The I CARE Foundation Takes A Strong Stand Against Parental Child Abductors


Zero Tolerance For International Parental Child Abduction and the Need For An Educated Judiciary

c31b4-icarelogocalltoarmsThe  I CARE Foundation takes a very strong stand when it comes to international parental child abduction… and that is one of zero tolerance for anyone planning or attempting such schemes! As a parent one does not have the right, under any circumstances, to abduct a child.  Nor, as a parent, should one ever think that removing a child from the other parent by way of abduction is in the child’s best interest.  It definitely is not! There are both short and long-term ramifications on the child, and these are well-documented.  The underlying reality is that once abduction occurs, regardless if the kidnapping is done by a known person or stranger, the child’s safety is placed in grave risk.

When issues arise regarding mobilization (when a parent wants to relocate to another country with the child but without the child’s other parent), these issues should be rectified in accordance with the law. Not by creating an evil scheme filled with false innuendos and accusations against the other parent so to create a misleading impression that abduction is critical for the child’s safety and well-being. It is not. Seeking legal assistance via criminal and civil remedies if abusive conditions exist is the option that must be sought.

A would-be abducting parent puts their child in harm’s way, and this is not acceptable! The I CARE Foundation takes the position that international parental child abduction is a severe form of child abuse with consequences that will be extreme and will impact all phases of the child’s life.  With that being said, we also acknowledge the severe negative impact that abduction has on the victimized targeted parents. Both parties, the child and the targeted parent, are victims when we are dealing with parental child abduction.

In nearly all cases of parental abduction, children are used as pawns by the abducting parent in order to carry out their extensive premeditated plan which includes, but is not limited to causing severe suffering to the child’s other parent. One of the greatest challenges that children and their targeted parent face is the lack of accountability through the courts.  If a court neglects to hold abductors or would-be abductors accountable, this not only means that the targeted parents may remain at the mercy of a vengeance-seeking abducting parent that has already caused considerable harm, but it also sends a very dangerous global message that parental child abductors have limited risks when it comes to legal accountability, both in respect to the courts, but also law enforcement.  This needs to change!

The I CARE Foundation believes strongly that the Hague Child Abduction Convention is the right mechanism that all nations should participate in and adhere to.

As we look forward and create changes to help protect the hundreds of thousands of children each year who are targeted for international abduction, we see the critical need to create an International Judiciary College.

The fact is that the vast majority of judges who oversee international child abduction cases have not been trained in the very complex legal, psychological, political, financial and logistical matters that impact all cases of international abduction.  We face a reality that has untrained judges and courts contributing to many failures, including properly and expeditiously overseeing legal proceedings that seek the return of abducted children to their country of habitual residency.  An International Judiciary College, ideally under the guidance of the Permanent Bureauwould have a dramatic impact on reducing the global abduction rate, but also increasing diplomatic relationships among countries. As well, it is highly conceivable that the issues that exist today regarding the lack of judicial compliance would be greatly reduced as more judges become trained on Hague matters.

The reality is that today many targeted parents who have experienced abduction and who have been abused by the abducting parent remain targets of their child’s kidnapper.  Courts are hesitant to hold parental child abductors accountable for their act. Part of the problem lies heavily in an untrained judiciary – judges who are not trained in the deep understanding of parental abduction matters.  Tragically, the result of untrained judiciary and actors involved in abduction matters is that the targeted parent will believe that the courts will not hold the abductor accountable and equally alarming – by failing to hold the abductor accountable – the courts in essence empower the abductor who has returned with the child after the kidnapping – to attempt to abduct again or to continue making allegations against the targeted parent.

Tragically, when a targeted parent of abduction receives little or no support or protection from the court while they are working to protect their child from abuse (including but not limited to abduction), then that parent can become disenchanted with the legal system they once believed would protect them and their child. They lose hope.

Sometimes claims of abuse are real, and we acknowledge this reality.  In such cases we urge all parents to seek all intervention and assistance available to them under the rules of law.  Conversely, we have also seen in a great number of international child abduction cases when both men and women make false claims against one another.  This is a reality.

As always we encourage all parents to be familiar with the RISKS AND WARNING SIGNS of international parental child abduction.  Being aware of these warning signs is critical in preventing an international abduction from occurring.  Never think that you or your child(ren) could not become a victim of this inhumane crime.  Be proactive and protect yourself… and your child(ren).

If you happen to be a parent that has a child that is traveling abroad, either by choice or by court order, please consider using the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form.

For more information on international parental child abduction, please visit the I CARE Foundation’s official website.

Kindest regards,

Peter Thomas Senese
Executive Director
I CARE Foundation

Peter Senese: Living Heroically And Making A Difference For Others

Living Heroically And Making A Difference For Others

Hero. Heroes. Heroically.Occasionally these words are used in society, but have you ever really asked yourself, “What is the definition of a hero?”  Or perhaps, “What does a person do when they act heroically?”

Over the last few years I have written about individuals that I consider to be heroes in the ‘Peter Senese: Today’s Heroes’ retrospective I have enjoyed sharing with others.

During this same period of time, I have continued to ask myself, “What is a hero?  Who are heroes in my life?  And what do they do heroically?”

As a stakeholder in the fight to stop child abduction, I have had a unique view on the polar extremes of good vs. bad, selfless vs. selfish, and heroic vs. narcissistic.

Mike Dilbeck, who appears to be one terrific guy, is the Founder & President of ‘The Response Ability Project: Empowering People to Intervene in Problem Situations and Be an Every Day Hero™ shared his definition of what is a hero:

Heroes are people who transform compassion (a personal virtue) into heroic action (a civic virtue). In doing so, they put their best selves forward in service to humanity. A hero is as an individual or a network of people that take action on behalf of others in need, or in defense of integrity or a moral cause.

According to the Heroic Imagination Project:  a Heroic action is:

1. Engaged in voluntarily;
2. Conducted in service to one or more people or the community as a whole;
3. Involving a risk to physical comfort, social stature, or quality of life; and
4. Initiated without the expectation of material gain.There is another aspect of a heroic action that I think critically defines a heroic action:
5. To live Unbowed through courage and within your morals, values, and beliefs.

Mr. Dilbeck expanded on the Heroic Imagination Project when he added, “When you consider this interpretation, you can really get that heroism is the other side of the coin — the opposite — of bystander behavior. When you voluntarily engage in an activity that is in service to someone else, or the community as a whole, and you take a risk in doing so AND do it without any expectation of material gain: you are a hero! You are not a bystander.

“Heroism is not random acts of kindness, as great as they are. Heroism is very distinct. A hero is not someone you simply admire or respect. A hero is a very distinct person.”

Is it a fair assessment to say that most of us want to be heroes?



Because each of us, in our own way, would like to live in freedom, and in doing so, know that we can make a positive difference for others.

Is wanting to make a difference for others narcissistic, egotistical, or self-promoting?

Absolutely not. Particularly when you voluntarily make a positive difference for others (plural), and in the process of doing so, you seek nothing in return other than a positive outcome for those who may be in need of assistance. Underscoring the selfless act is that a heroic action may at times place a person at physical risk or reduce their quality of life.

On more occasion than not, I have met others who have not been confident enough in who they are to act heroically. This lack of courage often causes them to be bystanders of life. In many ways, it causes us to walk through life without living it. Without courage to be free in who we are, we do not know freedom. Without belief in our own morals, values, and ability, we bow to what is around us, seldom standing up for what we believe in.

This is why, I have learned that in order to be Heroic a person must first and foremost live Unbowed. It is a lesson taught from one of the most heroic individuals who ever lived: Nobel Laurette Professor Wangari Maathai – the first African women to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

So at the end of the, perhaps we can say that a hero is a person who acts heroically because they first learned to believe in themselves.

On this note, I have been so blessed because I am surrounded by heroes who act heroically as a way of life.

“Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect.” ― Wangari Maathai

I would like to share this idea with you:

“There is nothing that the world can offer you that is more satisfying and meaningful than being able to make a positive difference for those around you.  Find your courage, and then get involved.” — Peter Senese

In ending this, I hope I have given you a few seeds of inspiration to get involved.

Lastly, I would like to leave you with this final thought as shared by the Heroic Imagination Project:

Heroism is the active attempt to address injustice or create positive change in the world despite pressures to do otherwise. It may involve coping effectively in unclear or emergency situations, helping others in need, or may involve setting and achieving goals to promote the well-being of others. Habits of wise and effective acts of heroism can be learned, encouraged, modeled, and are achievable by anyone at any point in their lives.

With best wishes,

Peter Senese
(Read sworn testimonials about how Peter Senese helped protect children from abduction)

Child Abduction Prevention: The Prevent Departure Program

The summer vacation season is the time where an estimated 85% to 95% of all parental abductions in the United States and abroad occur, however, with that being said, just because the summer vacation season is coming to a close, international parental child abduction still poses a grave risk for many families.   Recently, on behalf of my colleagues at the I CARE Foundation, I had written an article titled Summer Vacations and International Child Abduction Warning Signs.  In this article I have listed some detailed scenarios with regards to possible techniques that would-be abductors may use in order to wrongfully remove a child from their home country of jurisdiction.   I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of international child abduction.

