Parental child abduction is usually treated as a civil matter. Legislation in each of the four countries of the UK gives effect to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction – an agreement between countries which aims to ensure the return of an abducted child to the country where he or she normally lives, so that issues of residence (custody) and contact (access) can be decided by the courts of that country.
Month: March 2018
This guidance is for:
- local authority chief executives
- directors of children’s services
- chairs of local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs)
- teachers and education staff
- social workers
- health service professionals
- adult services
- police officers
- voluntary and community sector workers in contact with children and families
It applies to:
- local authorities
- all schools
This replaces ‘Working together to safeguard children’ (2013).
Statutory guidance is issued by law; you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to.
Working Together to Safeguard Children – A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (2015) provides guidance about sharing information about children in England (and there is separate similar guidance applicable in Wales). In deciding whether there is a need to share information, professionals need to consider their legal obligations, including whether they have a duty of confidentiality. Where there is such a duty, the professional may lawfully share information if consent is obtained or if there is a public interest of sufficient weight. Where there is a clear risk of significant harm to a child, the public interest test will almost certainly be satisfied. Lack of consent to share information is irrelevant where there is a clear concern about a risk of harm to the child or young person.
Prosecutors must be proactive in highlighting to police officers information which is of concern to them. If it is not possible to prosecute a case, but information available causes concern to the prosecutor, they should ensure that this is brought to the attention of the relevant investigating police officers, so that they can in turn share this with the relevant agencies including Local Authorities.
Child abduction is an either-way offence. The maximum penalty on indictment is seven years’ imprisonment.
Further information, including links to the Hague Convention and information regarding the relationship between civil and criminal proceedings can be accessed via the Gov.uk website entitled International Child Abduction and contact Unit.
Kidnapping is a common law offence comprising the taking or carrying away of one person by another, by force or fraud, without the consent of the person so taken or carried away and without lawful excuse.
The absence of the child’s consent will be material in any kidnapping case, whatever the child’s age. Younger children will not have the understanding or intelligence to give consent, so that the absence of consent will be a necessary inference from the child’s age. With older children, it must be a question of fact for the jury whether the child has sufficient understanding and intelligence to give consent.
The consent of the DPP is required to charge an offence under section 5 of the Child Abduction Act 1984 if it was committed against a child under 16 by a person connected with the child (within the meaning of section 1 of the Act)
There is something that can be almost as painful as losing a child: losing a child who has not died. This is rarely addressed, yet I am convinced the phenomenon of adult children who have chosen never to speak to their parent has reached epidemic proportions. Whenever I raise this subject on my radio show, men (and, less frequently, women) call in and weep when they tell me that their child has not spoken to them in ten, 20, or more years. It is frequently, though certainly not always, the result of parental alienation brought about by an angry ex-spouse during and after a divorce.
“The existence of alienation of itself can only be damaging to a child. It must be grim to grow up having a profoundly negative view of one of your parents. In some cases such a negative view may be justified by the actions of that parent, but often life is not so black and white and a more nuanced, ordinary and tolerable view of both parents will have been justified had an imbalanced status quo as to contact not become established.”
Hopefully, these words will encourage more courts to investigate allegations at an early date.
What if George Orwell had written a sequel to Nineteen Eighty-Four called Twenty-Fifteen? In it, nefarious puppeteers use the family court system to usurp decisions traditionally left to parents. They justify infringing parental rights by using noble-sounding phrases like “in the best interest of the child” to take away more and more decision-making authority from parents. Americans’ First, Second, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights seem certain to be trampled routinely, and the reason given will always be because the decision was “in the best interest of the child.” This group of manipulators is bold and brazen because it knows the media will have no appetite for any story of this kind, but will deem it a case of “he said/she said” and a private matter best left unchronicled. Motivated by profit and sometimes by ideology, these busybodies have figured out that controlling parental decisions is profitable.
Unfortunately, this scenario is not a dystopian society in a science fiction novel; it is the way things really are in the family court system nowadays.
“It’s an American holocaust,” said Susan Skipp. She should know. Though she was the victim of domestic violence, she hasn’t seen either of her two children in nearly three years. The judge and many other players in Skipp’s family court nightmare are all affiliated with the same group: the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
No matter if they are introverted or extroverted, people with high emotional intelligence are curious about the people around them. This curiosity is the result of a high degree of empathy, one of the basic features of those with a high EQ and IQ. The more you care about those around you, the more you want to find out about them.
The safest policy is to have no contact with such dysfunctional individuals. However, there will be times when you will have to deal with a psychopath, whether it be a co-worker, some confrontational clown at the movie theater, a family member you couldn’t avoid – parent, sibling, child, etc. Or perhaps, you’re trying to co-parent with one of these personality disordered individuals.
I am not a professional; my advice comes from my own personal experience, and from a wealth of resources – books, websites, forums, etc. In my opinion, the following are the three most important things to know when interacting with a psychopath. It’s also worth mentioning that true “communication” with one of these manipulators is not possible, so be aware of that going into any interaction with someone like this. It’s a dance where they try to get into your head, and you either naively let them in, or put your guard up and try to maintain a good defense.
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