Domestic Violence Parental Child Abduction

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. That’s nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war. Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85 percent of domestic abuse victims being women and 15 percent men.

1 in 4 – The number of U.S. women who will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

1 in 7 – The number of U.S. men who will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

10,000,000 – The number of U.S. children exposed to domestic violence every year.

18,000 – The number of U.S. women who have been killed by men in domestic violence disputes since 2003.

4,774,000 – The number of U.S. women in the U.S. who experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year.

Source for above information

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The Convention is often applicable in cases involving abductions by primary caretakers. Some of these abductions occur in order for the abductor to escape family violence, and courts sometimes return the child even though the primary custodian may not or cannot safely return with the child.

While the Convention requires contracting countries to return allegedly abducted children quickly to their country of habitual residence, there are several exceptions to this, which have been raised as defenses by victims of domestic violence. These are generally explained below:

  • Hague Article 3(a): Removal of the child is wrongful because the child’s habitual residence is not the requesting state.
  • Hague Article 12: Where a child has been wrongfully removed or retained in terms of Article 3, one year has passed since the child had been removed from the petitioning state. The child has become well-settled in a new environment.
  • Hague Article 13(a): The state is not bound to order the return of the child if the left behind parent has acquiesced or consented to the removal of the child by the requesting party.
  • Hague Article 13(b): There is a grave risk that return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.
  • Hague Article 20: The return of child would violate principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In recent weeks CARI Child Abduction Recovery International has highlighted Domestic Violence in International Parental Child Abduction. It’s the number one reason why CARI vets all parents who want our help. No other organisation does this important process, and it’s the reason why every one of our recoveries have had the children returned to a safe and stable environment. This recent case of UK/Ukraine father Yuri Vasylkivsky a serial Domestic Violence abuser, who paid criminals in the Ukraine to kidnap the mother, kill her and take their young child, proves just that.

If you are an abuser and think you can use CARI to return your children to an abusive environment, even if you have court orders, you are very mistaken. We will protect any child, parent whether mother or father from Domestic Violence, with the assistance of the authorities.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction was drawn up in 1980 to protect the interests of abducted children by ordering their return to their country of origin.

Although that may sound good on paper, and we for one are sympathetic when we hear heartbreaking stories from another parent who has had their child abducted, as they desperately seek our help. Pencil pushers, Governments and their funded charities will swear blind The Hague Convention is a good thing and the only option for left behind parents. They now heavily push and preach parents to use ‘mediation’ as they know The Hague Convention is nothing but a useless piece of paper, with a 3% success rate of actually psychically returning a abducted child. They will never admit it of course. They put their monthly salary and pension before an innocent child who’s been abducted.

The convention is there to order the abducted children’s return. However it has also had the disturbing side-effect of re-victimising women who have fled domestic violence.

A case covered this week seems to be typical. A New Zealand woman was subjected to psychological and physical abuse by her violent partner in Australia. After her partner was arrested and charged for assault, she finally managed to get away from him with their child.

Unable to access a home or shelter in Australia, she returned to New Zealand. But as she took her child with her, she was in breach of the Hague Convention and has since been ordered back to Australia. This mother is not alone in her predicament. CARI Child Abduction Recovery International know of many mothers, and some fathers, in the same situation.

In another case, a woman who is 33 weeks pregnant has been ordered back to Australia with her daughter after losing a Family Court case. This mother also had fled a violent former partner in Australia.

This is clearly unfair and surely contradicts the Hague Convention’s aim of safeguarding the best interests of children. It also reeks of the callous human rights abuses we have seen around the world.

A U.S. academic has argued that while the convention could not be changed, our courts could rethink their interpretation of the law. In the first case above, the Family Court declined the deportation of the child because his welfare would be at risk. But the High Court overturned that.

It has been reported that New Zealand law does not recognise domestic violence when Hague Convention cases are considered. In fact, most countries do not recognise domestic violence in IPCA (International Parental Child Abduction) cases. The convention itself was drawn up before the impact of domestic violence was widely understood, showing again just how outdated the convention is.

In doing what we might think is the right thing, which is to reunite children with parents, the convention has compounded stressful, difficult and violent situations. It is not even as simple as saying that the convention seems to value the child over the mother, as that view overlooks the damage done to children who witness domestic violence and grow up in households where it occurs.

“We need to know that the systems we design to ensure the well-being of children are focused on their best interests,” Washington State Supreme Court Judge Barbara Madsen wrote in 2012. “The Hague Convention has this goal at heart, but in the actual application of the treaty, the safety of children and of battered women may be compromised.”

Saying all this, CARI Child Abduction Recovery International, completely understands the other serious issue involved in Domestic Violence in IPCA, that some mothers make serious false allegation of Domestic Violence against the fathers, in order to win custody or a Hague Convention case. Every case involving allegations of Domestic Violence must be investigating in depth, as CARI does when vetting out new clients. The courts do not do this, and very often we see good fathers subjected to alienation and biased decisions in family courts.

Governments need to find a way to protect battered women from the perverse side-effects of a convention that was only ever intended to do good, before more mothers are returned to abusive fathers like notorious abuser Yuri Vasylkivsky.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN. For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

Need help in the United Kingdom http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/ call 0808 2000 247

Need help in Australia https://au.reachout.com/articles/domestic-violence-support call 1800 737 732

CARI Child Abduction Recovery International is 100% against Domestic Violence and False Allegations.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding International Parental Child Abduction feel free to contact CARI Child Abduction Recovery International 24/7. We are always available at info@childabductionrecovery.com or by calling our CEO Adam Whittington directly +46 707385598

We don’t just talk, we actually recover children!

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