The I CARE Foundation is always working toward the goal of preventing international abductions. One of the keys to protecting children from abduction is raising awareness of the realities of international abduction with the hope that our messages about the risks and warning signs that a kidnapping is being planned may allow a parent or other stakeholders the opportunity to prevent abduction.  Historically, the U.S. rate of reported cases of outbound abduction has declined by approximately 15% during the fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and that is after nearly 30 years of reported growth.  This tells us that abduction prevention efforts are working.

Now one of the most concerning risk factors that will lead to international child abduction is the use of a would-be taking parent to use a secondary passport not issued by the United States government in order to depart the country as shared in detail in the article published on behalf of the I CARE Foundation titled Summer Vacation. Child Abduction. Dual Citizenship. Two Passports. How To Prevent Abduction.

I urge any parent who believes they are at risk of abduction to read both articles that I have listed.

One of the most effective tools available for at-risk parents trying to prevent abduction is the Prevent Departure Program, which is a secure screening program that lists any individual considered by the courts or law enforcement to be a high-risk child abductor.  In order to be placed on the Prevent Departure Program, there are certain requirements, one of which presently includes that the person cannot be a citizen of the United States of America.  Thus, only aliens residents (or non-residents) physically located in the United States may be put on the Prevent Departure Program at the request of the Department of State to the Department of Homeland Security.

Unfortunately, the caveat is that in order for a person to be considered a candidate for the Prevent Departure Program they are not American citizens, which presents a problem since individuals who possess dual citizenship, including American citizenship, cannot be placed on the Prevent Departure Program list.  Hopefully, there will be a modification in policy so that American citizens who are considered to be high-risk child abductors can be placed on a secure screening list.  The following press release provides details of the need to have the Prevent Departure Program policy modified:  Peter Thomas Senese & The CARE Foundation Supports GAO Recommendation to Create Departure Screening List for High-Risk U.S. Citizens Considered High-Risk Child Abductors.

So what is the Prevent Departure Program and how can it be applied?

Case Study

Lets begin by suggesting Parent A is a citizen of another country but lives in the United States with Parent B. Parent B is a United States citizen. Parent A need not be married to Parent B.

During the course of A and B’s relationship, a child is born in the United States. When this occurs, the child is automatically a United States Citizen by birth.

In all likelihood, the child also will retain automatic citizenship to the nation that Parent A is a national of.

Let us assume both parents enjoy a right of custody to the child either through marriage, or, in cases where there is no marriage, either by state statue or by court orders.

During the course of time, Parent A decides to end the relationship and desires to return to their nation of origin with the child.

Now, Parent B, having great concern that Parent A intends to take the child and flee the United States and go to another country, obtains court orders forbidding Parent A from taking the child out of the country. The court orders for Parent A to turn over to the court the child’s US passport if one has been issued, and further directs the child’s name to be registered with the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program, thus essentially removing the potential abducting parent from being able to remove the child from the United States using an American passport issued in the child’s name.

In addition, Parent B successfully requests that the court notify the embassy of the country Parent A is a citizen of, whereas, the court informs the embassy that a child custody dispute is alive and well in the jurisdiction of the child’s country of habitual residency, and the court requests for that foreign embassy not to issue a passport in the child’s name, thus securing the inability of the child from departing until the court proceedings are finalized.

In many circumstances, a pending departure is already well planned before the targeted parent becomes aware of it. Parent A may already have in their possession a passport issued by their nation of origin for the child. If this is the case, it is very difficult for the US court to seize the foreign passport of the child, particularly if it is not known whether a passport has been issued in the child’s name.

If a passport has not been issued in the child’s name, then in all likelihood, Parent A will attempt to obtain one regardless if the child’s passport application requires Parent B’s signature or not. In fact, certain countries do not require the signature of the mother of a child, only the father.

In addition, each nation obtains a sovereign right to oversee their own citizens, and since the child may be considered a citizen of the country of Parent A too, the embassy is not required or obligated to follow the U.S. court’s orders. They have every right and may issue a passport in the child’s name despite requests not to do so. And make no mistake about this, in more cases than not, particularly if Parent A is very persuasive when communicating with someone from their own embassy, they will successfully obtain the passport.

If Parent A has possession of a non-US passport for their child, they very well may be able to physically leave the country with the child and illegally abduct the child. What is perhaps even more troubling is the fact that Parent B has no way or right to know if a passport was issued from the native country of Parent A in the name of the child.

A disaster waiting to happen? You bet it is.

But there is hope for those parents who find themselves in a scenario where Parent A is not an American citizen living in the United States with their child and, Parent A possess a foreign passport for the child of the relationship.

Since 2003, United States citizens have had available a very effective international child abduction prevention tool called ‘The Prevent Departure Program’. Unfortunately, many parents at risk of having their child internationally abducted are not aware that this incredibly useful tool is available to them.

In the aftermath of 911, the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Prevent Departure Program’ was created to stop non-U.S. citizens from departing the country. The program applies to non-US citizens physically located in America considered individuals at risk of child abduction. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) oversees this program and it is monitored 24 hours a day.

What the ‘Prevent Departure Program’ does is provide immediate information to the transportation industry, including all air, land, and sea channels a single point of contact at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and provides a comprehensive database of individuals the United States believes may immediately depart to a foreign country.

The program only applies to aliens, and is not available to stop U.S. citizens or dual U.S./foreign citizens from leaving the country.

Under Section 215 of the ‘Immigration and Nationality Act’ (8 U.S.C. 1185) and it’s implementing regulations (8 CFR Part 215 and 22 CFR Part 46), it authorizes departure-control officers to prevent an alien’s departure from the United States if the alien’s departure would be prejudicial to the interests of the United States. These regulations include would-be abductions of U.S. citizens in accordance to court orders originating from the child’s court of habitual residency.

If the abductor and child are identified, they will be denied boarding. In order to detain them after boarding is denied, there must be a court order prohibiting the child’s removal or providing for the child’s pick-up, or a warrant for the abductor.

In order for an at risk parent to participate in the program, all of the following must be demonstrated:

  1. Subject may NOT be a US citizen; and,
  2. The nomination must include a law enforcement agency contact with 24/7 coverage; and,
  3. There must be a court order showing which parent has been awarded custody or shows that the Subject is restrained from removing his/her minor child from certain counties, the state or the U.S.; and,
  4. The Subject must be in the US; and,
  5. There must be some likelihood that the Subject will attempt to depart in the immediate future.

With respect to the established guidelines listed above, note that in order to request the listing of the other parent, that person must be an alien of the United States. The program does not apply to US citizens at risk of leaving the country.

The second mandate states a request to place an individual’s name on the Prevent Departure Program must include support by a law enforcement agency or from the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, which has the authority of requesting for the Department of Homeland Security to list a suspected child abductor on the ‘Prevent Departure Program’.

The third criteria: possessing a custodial order, is essential. Regardless if the other parent has joint custody or rights of visitation, critically, you must make sure that there are injunction orders in place prohibiting the child from being removed from the jurisdiction of habitual residency. Unfortunately, many international parental child abductions are well planned out in advance of the actual abduction, and the targeted parent has no idea that an abduction is in progress until it is too late. This is why it is essential for parents in partnership with non-nationals to be fully aware of the warning signs associated with a potential international child abduction.

The fourth criteria states the obvious: in order to prevent an alien-parent suspected of abducting a child on U.S. soil, that parent must be on U.S. soil.

The fifth criteria requests that the applying parent demonstrate that the alien-parent has demonstrated the likelihood of abducting the child across international borders in the immediate future. Remember – you need to document and record as much evidence as possible.

For many parents who face the risk of having their child abducted and removed across international borders, the nightmare that both targeted parent and victimized child face is unbearable. 

The Prevent Departure Program is not for everyone and should not be abused; however, in situations where an abduction threat is real and the targeting parent intent on abducting a child is a non-US citizen possessing the capacity to breach court orders and abduct a child of a relationship, the Prevent Departure Program may be a useful tool.

For more information on the ‘Prevent Departure Program’, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website or contact the Office of Children’s Issues.

Finally, the Department of State’s Office Of Children’s Issues Abduction Prevention Division is in charge of requesting that an individual be considered a candidate to be listed on the Prevent Departure Program.  From our experience, it is critically important that a court order be issued stating that a specific person be listed on the Prevent Departure Program, and that person is restrained from traveling outside of the United States with the specified children of the partnership considered by the court to be at risk of possible abduction.  

For more information on international parental child abduction please visit the I CARE Foundation.  Some of you may be interested in also visiting the official website of my deeply inspired novel about abduction titled CHASING THE CYCLONE, which contains a great amount of information on abduction.

