Overview

It is estimated that 350,000 children a year are abducted by a family member. What happens when a child is kidnapped from home? What are the emotional and psychological consequences for the child who must live in hiding for weeks, months, or even years? How does the parent left behind cope with having no knowledge of the child's whereabouts or well-being? And what could lead a parent to inflict such a painful existence on his or her own child? Until now, little systematic research has been undertaken to find ...
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When Parents Kidnap

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Overview

It is estimated that 350,000 children a year are abducted by a family member. What happens when a child is kidnapped from home? What are the emotional and psychological consequences for the child who must live in hiding for weeks, months, or even years? How does the parent left behind cope with having no knowledge of the child's whereabouts or well-being? And what could lead a parent to inflict such a painful existence on his or her own child? Until now, little systematic research has been undertaken to find answers, and the scope and consequences of parental abduction have remained largely unknown. Now, in When Parents Kidnap, Geoffrey Greif and Rebecca Hegar provide the most comprehensive look yet at the problem of the abduction of children by their parents. The authors capture the experiences both of the parents searching for their children and the abductors who have taken them. We see vivid depictions of life on the run and learn the painful details of how children who have been in hiding for months and sometimes years cope with moving from town to town and school to school. We also learn how reunion with the searching parent affects them. The phenomenon of parental abduction is part of a larger social context of changes in the family. Almost a quarter of U.S. children live with only one parent - more than five million of them children of divorce - and the growing prevalence of parental abductions has officials and professionals alarmed. Greif and Hegar point the way to improvements in public policy by showing precisely how changes in custody, divorce, and other laws could help to reduce abduction of children, or resolve it more quickly. Identifying five common scenarios that end in abduction, Greif and Hegar help the reader to understand a wide range of abduction situations, and they provide specific suggestions for mental health professionals involved with families who have experienced this trauma.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The authors, both faculty members of the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland, have written a comprehensive analysis of the burgeoning problem of parental abduction, of which it is estimated there may be as many as 350,000 cases a year in the U.S. alone. Greif and Hegar conclude that abductions usually occur to right a perceived wrong (as in custody decisions), to recapture the love of the other parent, to get revenge or to hold onto someone dear. Thus abductors are of both sexes, take children of all ages (although mostly under five) and keep them for as short a time as a weekend or as long a time as 15 years. The authors address the traumas to the abducting parent, the searching parent, the children, their siblings and the extended family, which is often involved, and suggest ways the incidence of parental kidnapping can be reduced. One of the strengths of this study is the authors' reluctance to generalize, a tendency they believe is inaccurate when studying this volatile subject. Dry, academic prose will probably prevent this valuable book from reaching the wide readership it deserves. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Although family abduction occurs often in the United States (an estimated 350,000 times annually), only limited progress has been made in addressing this situation. Through questionnaires and interviews with parents, children, and other family members, the authors present a detailed picture of a complex problem. Family members committing abductions fit no single profile; many are nonviolent and believe that they are acting in their children's best interests, though some abductors are violent and vengeful. The authors view the abductor's actions as traumatic to all family members and, generally, not to be condoned. They suggest additional means of combatting family abduction, including helpful services to families at risk, modification of the adversarial ``win-lose'' approach to settling custody disputes, and swift action to defuse threatening situations. Unfortunately, as the authors suggest, a more intractable problem remains: we have created a society in which families do not stay together. For academic and larger public library collections.-- Carol Lewis Watwood, Western Kentucky Univ. Lib., Bowling Green
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451602357
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2010
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 321
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Parental Kidnapping in Context 1
2 Parents Whose Children Are Abducted 22
3 Parents Who Abduct Their Children 56
4 How Parents Recover Their Children 101
5 How Children Experience Abduction 139
6 International Abductions 179
7 Helping Families Survive an Abduction: Therapeutic Approaches 196
8 Before Parents Kidnap: Preventing Abductions 219
9 Resolving Parental Abductions and Reexamining Their Context 240
Appendix 271
Notes 273
List of Statutes and Court Cases 295
Bibliography 297
Index 313
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