very serious issue.”

What Mr. Walter points out, I think, more than anything else is what all international parental child abduction prevention advocates are fighting to stop.

It might not be openly talked about – especially when you consider the majority of activist who vocalize their concern about international child kidnapping are parents still searching – but this issue is for many, their gravest concern.

And with the United States possibly facing between 100,000 and 125,000 international parental child abductions over the next 10 years, and Canada facing anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 children who will actually be kidnapped abroad – this issue is worth screaming about!

As an author, child advocate, and parent, and in my capacity as the Founding Director of the I CARE Foundation, every time the foundation gets involved in a child abduction case, my stomach twists and turns and rolls into a knot because of the grave concern I have for all children who are parentally kidnapped.

So I remind each of you who read this to remember that you are only three degrees of separation from knowing someone who is a target of international parental child abduction.  Please support all initiatives created to prevent international parental child abduction.

Thank you –

Peter Thomas Senese
Founding Director
The I CARE Foundation

Author Of The Critically Acclaimed
Chasing The Cyclone (100% Author Proceeds donated to the I CARE Foundation)

Peter Thomas Senese: Helping Abducted Children and Their Families

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As a board member of the I CARE Foundation, I take great pride in being able to have played a major role in helping a large number of children who were previously internationally abducted reunite with their targeted parent and family as well as helping an even larger number of parents protect their children from being internationally kidnapped.

It is not easy.

In reality, the deck is stacked against any parent trying to reunite with a child or prevent a child from disappearing overseas.

Chasing The Cyclone

Helping children from being internationally abducted or reunited with their targeted parent and family has been a goal of mine ever since I was unexpectedly forced to race into the nightmarish storms of international parental child abduction that is the basis of my novel ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ critics all around the world have been very generous to speak of. In fact, my commitment was much more than a goal: it was a promise I made to the God I believe in that one day I would stand to help others who face the same unthinkable storms of abduction my child and I faced.

At that time that my journey into the world of abduction began, I had never even heard of the collective words ‘international parental child abduction’ or the ‘Hague Convention’.

I sure know of them now.

But words and desires alone do no make a difference. Action makes a difference. Commitment makes a difference. Standing unbowed in the face of deterrents makes a difference. And acting in goodness to help others who cannot help themselves makes a difference.

The I CARE Foundation

Paying close attention to action, commitment, determination, and in goodness, more than a few miracles on behalf of children have been created. Many children have been rescued. Many more children will escape the chains of international kidnapping. And many, many more children will be protected and never be taken.

These words of appreciation and insight shared by other parents who I and the not-for-profit I CARE Foundation I am the Founding Director of mean a great deal to me.  They serve as a reminder of what can do and what must be done to protect children (Click here to review sworn testimonial letters about how Peter Thomas Senese has helped children):

 EP, whose child was abducted to the Ivory Coast eight years ago spoke of the miracle Peter Thomas Senese created, “On January 16th, 2012, I received a telephone call from Peter Thomas Senese. He said to me that my son was on an airplane 30,000 feet high over Africa and on his way home to the United States . As for Peter Thomas Senese, what can I say about this incredible man who led the efforts on all
fronts to rescue my son? He asked for nothing other than for me to help others one day when my child was home, he provided financial support, emotional
support, and all the necessary legal support required. I will be forever grateful to Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation for the selfless acts and considerable kindness.”