Kindest regards to all –

Peter Thomas Senese

Best-Selling Author Peter Senese Makes Donation To Helping Children Targeted For International Abduction

Peter Senese, author of the critically-acclaimed novel, Chasing The Cyclone, made a promise years ago – after having his child internationally abducted to the other side of the world – he said: “A long time ago, while I was searching… I made a promise to one day try to make a difference so others would never have
to chase the cyclone.  My work continues…”

And his work does continue today.  Not only is Peter Senese a best-selling author, but he is also the Founding Director of the I CARE Foundation, an organization dedicated to conducting research and raising social awareness about the serious issue of international child abduction.  The I CARE Foundation has also played a major role in creating legislative initiatives that are helping to reduce the rate of abduction.

Peter Senese has made it very clear that he is committed to helping families targeted for international abduction, both through his work with the I CARE Foundation and by the fact that he so generously donates 100% of the royalties earned from the sale of his e-books,including Chasing The Cyclone and The Den Of The Assassin.

The fast-paced, legal thriller, Chasing The Cyclone has been heralded as a must read by targeted parents that are desperately trying to protect their children from international child abduction.  Peter Senese’s novel has been recognized by child abduction prevention advocates as a road map on how a parent may either prevent the international abduction of their child or reunite with their child.  As international parental child abduction continues to be a grave concern for thousands of parents each year, resource guides that outline child abduction risk factors and preventive measures against abduction are critically important.  Chasing The Cyclone provides parents with keen insight on these issues.

The Den Of The Assassin is being praised by top critics as an international financial espionage thriller that is filled with the modern-day realities of our post 9-11 world.  The story is steeped with realism and the frightful possibilities of global cyber and biological terrorism.  It opens in New York City where unassuming investment banker, Tyler Boxter, is preoccupied with his career on Wall Street, which acts a personal shield against the trappings of life that hides the guilt, pain and memories he doesn’t want. During one of the biggest deals of his career, and unknown to Boxter, he is about to play a sophisticated but explosive game against a savage and merciless madman.

Peter Senese had this to say about The Den Of The Assassin: “For readers who enjoy fast-paced, multi-dimensional plots based upon historical events and plausible possibilities relevant to the world we live in today, The Den Of The Assassin will take readers on a thrilling global geopolitical journey that begins in New York City’s Wall Street.  The reader is quickly introduced to the hidden and unseen worlds that exists within nations that have highly questionable agendas toward the United States and the West, including, but not limited to, China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.  It is here, in there worlds that disturbing plans that stand against America and the West’s idea of liberty and freedom are carefully hatched and cultivated.  Most concerningly, as each nation has become more reliant on one another in our global society, a new level of extraordinary vulnerability to our national security has been created, on perhaps we may not be prepared for.  In The Den Of The Assassin, I believe readers will find the uniquely accurate information on this subject that is carefully weaved through an intricate, entertaining storyline to be quite fascinating – and disturbing.”

Reviewers of The Den Of The Assassin have praised Peter Senese’s storytelling.

Renowned book critic Daniel Jolley commented: “This is one seriously good thriller.  Billed as a ‘novel of international finance and espionage’, Den Of The Assassin is a super-realistic exploration of frightening possibilities, unsurpassed heroism, Lucifer-life evil, and terrorism of the worst kind… The novel revolves around some kind of Day of the Jackal-like assassination plot, but the complexity of this novel stretches it’s tendrils
deeply into international finance the vagaries of the American legal and health care systems, international terrorism, diplomacy, intelligence, WMD, and cold-blooded murder – with a little romance thrown in just to stir up the pot a little more.  Peter Senese does a masterful job traversing the inner hallways of diverse institutions as he slowly brings all these diverse elements together for a slam-bang climax… Peter Senese displays a wealth of knowledge of geopolitics, espionage and international finance, describing all the technical intricacies of the story’s elements and implications with great attention to detail – without ever letting the pace get bogged down or become confusing to the reader.  He also keeps a number of secrets close to the vest, saving them for just the right time in the story.  This serves to make the book thoroughly believable and increasingly suspenseful. There’s no shortage of action here.  What Tyler finds himself involved in is nothing less than a war, and he must fight to save not only himself, his friends and his company, but his very country from an unimaginable catastrophe.  The Father’s network of agents and killers is as formidable as they come, and the security-related forces Tyler brings into the game are some of the best money can buy.  In the end though, the drama becomes deeply personal, as the Father and Tyler Boxter rush headlong toward a face-to-face encounter of epic proportions… Many a writer of thrillers seem to drop the ball somewhere in the middle of their novels, but Peter Senese’s knowledge of geopolitics, international finance and 21st century terrorist threats keeps the fires of detailed complexity and story evolution stoked and red-hot for the entire ride.   Tyler Boxter is no James Bond, but Den Of The Assassin proves to be just as exciting as any 007 caper – and much more realistic.”

Predators Games, which will be released soon, is the riveting sequel to The Den Of The Assassin.  It propels readers into the shocking and deadly world of alternative energy speculation and depicts the world’s power-nations conspiring against one another in an extremely dangerous and potentially cataclysmic quest to control what was once the unthinkable unfolds as unique characters initially introduced in The Den Of The Assassin race into real and startling possibilities evolving around advances in alternatives energy and mankind’s greed.

To learn more about Peter Senese and his various writings or child advocacy… or to order an autographed and dedicated copy of one of Peter’s novels, please visit any of the following websites:

I CARE Foundation

The Official Website of Peter Senese

The Official Website of The Den Of The Assassin

The Official Website of Chasing The Cyclone

You can also purchase Peter’s e-books at:


Barnes and Noble

ORION: Making Space Travel A Reality

“ORION’s technical advancements has made space travel a reality of mankind’s future.” ~ Peter Senese

For the first time in a generation, NASA is building a new human spacecraft that will usher in a new era of space exploration.  A series of increasingly challenging missions awaits, and this new spacecraft will take us farther than we’ve gone before, including Mars. Named after one of the largest constellations in the night sky and drawing from more than 50 years of spaceflight research and development, the Orion spacecraft is designed to meet the evolving needs of our nation’s deep space exploration program for decades to come. It will be the safest, most advanced spacecraft ever built, and it will be flexible and capable enough to take us to a variety of destinations. Orion features dozens of technology advancements and innovations that have been incorporated into the spacecraft’s design. It includes both crew and service modules, a spacecraft adaptor and a revolutionary launch abort system that will significantly increase crew safety. Orion’s unique life support, propulsion, thermal protection and avionics systems in combination with other elements will enable extended duration deep space missions. These systems have been developed to facilitate integration of new technical innovations as they become available in the future.

Orion has been rigorously tested as engineers prepare it for a journey beyond low Earth orbit. A successful test launch at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico of the vehicle’s launch abort system was completed to verify the escape capability of Orion in the event of emergency on the launch pad. A series of rigorous acoustic and modal tests on the Orion ground test vehicle at Lockheed Martin’s test facilities in Denver validated Orion’s ability to withstand the harsh environments of launch, abort, re-entry and space flight. In order to simulate the final phases of landing, the spacecraft’s parachutes have been proven reliable through a series of tests at the Yuma Army Proving Grounds. In order to simulate Orion’s landing conditions, tests in both the ocean and at NASA’s Hydro Impact Basin have recreated how Orion will behave during its final splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. All of these will play a role in the planned uncrewed orbital flight test of Orion in 2014, which will launch the spacecraft 3,000 miles into space in order to reach speeds of more than 20,000 mph before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. This test will provide engineers with invaluable data on Orion’s performance in every phase of launch, re-entry and landing. Following this, further tests of the launch abort system will take place as Orion builds toward its first crewed exploration flights. Orion will utilize advances in propulsion, communications, life support, structural design, navigation and power, drawing from the extensive spaceflight experience of NASA and its industry partners. With destinations including near-Earth asteroids, our own Moon, the moons of Mars and eventually Mars itself, Orion will carry astronauts into a new era of exploration.

On a personal note, one day ordinary men and women will be able to travel into space. My fascination and desire to participate in that adventure is beyond what any words can express. Fortunately, with each passing day, we get closer to the goal of commercial space flight. With it, I believe our imaginations become more crisp, clear, and capable. So too does our ingenuity.  Somehow, and in my opinion, unquestionably, the science of space exploration reaffirms my strong belief in God. And that is the coolest thing of all.

Kindest wishes to all,

Peter Thomas Senese

International Parental Child Abduction: Steps To Take If Your Child Has Been Abducted This Season

During the Christmas Holiday Season many children are internationally abducted in accordance to international law because they are illegally and wrongfully detained in a foreign country without one of the child’s parent’s permission.

If this has happened to  you and your child, you must first realize that the abduction was a well-planned scheme orchestrated by lies, deceit, and assistance by others, more thank likely the abductors friends and family members in the inbound country your child is presently being wrongfully detained.  In addition, there is the possibility that the abductor also received assistance from other family and friends in the country of original jurisdiction (your home country) where the child lived.

