PTSD in International Parental Child Abduction

How does PTSD affect a child?

“A traumatic event, such as a car crash, natural disaster, or physical abuse, can cause PTSDChildren with PTSD may relive the trauma over and over again. They may have nightmares or flashbacks. PTSD is diagnosed only if symptoms keep occurring for more than 1 month and are negatively affecting the child’s life.”

CARI – Child Abduction Recovery International can also prove International and Domestic Parental Child Abduction can be added to the list of causes of PTSD in children and their left behind parents. There is a lot of medical material and research on PTSD, but nothing on PTSD in IPCA (International Parental Child Abduction) or DPCA (Domestic Parental Child Abduction) cases. Recently we have assisted two of our past clients, where both the left behind parent and the children who we returned are experiencing signs and symptoms of PTSD.


The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.
  • Avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma, and emotional numbness.
  • Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered. 

Diagnosis criteria that apply specifically to children younger than age six include the following:

Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violation:

  • direct experience 
  • witnessing the events as they occurred to others, especially primary caregivers (Note: Does not include events witnessed only in electronic media, television, movies, or pictures.)
  • learning that the traumatic events occurred to a parent or caregiving figure



PTSD is a serious issue that does need addressing with the correct professionals. We encourage any left behind parent, whether your child has returned or is still abducted, to seek help.


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 or by calling our CEO Adam Whittington directly +46 707834328 on Whatsapp

We don’t just talk, we are the only ones who actually recover children!