TD, whose child was abducted to Nigeria added of the miracle Peter Thomas Senese also created, “On March 22nd, 2012 my toddler son was kidnapped from Colorado to Nigeria. All appeared hopeless. Nigeria is not a member of nay foreign treaty, there was very little the U.S. government could do to help me in Nigeria. Very few children have ever been returned to America from Africa. I eventually contacted Peter Thomas Senese, as he is well-respected in the area of IPCA, who told me, “You need to be patient, but we will get your son home.” His words were simply not words. On June 11th, 2012 at approximately 10:15 p.m. while standing inside the Denver International Airport, I held my son in my arms! My son was back home, in America, just like Mr. Senese said he would be.  Peter Thomas Senese has given so much to my family. God Bless you Peter for all you have done for me and my family.”
CF stated, “I found myself a young mom alone facing a terrifying life threatening cancer fight while also
desperately trying to find and bring home my abducted son. There is no question in my mind that without Peter’s assistance I would have lost my son. From bringing on an overseeing the investigations to attorneys needed to help me, to staying in consistent contact with me every step of the way during a very complex process, Peter’s incredible actions bespeak of his unquestionable kindness, caring, compassion, and what is right about this world. He never asked me for anything, but gave and gave and gave . . . And at 4:35 a.m. on a Friday morning standing next to me at the airport as my son was taken off a flight and [held] into my loving arms, was Peter Thomas Senese. As far as Peter Thomas Senese is concerned, he is an incredible man. He is direct, honest, loyal, compassionate, and made an enormous difference in my and my family’s life.
Without him, not only would I not have reunited with my abducted son . . . I prayed to God for help and a miracle. God answered. I am forever thankful to my friend Peter Thomas Senese and all he has done for me and my family.”
AB said, “Chasing The Cyclone and Peter Thomas Senese have assisted me and my family significantly in
protecting my daughters from being parentally abducted to Saudi Arabia, where women like myself have no rights. If my children were abducted there, I would never see them again. Today, I sleep a little better due to the incredible efforts of Peter Thomas Senese. Knowing Mr. Senese has helped ensure my children’s safety and has helped protect us from Chasing The Cyclone of international child abduction. Along the way, he has never asked for anything.”
MR. said, “Unequivocally, Peter Thomas Senese is a tremendous person of great honor and integrity, he
acts selflessly on behalf of children all across the globe, he is honest, sincere, unbowed, and willing to stand up against those that act against others. My abducted child is coming home, finally after all these years, in no
small way because of the great assistance I received from Peter Thomas Senese.”
TP, a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy (reserve) and a mother said, “Mr. Senese
has assisted me during legal proceedings I have initiated in order to prevent my at-risk daughter from being abducted to Brazil . . . Chasing The Cyclone as a matter-of-fact guide as to the risk factors that may indicate an abduction and legal steps to take in order to prevent this from happening. Mr. Senese’s work and network continue to protect my daughter and other targeted children.”

Of course, when you are dealing with defending against international parental child abduction, the kidnapper or those working with the abductor are not going to be very happy to know that abduction prevention advocates such as myself and the I CARE Foundation team who possess a strong track record of assisting children are acting to stop their illicit and abusive act.  So, part of the turf in working tirelessly to protect children from being abducted or rescuing kidnapped children is that child abusing abductors will attempt to discredit me and the I CARE Foundation team. There efforts will have no bearing on our highly dedicated foundation: we will continue to act to stop child abduction and whenever possible, legally assist a parent in their heroic effort to reunite with their stolen child or children

The I CARE Foundation

A great deal of the goals I have set out to achieve have been connected to the I CARE Foundation.

For those of you who are not aware of the I CARE Foundation, we are a not-for-profit organization that  has gradually become a visible stakeholder in the world of international parental child abduction prevention and reunification with a large and growing list of impressive accomplishments.
The accomplishments of the I CARE Foundation include assisting in numerous LEGAL international child abduction recoveries and reunification, heavily participated in exponentially more successful acts to prevent abduction from occurring, our ongoing groundbreaking research in the area of international child abduction and trafficking has provided new, accurate, and insightful information as to the severity of the global epidemic society as a whole has before it, our comprehensive and expansive reporting of our research findings has led other stakeholders to protect numerous children from abduction while allowing us to significantly advance our legislative initiatives, some of which have either already become law or agency policy, while legislative initiatives are moving forward in a manner we could hope for.  Additionally, we continue to build a national network of pro bono lawyers who participate in the U.S. Department of State’s ‘Hague Convention Attorney Network’, while nearing completion for the first-ever international child abduction case law data base.

One last thing: as some of you may know, I have donated 100% of all of my publishing earnings to the I CARE Foundation in order to help try to recover children who have been abducted.  So, if you’re interested in reading any of my novels such as Chasing The Cyclone, The Den of the Assassin, Cloning Christ, or War on Wall Street, know that your purchase will be directed to making a difference for children.

For more information about the I CARE Foundation please feel free to send an email to mediarelations@stopchildabduction.org.