Now, before I go any further, I will say this: you need to pay attention to every detail and keep records of everything that transpires.

If you are presently in a foreign country where your child is presently being detained and you have no access to your child because the abductor has cut off ties with you, I reiterate that you must be very careful and remind yourself that you and your child were targets of a well-planned scheme.  You must seek immediate assistance from a local lawyer familiar with family law matters in that country, and, you must seek assistance available to you under the rules of law, including the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

For a list of countries who are signatory members of the Hague Convention, please click here.

Regardless if your child was illegally detained in a foreign country with or without you being in that country, there are critical steps that I suggest you must do, as outlined below.



When you believe that your child or children have been abducted by either their other parent or a non-stranger, you must remember that time is a precious commodity you do not have.

You must act efficiently, thoughtfully, and purposefully with respect to all efforts that you are about to put forth in recovering your child. Of utmost importance is the fact that you need to know everything that everyone involved in your child’s recovery is doing. Critically, you must stay calm, stay alert, immediately contact law enforcement, and immediately contact a lawyer familiar with family custody law.

1.  Never give up HOPE that you will find your child or children no matter how long and difficult the road you have to journey on is.

2.  URGENTLY, if you are a citizen of the The United States, immediately contact the United States Department of State – Office of Children’s Issues. They can be reached at 202-736-9090 or at 888.407.4747.  If you are presently in the foreign country that your child was illegally detained, then immediately contact the United States embassy in that country, and schedule an emergency appointment seeking their assistance.

If you are from Canada, contact the Justice Legal Services in Ottawa at 613.996.1300 or 613.992.6300.  If you are presently in the foreign country that your child was illegally detained, then immediately contact the Canadian embassy in that country, and schedule an emergency appointment seeking their assistance.

3.  If your child’s habitual residence was in the United States, immediately contact the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-The-Lost).

If your child’s habitual residency is Canada, contact The Missing Children Society of Canada (800.661.6160).

4.  IMMEDIATELY contact your local police and your local branch of the FBI (in Canada, the RCMP) and share with them all the details that support your belief that your child’s abduction is imminent or in progress.

Do not wait to file your police report!

Make sure you have as much evidence to support your claim as possible, including any witnesses that can support your claims. While sharing this information with the police, make sure that you file a missing child report immediately.

This report is important as it allows the police to place a description of the child who is missing on the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, (and in Canada the Canadian Police Information Centre {CPIC} computer system) so all police forces in the United States (and likewise, in Canada) will know the child is missing.

The police should notify border crossing and all ferry, rail, airport facilities. If there is any hesitancy on their part to do so, under all circumstances demand that all border crossing locations and transportation companies (ferry services, airlines, etc.) are notified, and that all travel manifests are immediately reviewed. If you suspect parental or non-stranger abduction, provide the police with a photo of the suspected abductor, an address, telephone number and any other pertinent information about that person.

In addition, so long as you have a custody order decree from the courts, law enforcement can seek to press charges of aiding and abetting against any individual who may have assisted the abductor with their kidnapping scheme.  Recently, Senate Resolution 543 (SR543) that was unanimously passed in the Senate on December 14th, 2012 resolved that our nation and all applicable agencies involved in child abduction prevention and reunification do whatever they can to assist a targeted child.  This means that under the reach of criminal law, and if there is enough evidence to support a case of aiding and abetting, a criminal complaint must be filed with the authorities.

5.  In all scenarios, it is strongly advised that you hire a lawyer familiar with international child abduction.  It is critical that emergency legal applications are made to the court of jurisdiction that request for the court to issue to you the following:

A) Temporary Full Custody of your child or children.

B) A Return Order for your children demanding that the other parent return them to the court of jurisdiction by a specified date.

In addition, laws in many states give judges authority to issue a ‘pickup’ order for the child to prevent an imminent abduction or harm to the child. Pickup orders go by different names, including ‘warrant to take physical custody of a child’ and ‘warrant in lieu of a writ of habeas corpus’.

6.  The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), in effect in most states, provides an emergency ex parte proceeding for getting a law enforcement directed pickup order (in conjunction with a custody enforcement order) when abductions or serious physical harm to a child is imminent. If the requirements are met, a judge should issue an order directing law enforcement to pick up the child and to serve notice of the custody enforcement proceedings.

7.  If you believe your child’s safety is in danger, and you have credible evidence that your partner is intending to imminently take your child and abduct to another country – file an emergency ex parte motion in court immediately, and make sure you or your lawyer notify your local law enforcement that you are filing an emergency motion before the court.

8.  When possible, you and/or someone you trust should stay in close physical proximity of the child. Consider hiring a seasoned private investigator to monitor the movements of your spouse and child.

9.  STAY CALM. Contact neighbors, friends, spouse, siblings and anyone who may know where your child may be. Invite a friend or acquaintance with a “calm” manner to be with you.

10.  Conduct a telephone search. Call family, friends and relatives who may wish to help. Encourage them to use their telephones to make inquiry calls so your line will remain free for incoming calls. If you have to leave the house, have an answering machine on the line or have a friend or neighbor take incoming calls.

11.  Have friends and relatives conduct a basic land search of the neighborhood area while you are making a police report. With family and friends, try to recall the present and past few days of family situations and activities (a recent argument or disciplinary action could be the reason for hiding).

12.  Provide the police with the information in your prepared Identification Kit. This kit should include updates clear photographs, foot and fingerprints, birth certificate, medical history, passport, dental records, X-rays, child’s name and description including location of scars, birthmarks and any other identifiable data (glasses, braces, earrings, etc.). A videotape or a recent home video of the child may be made specifically for the kit. Try to keep a mental note of what your child is wearing each day.

13.  Conduct a complete physical search of your area. Organize a search party of friends and relatives to search areas such as, child’s route home from school, community center, friend’s houses, favorite hang-out etc. Be on the lookout for articles of clothing, toys, books other personal belongings scattered on the ground. If found, do not disturb. Contact a police officer immediately.

14.  Leave someone at home at all times to answer the telephone in case your child calls.

15.  Continue to keep the telephone lines FREE at all times.

16.  Continue your search even if there are no immediate results. Follow up for updates on the case by contacting the investigating police officer and the provincial searching agency who registered your child.

17.  Solicit media support such as radio, television, local publications and newspapers only at the advice of the police and searching agency involved with the case. Be mindful that once your spouse has illegally taken your child and is on the run, they essentially will act like a fugitive (in many cases they are due to arrest warrants issued by the local court). Typically, a person running from law enforcement is willing to take risks that they might otherwise not be inclined to take under more normal circumstances. These risks can be very concerning, and could potentially place the child as well as the abducting parent in grave and dangerous situations. So, before you solicit help from the media, weigh out the opinions and advice of law enforcement, your lawyer, and your private investigators, if you have hired for these services.

18.  Distribute a photograph of the missing child as well as your spouse or ex-spouse who has taken your child.

19.  Keep a detailed diary of people and agencies you have contacted and steps you have already taken. Logging the events limits the duplication of efforts and allows a review of inquiries.

20.  As I said earlier, hire a local lawyer familiar with local and international child custody law and have your attorney appear before your local court immediately. Share with the court the details of your child’s abduction and all other relevant information to allow the judge to understand the seriousness of the matter. It is critical that you are honest, open, and credible before the court. In simple terms: do not lie, do not fabricate anything, and do not give the court any reason to question your credibility. Tell the good, the bad, and the ugly. Request that the court grant you sole full custody and sole full guardianship of your child or children if you do not already have it. Also request that the court direct your spouse to immediately return with the child to the place of original jurisdiction (if he or she has a lawyer in the jurisdiction, you should be able to serve that person [have your lawyer check on matters of service]. Request that the court issue a ‘pick-up’ order directing police officers to assist you in finding and returning your child to you.

21.  If you know your child has been taken to another country, contact the United Stated Department of State – Office Of Children’s Issues and immediately file a Hague Application for the wrongful international abduction and retention of your child.

22.  Make sure you monitor all bank accounts and remove all assets that are in joint-tenancy into your sole name.

23.  If you are the primary holder on any assets and credit cards, immediately remove your spouse’s name on every account.

24.  Immediately contact your credit card companies and put a security alert on all of your credit cards. This will direct the credit card company to request that you show proper identification to the merchant during each time you use a credit card, or, in the event of electronic on line transactions, a representative from the credit card company’s security department will be required to contact you in order to authorize the transaction. Also, make sure you put two password questions and answers (not one – but two), on your bank and credit card accounts in order to prevent having anyone else other than you access your money.

25.  Contact all credit reporting agencies and request that you are immediately notified of any credit inquiries, remarks, or additional accounts. Make sure that each agency issues a security alert, directing each requesting credit company to seek additional verifying information that any inquiries or applications made to their company were made by you.

26.  Monitor all cell phones of your spouse, and, if possible, have all cell phones, emails, and any other communication devices monitored.

27.  Check with your spouse’s friends, family, and acquaintances and see if they were aware of any information that might lead you to locate your child. Typically, a person who is standoffish, might have known of the abductor’s plans, or, has already been influenced by that person, and will be of little help to you. If that occurs, immediately report this to law enforcement investigating the abduction. If the police chose to interview that person, and they lie to law enforcement, they can be criminally charged with a crime.

28.  Check in your child or children’s rooms for any hints or clues as to where they might have been taken.

29.  Check your ex-spouse or spouse’s personal items for any clues as to where they might have taken your child.

30.  If your ex-spouse or spouse has family that live in a foreign country, hire the services of a private investigator in that country to immediately follow your ex-spouse or spouse’s parents and other family members in order to determine where the child has been taken and is located. This very well may be the best set of dollars you will spend. Remember, any recovery actions cannot be taken until your child’s location is known. In many international parental child abduction cases, the abducting parent chooses to go underground with the child, and develops behavior similar to a fugitive on the run (they are fugitives). Typically, they have a support network in place, and the abduction has been carefully planned and enabled through the assistance of family members and friends. Finding and knowing where your child was taken to is the most important action once you know the child has been removed from the country of habitual residency. Without knowing what country your child is in – you cannot file a Hague Application … and you will be spinning your wheels endlessly trying to find out where your child is. One final note on this subject: according to the provisions in The Hague, there exists language that essentially enables a Hague judge overseeing the case to allow for a child to stay with the abducting parent if the abducting parent is able to prove to the court that returning the child to the country of origin would be detrimental to the child’s best interest. One of the techniques commonly used in a Hague defense is to demonstrate that the child or children have adjusted and desires to live in the country they were wrongfully and illegally taken to. In certain situations, a judge may believe that the child or children have settled into their ‘new life’, and that uprooting them would be harmful, and not in the child’s best interest. So – it is critically important for a Chasing Parent to know where the child was taken to as soon as possible and immediately file for the child’s return under the protocols of The Hague Convention.

31.  If your child is taken to another country, consult heavily with a lawyer in your local jurisdiction familiar with The Hague Convention, and, make sure you hire a lawyer familiar with The rules of The Hague Convention in the jurisdiction you know your child was taken to.

32.  Become familiar with the laws and customs of the country that your child has been taken to.

33.  Consult with The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, the governing agency who acts as The Hague Signatory for your country (in The United States, the U.S. State Department acts as the official Hague representative for The United States Government) and the International Child Abduction Research and Enlightenment Foundation (the I CARE Foundation).

34.  Try to keep yourself physically active, eat a healthy diet, and rest on a regular basis.

35.  Never give up Hope that you will be reunited with your child.

36.  Remember, you must know everything that everyone involved with your child’s recovery is doing. Do not be concerned about any or your actions other than one: finding your child. In essence – do whatever you have to do in order to protect your child – but remember, your actions must not place your child in any harm’s way. That is why it is important for you to consult with the experts – but remember – you must know everything – including as much as possible on family law, and the rules of The Hague Convention.

37.  Allow and trust in The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Hague Courts do work!

38.  If your child or children have been issued a passport and you have access to it, make sure you hold it and secure it in a safe place. If your child has not been issued a passport, then immediately contact the agency overseeing passport issuances, and appraise them of the present situation. Typically, law enforcement or an officer from the State Department’s Office of Children’s Issues overseeing your Hague Application will do this as well.

39.  In the event that your child does not have a passport from the country they habitually lived in, and no passport has been requested or issued by your local government, then make sure that law enforcement contact the local embassy of the country your spouse was originally from, and inform them of the litigation taking place.

40.  One of the most important things you can do in the early stages of an international child abduction is to establish friendly contact with the relatives and friends of the other parent, both in your country and abroad. The fastest and most effective way to resolve international child abductions is for the abducting parent to return the child voluntarily. While there may be good reasons for you to believe that this approach won’t work, it is important that the effort be made.

41.  Make sure you have a cell phone with you at all times, that it is fully charged, that you keep a charged back-up battery, and a back-up phone charger.

42.  If you are traveling abroad to search for your child, make sure you send yourself back-up ‘emergency’ money via Western Union (Western Union is reliable, serves most locations around the world, and funds can be accessed immediately).

43.  The ‘Prevent Departure Program’ is a very effective tool to prevent alien residents physically in the United States from leaving the country either with or without a child. The program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and was initially created to aide in our the country’s national security interests post 911. Essentially and under the purposes of child abduction, an individual would not be able to depart from the United States. For more information on this program, please visit information on this website listed under ‘Prevent Departure Program’ or click on the following link:

44.  Trust yourself.

45.  Contact the I CARE Foundation.

46.  For more information please visit the Department of State’s Office Of Children’s Issues at

47.  Remember, the abductor has been well advised and aided about how to get away with their abduction.  They will try to do whatever they can to have it appear that either you are a horrible, dangerous person, and/or that you consented to their travel abroad with intent to relocate. Thus, be very careful of what the abductor communicates with you, and be very leary that any suggestion to have a family member of the abductor mediate an agreement between the two of you in genuine: there is a very good chance it is not.

48.   In the United States, it is illegal to operate or hire a recovery agents who essentially re-abduct a child taken in another country.  It is strongly advised that you follow the rules of law and remember that recovery agents are very costly, you as a client have limited way of validating their activity or expense, and that generally, snatching a child places the child in harms way.  Follow the rules of law and trust the courts.

49.  Critically, you must be aware that if you are in a foreign country where your child was taken, the other side will do essentially whatever is possible in order for them to remain there, including making false child abuse or police reports against you.  One of the most common techniques used for both men and women abductors is for the abductor to make a police report that you threatened their life and that they are concerned about their and the child’s safety.  This enables them to get a restraining order against you while also laying out ground for an Article 13 Defense of the Hague Convention.

50.  It is beyond important that you remember that the abductor committed the crime of kidnapping.  Surely, the abductor was aware of their action and legal issues.  And it did not matter.  They still carried out there plan.  And if you are on foreign soil, you should be very cautious that the abductor has been well advised, and knows that it is critical for their abduction defense to make the child abuse or criminal complaint against you.  Sadly, many abductors act as predators by luring the partner to the foreign country during Christmas so that they could make criminal complaints against that person while they are there. Be very careful – and seek assistance from your country’s embassy.

51.  Mobilize your assets.


When it comes to International Parental Child Abduction, there are a few things that are important to realize.

1.  From 2012 -2022, it is anticipated that there could be as many as 100,000 to 125,000 international parental child abductions originating from the United States, and as many as 17,500 cases originating from Canada.

2.  Unreported cases of abduction are anticipated to at least equal the number of reported cases of abduction, and it is believed that this number could be as high as 150% of reported cases. As an example, in 2010, there ere 1,634 reported cases of IPCA in the United States. Thus, it could be expected that the number of unreported cases of abduction ranged from 1, 634 to 2,451, and that the total number of cases of international parental child abduction was anywhere from 3,264 – 4,085 cases.

3.  Growth of IPCA cases is at least 20% per year.

4.  It is forecast that only roughly 10% of all children (reported and unreported) illegally kidnapped come home.

5.  International Parental Child Abduction is a federal crime.

6.  Loopholes in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative may have a serious negative impact on IPCA and human trafficking in the United States.

7.  The Prevent Departure Program needs to be modified to allow the screening of high-risk child abductors who possess rights of United States citizenship.

Peter Thomas Senese

Founding Director
I CARE Foundation

DEMAND A PLAN To End Gun Violence Has The Support of the I CARE Foundation

There is overwhelming sadness and concern throughout our nation in the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took place in Newtown, Connecticut.  This should be equally measured by all individuals with intolerance of a lack of gun control and ammunition laws that will protect against the insanity of these unthinkable, incomprehensible events from happening again.

As we mourn the murder of the 20 young, innocent children, the taking of life of 6 defenseless educators, and the deadly assault of a mother who died at the hands of her child who she spent her life trying to help – as we grieve for the families who have suffered due to this mass murder – and as we recall the many innocent lives who were victims of murder by firearms, we must create a widespread and sweeping plan that will be directed at significantly lowering the 48,000 American citizens who are expected to be murdered by a gun during the upcoming next four years of President Obama’s presidency.

The I CARE Foundation supports New York City Mayor Bloomberg and the scores of hundred’s of mayors from around the nation who support the I DEMAND A PLAN and the MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS.  We thank and support His Honor’s commitment to limit ease and access to guns because guns are the instrument that people use to kill.

It is unthinkable that nearly 48,000 American children will be murdered by a gun over the next 4 years.

It is unthinkable that nearly 125,000 American children will be murdered by a gun over the next 10 years.

It is incomprehensible to accept that the entire population of cities such as Simi Valley, Hartford, Ann Arbor, Flint, Cedar Rapids, East Los Angeles, Topeka, Stamford, Vallejo, or Springfield have less than the total expected number of murdered American’s over the next ten years by the bullet of a gun.

It is unacceptable to think that the expected number of gun-related murders is equal to three entire professional baseball stadiums filled with cheering fans dying due to some cataclysmic event.

As we mourn all those who lost their life in Newtown, Connecticut and as we remember the murder victims everywhere – not just those innocent lives who lost their life due to a mass-targeting – but everyone – the I CARE Foundation Demands a Plan.

We support all new laws that will prohibit the sale or possession of assault rifles.

We support all new laws that will prohibit the sale of all ammunitions designed to take human life, including bullets designed to pierce body armor.

We support all new laws and measures that will protect law enforcement officers in their line of duty.

We support new federal initiatives that would utilize technology to ensure that a firearm cannot be used unless the fingerprints of the user match the license use of the specific firearm.

We support the I DEMAND A PLAN initiative because, as child advocates fighting day-in and day-out to protect innocent children from international kidnapping and trafficking, we seek to celebrate life and each person’s right to pursue happiness.

We can’t imagine that it would take the immediate loss in totality of every individual living in a mid-sized American city such as those mentioned above for our nation’s leaders to act.

Senator Feinstein

We support California Senator Feinstein’s plan to reintroduce legislation to ban assault weapons.  We take the honorable Senator’s words optimistically when she said that, “I’m going to introduce in the Senate and the same bill will be introduced in the House, a bill to ban assault weapons. It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession. Not retroactively but prospectively. And it will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets. So there will be a bill. We’ve been working on it now for a year.”

Senator Schumer

We take note that New York State Senator Charles Schumer that Congress “Could get something done,” but only if the paradigm of the debate shifts. He said gun control advocates on the left must acknowledge that the Second Amendment allows the right to bear arms and that the right must stop engendering fear in gun owners that the gun control advocates want to take away all guns.

Schumer said his proposals would not interfere with the Second Amendment but would offer protections. He proposes a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, a limit to the size of clips available for purchase and restrictions placed on the mentally unstable from obtaining guns.

We take note with hopeful optimism that the words “These tragedies must end,” and that “We can’t tolerate this anymore” spoken by President Obama will lead to a sweeping plan.

President Obama

We acknowledge that the House of Representatives has year-after-year passed legislation that banned assault weapons; however, we also acknowledge that the Senate has been gridlocked.

We urge all Senators to stop the gridlock and get something done.  We can’t imagine anyone would need a semi-automatic, high velocity AR-15 Bushmaster assault rifle that is capable of letting out 30 rounds?

In honor of the memory of all who have lost their lives while being mindful of all our responsibilities to prevent the murder of more innocent lives, the I CARE Foundation is in support of the I DEMAND A PLAN Campaign and asks everyone to sign the petition urging our lawmakers to create and pass a sweeping plan that will significantly reduce the expected 125,000 Americans that will lose their life over the next 10 years on American soil by a bullet.

The I CARE Foundation

Finally, we take particular note that our society faces challenges when it comes to aiding and assisting individuals who suffer from neurological and mental health challenges, particularly individuals who, upon age of adulthood, fall out of social service support. We recognize that this issue, similar to gun control, is complex.  Yet, in the dialogue of what tragically occurred in Newtown, we believe it necessary that this issue is brought to light.

Our hearts are very heavy today, as they have been for the past few days due to the losses that have occurred.  Little said or done can ever bring back the lives of the innocent lives that were lost.  However, we can demonstrate our caring and true intent by creating new laws and policies that will stop the violence of guns.

The Board of Directors and the Special Advisory Board of the I CARE Foundation urges everyone to please sign the I DEMAND A PLAN petition and support all initiatives that will address gun control laws.

As His Honor Mayor Bloomberg correctly said, “Words alone cannot heal our nation, only action can.”

On Behalf of the I CARE Foundation

– Peter Thomas Senese 
 Founding Director

International Parental Child Abduction Declared Extreme Abuse: Senate Passes SR 543

For any parent who has had to deal with the criminal international kidnapping of their child by the hands of a scheming and sociopathic other parent, they see first-hand the extraordinary abuse that their child is faced to endure.  Sadly, some of these abducted children never come home: filicide – the murder of a child at the hands of a parent – is a real issue, and in fact, parental child murder is one of the leading causes of child death according to various government reports.In the past, and I know this first-hand due to my own experiences, but society generally did not understand the abuse and danger a child faces when they are parentally kidnapped.  The misconceived notion that parental abduction was simply a child custody issue was wide-spread seven years ago.  Truth is – as loudly declared by the United States Senate this past December 4th, 2012 – international parental child abduction is a highly abusive, destructive, and dangerous act directed at a targeted parent by typically an out-of-control, vengeful parent who demonstrates narcissism and sociopathic behavior.

On Tuesday evening, December 4th, 2012,  inside the United States Capitol Building, United States Senators Unanimously took a defiant stand against international parental child abduction.

The I CARE Foundation is pleased to share that U.S. Senator Barbara Boxter’s International Parental Child Abduction Resolution (Senate Resolution 543) first introduced to the Senate on August 2nds, 2012 passed unanimously yesterday, December 4th, 2012 a Senate vote.  Previously, Senator Boxter stated before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Business Meeting presided over Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) that, “The International Parental Child Abduction Resolution condemns the abduction of a child by one parent to another country. It also calls on our nation and the international community to do more to resolve current and future abduction cases.” Senator Boxter also stated she “Introduced this resolution to help shine a light on child abduction and to urge immediate and sustained action to address it.”

Senator Boxter’s comments made before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unequivocally shed light as to the great difficulties targeted children and parents face. Senator Boxter, a known child advocate stated before Senator Kerry’s Foreign Relations Committee that, “The resolution (Senate 543) condemns the abduction of a child by one parent to another country. It also calls on our nation and the international community to do more to resolve current and future abduction cases. By approving this resolution, we are sending a clear, bipartisan message that the United States Senate stands united in its condemnation of child abduction and its commitment to help end this injustice.”

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a Senate Resolution 543 by a voice vote yesterday. Impressively, the resolution garnered 28 original cosponsors, and is a clear indication that the voices of the community of activists are reaching the halls of our nation’s Capitol.

Senate Resolution 543 reinforces several critical issues that are expected to come to the aid of targeted children and parents, as is discussed in a step-by-step summary analysis provided below.  However, on the surface, and with great light on the subject needed, Resolution 543 names Japan, India and Egypt as the worst offenders in the kidnappings of children from the United States to countries abroad.

Equally importantly, Senate Resolution 543 calls for several critical actions to be taken that will open up new avenues of child protection.  Specifically, Senator Boxter’s resolution calls for the immediate review of the protocols previously established by the United States Congress when our lawmakers agreed to become a signatory member of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction.  Specifically, Senate Resolution 543 (Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) states:

(E) review the advisory services made available to United States citizens by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, and other United States Government agencies—

(i) to improve the prevention of international parental child abduction from the United States; and

(ii) to ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to United States citizens who are parents of children abducted from the United States and taken to foreign countries.

What (Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) (iI) makes it clear that:

A review of Congress’ existing declaration when it annexed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction whereas it declined to financially assist targeted parents who have had their child criminally kidnapped (International Kidnapping Crimes Act) reunite with their children.

According to an I CARE Foundation recent study,  parents who have their children internationally abducted face severe and overwhelming costs in attempting to reunite with their kidnapped children, and the financial costs and economic impact on the U.S. economy over the next 10 years is expected to reach over 5 Billion U.S. Dollars.   Clearly the resolution’s (2)(E)(ii) is specifying that the United States government must “ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to Untied States citizens” who have their children kidnapped – and this means financial assistance that may be required to locate an internationally kidnapped child, financial assistance for litigation expenses and any activity associated with a child’s recovery, including reunification assistance.  How important is this?  Enormous, particularly when we must consider that many of targeted parents fail to reunite with their abducted child because the stealing parent knows that so long as they can financially drain the other parent’s resources, and tie up the litigation into a long process, they should be successful in achieving their criminal act of abduction.  Should this portion of the Senate’s resolution be upheld, not only will it change the ability of a targeted parent to protect their child, but it will alter the dynamics of an abductor’s litigation strategy because they will not be able to financially drain the targeted parent.

Equally important, (Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) does something that could potentially make the greatest difference of all aspects of the resolution.  Specifically, the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues (OCI), which I believe is made up of some of the most dedicated and caring child advocates on the planet, presently have extreme limitations on what it can and cannot do to assist American parents who have had their child abducted.  Which leads to great frustration by the nation’s citizens who turn to OCI for assistance.By calling to “review the advisory services made available to United States citizens by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, and other United States Government agencies”, the Senate Resolution 543is not only clearly identifying but acknowledging that the existing agencies charged with protecting our nation’s children need to be overhauled in that there is a need to provide OCI with more power to act on behalf of kidnapped children. Surely, when this definitive review is conducted, there will be a clear disposition that OCI is underfunded, understaffed, and given limited power, which means as part of the Department of State, it is underutilized.

(Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) importantly states since international parental child abduction is a federal criminal act of kidnapping – this is not a child custody disagreement but a brutal act against a child – that review of existing protocols on how our national law enforcement agency may assist a targeted parent who has had a child abducted.

This section of Senate Resolution 543 is critical because today, and in the past, the vast majority of parental child kidnappers did not fear any retribution for the scheming, abusive, and destructive criminal act of cross-border abduction. Without concern that they would be held accountable for their act, and with the financial playing field heavily tilted in their favor, there has been a sharp increase of child abductions that could see as many as 100,000 to 125,000 American children abducted abroad if we consider the current number of reported cases of abduction, the forecasted number of unreported cases of abduction, the growth rate of abduction, and underlying conditions such as immigration migration to the United States as well as general population growth as factors.

Critically supporting (Article 2) (Section II) (Part E) is (Article 2) (Section II) (Part A), whereas the resolution calls for:

(A) Vigorously pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States to another country through all appropriate means, facilitate access by the left-behind parent if the child is not returned, and, where appropriate, seek the extradition of the parent that abducted the child.

Did you notice the key words, “Vigorously pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States?”

This is clearly indicating that the United States Senate is sending a message that children will no longer be considered collateral political damage and that the United States government will protect and defend its defenseless, innocent children who are kidnapped and held hostage overseas.


By seeking “the extradition of the parent that abducted the child.”

As previously stated, parental child abductors have little concern that their actions will be prosecuted even though the acts of international parental child abduction violates federal laws including criminal codes on kidnapping, and, at times, laws prohibiting the aiding and abetting of a fugitive.  In addition, a state’s laws on abduction are also violated, as well as criminal codes of child abuse and child neglect.  Of course contempt of court and perjury are rampant in these cases, and are punishable by contempt of court charges.

However, now it is clear that a parent can and should seek criminal remedy in conjunction with civil remedy available to them under the Hague Convention.

For a long time now, child abduction prevention advocates and chasing parents have all shared a very important message: by having an arrest warrant issued against a child abductor, by extraditing the abductor on kidnapping charges, by prosecuting abductors, and by having them sentenced, a strong message that will serve as a deterrent against abduction will be issued, and many would-be abductors will think carefully before they abuse their child.

Extradition means in many cases that in the simplest terms an abductor will have limited ability to hide under the rules of law of another nation.  Granted, part of the challenge is that each country has its own rules as to what type of crime it will allow extradition of; however, the underpinnings of Senate Resolution 543 is to use diplomacy that enables the laws of a child’s country of original jurisdiction to allow the child’s custodial parent the ability of protecting their child.

Obviously, it is critical that international parental child abduction occurs.  Which means new abduction prevention laws must be created while certain existing policies must be modified.  Clearly, new laws and policy modifications that occur will become worthless if judges presiding over courts of jurisdiction of a targeted child do not enforce the laws they are governed to uphold. Furthermore, it must become a mandatory policy for each child protective agency to develop a special division of trained personnel familiar with international parental child abduction in order to protect a child from abuse, including the common-place false claims made by a taking parent against a targeted parent.

Over the past 15 years the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, funded a study on child abduction murder cases. The number of cases of filicide – the murder of a child by one of their parents – was alarming.   A recent report issued by the I CARE Foundation provides acute insight as to the grave risk of murder associated with international child abduction cases.

Perhaps shedding light as to just how important Senate Resolution 543 is are the comments of Mr. Joel Walter,Esq., a Board of Director of the I CARE Foundation when he shared his insight on parental child abduction and the threat of parental child murder. “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.”

For targeted parents who have had their children abducted to countries such as Japan, India, and Egypt, who are not members of the Hague Abduction Convention, Senate Resolution 543 made it clear that the United States legislative branch no longer is willing to sit idle while American children are kidnapped or illegally detained abroad while laws in their country and courts that oversee these laws do nothing to uphold the legitimate claims of law based upon a child’s original jurisdiction and the prevailing laws and court orders issued from such jurisdiction.

A portion of the preamble of Senate Resolution 543 reads:

Whereas Japan, India, and Egypt are not parties to the Hague Abduction Convention and were also among the top 10 countries to which children in the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011;

Whereas, in many countries, such as Japan and India, international parental child abduction is not considered a crime, and custody rulings made by courts in the United States are not typically recognized by courts in those countries; and

Whereas Japan is the only member of the Group of 7 major industrialized countries that has not yet become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention: Now, therefore, be it –

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) sponsored Senate Resolution 543, which garnered 28 original cosponsors and passed the Senate by voice vote Tuesday evening. Senator Boxer has been the Congressional leader on this issue since 2006, consistently raising legislative awareness. The renown child advocate Senator Boxter said, “I am so proud that today (Tuesday evening, December 4th, 2012) the Senate took a stand to condemn the tragic and devastating crime of child abduction,” Senator Boxer said. “This resolution is a resounding call to the international community to join together to prevent and resolve abduction cases.”

Sentiment from several key United States Senators demonstrates a reshaping of Congress’ view on international parental child abduction with an intent to act.

“International child abduction is a tragic situation that impacts not only the parents who are left behind but also the children who have been illegally separated from them and denied any contact,” Senator Lugar said. “Bringing greater attention to this issue is important if we are to change other governments’ attitudes to these abductions.”

Senator Inhofe said,  “Unfortunately, some countries around the world are complicit in allowing these unacceptable acts. The heart wrenching stories I have heard from parents is not just devastating for them, but destructive for the children.  It is time for the Senate to act in a way that will help end this injustice.  This well written measure is a high priority.  I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join in this effort.”

“International child abductions aren’t faceless crimes, they’re real and they’re tragic,” Senator Kerry said. “The United States must condemn international abductions and work to resolve them.  The international community must stand up and do all it can to make this right.”

New Jersey Senator Lautenberg said, “We need to gain the support of countries around the world in condemning this practice and agreeing to cooperate in the return of abducted children. This resolution will help us prevent these tragedies in the future.”

So now where do we go?

Well, obviously Senate Resolution 543 clearly indicates that the way our government, courts, and law enforcement handle international parental child abduction is not enough.  More – much more must be done as international child kidnapping spreads.

Prevention of abduction is critical.  This means that judges presiding over cases of abduction risk or act must become fully aware of the laws they oversee as well as the seriousness of this crime against children.  Education is critical.

The United States Senate has shared a very strong message: international parental child abduction is not a child custody case: it is criminal kidnapping, and it must be treated as such.

In addition, we need new laws that will help prevent abduction.  Two immediate legislative initiatives the I CARE Foundation is currently working on is to:

1.       Create a secondary secure screening list so that individuals possessing a right of U.S. citizenship and who are determined by courts or law enforcement to be high-risk child abductors  may be vetted prior to travel to ensure they are not abducting a child. This proposal is similar to the current Prevent Departure Program, which presently only permits the listing of individuals onto a secure screening list that do not possess a right of U.S. citizenship and who are in the United States.

2.       Under the current Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Policy, American children are permitted to travel outside of the country by land or sea to adjoining nations such as Mexico, Canada, and certain Caribbean-Island nations by presenting only a photocopy of a naturalization document such as a photocopy of a birth certificate.  We call upon the mandatory use of valid passports for all children entering into or traveling from the United States.

Obviously, bolstering the Officeof Children’s Issues resources and capability are critical.  And using direct and ongoing diplomatic efforts to bring countries to the table of the Hague Abduction Convention, and ensuring that they comply with the treaty are also critical.

Senator Boxter’s Senate Resolution 543 Cosponsors was a bipartisan effort and included Senators Feinstein, Blumenthal, Rubio, Durbin, Kirk, Lugar, Moran, Roberts, Landrieu, Kerry, Cardin, Mikulski, Blunt, Lautenberg, Menendez, Gillibrand, Inhofe, Merkley, Wyden, Casey, Toomey, Reed, Whitehouse, Johnson, Hutchinson, Leahy, Cantwell, and Murray.

We applaud and thank Senator Boxter and all the Senators who passed Resolution 543 yesterday.  This is a major step in the right direction toward protecting our nation’s children, and equally, in doing so, sending a message to other nations that they too, must protect their child citizens.

We do take note that the statistical numbers of the number of cases of abduction cited in the legislative resolution are not accurate in that the cited 2011 numbers reflect the number of reported abductions that occurred in the year 2010.  We also take note that it is believe that the number of unreported cases of international parental child abduction are between 100% and 125% of the reported cases of abduction.  Finally, we believe that it is important to note that to state that international parental child abduction is on the aggregate rise of over 25% per year from the last known cited reporting years of 2006 through 2010.  The represented number of abduction cases in the senate resolution demonstrates that there is a critical need for more current research and shared updated information concerning just how severe international child abduction is today.Again, we are thankful for everyone’s efforts in making Senate Resolution 543 a reality.

The full text of Senate Resolution 543 is below.


Whereas international parental child abduction is a tragic and common occurrence;

Whereas the abduction of a child by one parent is a heartbreaking loss for the left-behind parent and deprives the child of a relationship with 2 loving parents;

Whereas, according to the Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of the United States Department of State from April 2010, research shows that abducted children are at risk of significant short- and long-term problems, including “anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, [and] aggressive behavior”;

Whereas, according to that report, left-behind parents may also experience substantial psychological and emotional issues, including feelings of “betrayal, sadness over the loss of their children or the end of their marriage, anger toward the other parent, anxiety, sleeplessness, and severe depression”, as well as financial strain while fighting for the return of a child;

Whereas, since 1988, the United States, which has a treaty relationship under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this preamble as the “Hague Abduction Convention’’) with 69 other countries, has agreed with its treaty partners to follow the terms of the Hague Abduction Convention;

Whereas the Hague Abduction Convention provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children to the countries of their habitual residence where competent courts can make decisions on issues of custody and the best interests of the children;

Whereas, according to the United States Department of State, the number of new cases of international child abduction from the United States increased from 579 in 2006 to 941 in 2011;

Whereas, in 2011, those 941 cases involved 1,367 children who were reported abducted from the United States by a parent and taken to a foreign country;

Whereas, in 2011, more than 660 children who were abducted from the United States and taken to a foreign country were returned to the United States;

Whereas 7 of the top 10 countries to which children from the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011 are parties to the Hague Abduction Convention, including Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia;

Whereas Japan, India, and Egypt are not parties to the Hague Abduction Convention and were also among the top 10 countries to which children in the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011;

Whereas, in many countries, such as Japan and India, international parental child abduction is not considered a crime, and custody rulings made by courts in the United States are not typically recognized by courts in those countries; and

Whereas Japan is the only member of the Group of 7 major industrialized countries that has not yet become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That—

(1) the Senate—

(A) condemns the international abduction of all children;

(B) urges countries identified by the United States Department of State as noncompliant or demonstrating patterns of noncompliance with the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this resolution as the “Hague Abduction Convention”) to fulfill their commitment under international law to expeditiously implement the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;

(C) calls on all countries to become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention and to promptly institute measures to equitably and transparently address cases of international parental child abduction; and

(D) calls on all countries that have not become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention to develop a mechanism for the resolution of current and future cases of international parental child abduction that occur before those countries become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention in order to facilitate the prompt return of children abducted to those countries to the children’s countries of habitual residence; and

(2) it is the sense of the Senate that the United States should—

(A) vigorously pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States to another country through all appropriate means, facilitate access by the left-behind parent if the child is not returned, and, where appropriate, seek the extradition of the parent that abducted the child;

(B) take all appropriate measures to ensure that a child abducted to a country that is a party to the Hague Abduction Convention is returned to the country of habitual residence of the child in compliance with the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;

(C) continue to use diplomacy to encourage other countries to become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention and to take the necessary steps to effectively fulfill their responsibilities under the Hague Abduction Convention;

(D) use diplomacy to encourage countries that have not become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention to develop an institutionalized mechanism to transparently and expeditiously resolve current and future cases of international child abduction that occur before those countries become a party to the Hague Abduction Convention; and

(E) review the advisory services made available to United States citizens by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, and other United States Government agencies—

(i) to improve the prevention of international parental child abduction from the United States; and

(ii) to ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to United States citizens who are parents of children abducted from the United States and taken to foreign countries.

For more information on international parental child abduction, please click here.The I CARE Foundation would like to thank all of our members, associates, and friends who worked to help educate our nation’s lawmakers as to the necessity that Senate Resolution 543 pass.  We extend our thanks to each of you, as we acknowledge and thank child advocates everywhere who worked to have SR 543 passed.

Thank you –
Peter Thomas Senese
Founding Director
The I CARE Foundation

Peter Thomas Senese: Helping Children Fighting Cancer This Christmas

As a cancer conqueror myself, I have remained active with a handful of hospitals that focus on helping children that are fighting cancer or any other serious illness.  For over a decade now, I have been a professional that invests in cancer research, but as a person that embraces my social responsibility, I have done what I can to financially support several hospitals, including the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and an assortment of  other Children’s Hospitals.

I know first-hand that fighting cancer is not easy.  I also know that my life changed for the better in many ways when I had to fight the dragon because life and its beauty came to me in ways I had never previously experienced.  In seeing the magic, in my own way, I found my inner Peter ‘PAN’.  I also know that the dragon is very powerful, and has the ability of taking life here on earth.  But in having my ‘PAN’ fight the dragon, I also came to deeply understand that God does exist, and so too does Heaven.

I have come to understand that each of us can be ‘PAN’, and that no matter what, we can see magic … and there is another place we all will go to.  A very magical place.

Each year I literally save my pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, ones, fives, tens, twenties …. whatever I can and put these monies in a ‘Neverland’ box.  The box is rather big.  Sometimes, during the year I empty the coins in the box and exchange them for bills.  I did that a few times this year.   And I am very blessed that I have a wonderful partner who is willing to give up a few niceties like a vacation or a fancy dinner or a new pair of shoes and toss the money saved into the ‘Neverland’ box.  Our efforts add up.

Then once a year – like today –  I take the money I saved – and I go and purchase Nintendo DS’s or Sony PS’s along with a video game or two that I give to the children being treated at the cancer ward of a few of the hospitals. Of course, I am mindful that some of the children may not be able to play the video games: some simply can’t while others are to young and would prefer something else.  So I always have on hand a bunch of fashionable princesses and Lego, and coloring books – but most of all what I bring is the spirit of Peter Pan.

You see, if the medical doctors initial diagnosis of my cancer fight was correct, I would have been dead a long time ago.  It was nearly 15 years ago that I was first diagnosed with a brain tumor, followed by being diagnosed with neurofibromatosis II – which were both death sentences.

But I found my shadow.  And though you might think it odd, finding my PAN saved my life.

So you see, at 6 foot tall, and even at 47 year old, my body is very strong, those children that I visit in their Neverland, they don’t see some old guy bringing toys . . . instead, they see Peter Pan – fighter and conqueror of the dragon.  And when I sit with them, and I tell them the stories of Pan fighting the dragon, of one Mr. James C. Hook, they always lean in . . . they understand.  And I know they find their PAN . . . even if for a short time because God has other plans for them.

But you see . . . life is filled with magic.  And it becomes magical when you believe.  And God knows I believe.

I really believe.

And so in a few minutes I will be off to shop for these children, knowing that it is not the material gift that matters the most (though at times it helps, particularly when some of these children have no parents there with them [it is true] since they are wards of the state at the ages of 3, and 4, and 5).

And then over the next two weeks I will begin making my rounds to the hospitals, and hopefully teaching as many children as possible how to catch their shadow . . . and how to see the magic because it is right before their eyes – all they have to do is believe.

So today is a very important day for me.  It seems as if so much of my life evolves around keeping several promises I made.  One, when I was fighting the brain tumor that nearly took my life, was that I would do what I could to help others fighting the dragon should I live.  Thus, my ongoing support of research and other outreach at a handful of hospitals.  And of course, several times a year, with Christmas being the biggest time, I get to share the PAN that lives within me with others.  And so if you are wondering why I am willing to fight for children – this is part of the reason.

Fighting cancer should never be taken lightly.  But when trying to overcome any illness, we must learn to use all the tools . . . all the magic that is around us.  This includes the aid of modern medicine, homeopathic treatment, lots and lots of prayer, and of course – finding the magic and embracing it.

Life is short. Eventually our spirits move to the next Adventure.

This past Thursday morning, my dear friend Robert Medori passed away while fighting the dragon.  Bobby is one of the nicest persons I have ever known.  He was a good, caring, and loving man, and though he will be missed here on earth, he will always be with me.

And so today, Bobby will surely be joining me as we shop for the children.

Love Life.  Embrace Life’s Magic.

Find your  . . . PAN

– Peter –

Filicide… A Scary Reality When Dealing With International Parental Child Abduction

An Abduction That Won't Happen This Holiday Season

As many families prepare for the Christmas Holiday Season, I need to share a very serious reality.  For those that are not aware, Christmas is one of the most prominent times of the year when children are internationally abducted from one parent by another.  As if this information isn’t difficult enough to hear, I also need to let you know that according to various government studies, there is a large percentage of children that are murdered at the hands of one of their parents.

The I CARE Foundation members, along with other child abduction advocates, know these facts and they are always in the back of our minds when we raise our voices and try to raise awareness of international parental child abduction.  Not only are we trying to prevent a child’s severe abuse from occurring, but we are also trying to 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)

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