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"Parental kidnapping season": Article blames separated fathers' support groups

Unnamed separated fathers groups are being attacked for alledgedly encouraging fathers to abduct their children overseas (over the Christmas period).

An accusation is made but no evidence, in the form of a group(s) name, is provided.

Just who is this alleged "single fathers' group" advising Dads "the Christmas holidays are an ideal time to take children without consent"?

We are told there are "nearly 200 parental abductions cases across the country every year" but not told the split by sex of parent.  I'd find that very interesting; as from my reading over the past 11 years, I have formed the impression that most international child abductions are mothers.  And this is confirmed toward the end of the article:
Clare Masters said
NSW has one of the highest rates of international child abduction and solicitor Sally Nichols, who deals with a number of these cases, said international cases in particular were a trend - with mothers the common culprit.

"International (abduction) is generally on the increase, and domestically it's chronic at this time of year," Ms Nichols said.
So, buried toward the end of this article is an admission that it is mostly mothers who abduct their children.  But this is glossed over - as though it is not outrageous (unlike fathers doing the same thing) - and instead the focus of the article is on those terrible Dads and their groups.

This preparedness to ignore maternal kidnappings might possibly be associated with the common societal view today that mothers own children (or to put it more 'nicely' "children belong with their mothers", hence why family courts typically specify mother custody, because it's "in the best interests of the child" … don't you know, ho, ho, ho).

Until Clare Masters can act without such glaring bias and denigration, this report is more about a smear against separated fathers (and the fathers' groups that support them) than journalism with any integrity.



The Daily Telegraph
29 December 2007

It's parental kidnapping season
By Clare Masters

The number of single parents kidnapping their own children is on the rise with hardline community groups advising fathers that government agencies are slow to act over Christmas.

There are nearly 200 parental abductions cases across the country every year and The Daily Telegraph understands that one single fathers' group is telling its members the Christmas holidays are an ideal time to take children without consent because courts are on a go-slow.

President of child abduction agency, Huko International, Geoff Day condemned the agency and said estranged parents often take children during the holidays - and do not return them after access visits.

Mr Day said custodial parents were frustrated because Australian laws were so outdated that it could take months to set a court date to get a recovery order.

Karen Morris, whose agency Inter-relate runs three of the Federal Government's new Family Relationship Centres, said long court waiting lists were part of the problem.

"The waiting lists in court are, and have been, an issue although they have started to come down," she said.

"Christmas is so emotive. Parents argue a lot over who gets the kids. That combined with (the fact that) some services aren't in full force does elevate the risk."

NSW has one of the highest rates of international child abduction and solicitor Sally Nichols, who deals with a number of these cases, said international cases in particular were a trend - with mothers the common culprit.

"International (abduction) is generally on the increase, and domestically it's chronic at this time of year," Ms Nichols said.

One single mother, who spoke to The Daily Telegraph yesterday, said she was told government agencies could do nothing to retrieve her daughter, who was taken by her father before Christmas, without a copy of the official court order.

But almost two weeks later she still had not seen the order and was unable to find a solicitor to take her case.

"He ended up bringing her back, but if he had not done that he would still have her.

Language

When men take their own children its called child abduction - its criminal.

When women take or keep their children its called child protection.

It's all about the language.


 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough

Irregular verbs

Jon Pearson said
When men take their own children its called child abduction - its criminal.

When women take or keep their children its called child protection.

It's all about the language.
Correct!  Feminist and single mother's rights advocates and groups* refer to separated mothers as the "protective parent"!

It's about a number of things: relationships, loneliness, money, power and control - all summed up in the term "maternal gatekeeping".

Back to the language aspect, I'm reminded of two of Bernard's quotes from "Yes Minister" (appended below), about irregular verbs, which I've taken the liberty of adapting here:

Mothers are protective parents
Child care workers and teachers don't hurt children
Fathers are abusers


and

Mothers are good and loving parents
Child care workers and teachers aren't as bad as fathers
Fathers are harmful to children and only needed as donors for sperm and money


* National Council of Single Mothers AND THEIR Children and the Sole Parents Union.
Bernard from Yes Minister said
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? 'I have an independent mind, you are eccentric, he is round the twist.'
Bernard from Yes Minister said
That's another of those irregular verbs, isn't it? 'I give confidential briefings; you leak; he has been charged under Section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.'
The Diaries of the Right Hon. James Hacker page 265 said
I was shocked.  "Did I ask for a leak?"

"Not in so many…" he hesitated.  "No, Prime Minister, you didn't."

"Indeed not, Bernard," I replied stiffly.  "I have never leaked.  I occasionally give confidential briefings to the press.  That is all."

Bernard smiled.  "That's another of those irregular verbs, isn't it? 'I give confidential briefings; you leak; he has been charged under Section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.'"
Not necessarily Jon.

I have a cousin who abducted her six children, and that was the magistrates comment. So in all fairness, it does go both ways.

Clarification sought

Hi cooldad.

I'm not sure what you are talking about.

Are you saying women are hounded by the police and treated as criminals, when they they take their children, and that their is no bias in the system at all?

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
My cousin who is in her late 30's took her 2 children from the father when they were outside playing.

He also had 5 children to his previous relationship and was an abusive partner; I think it was a control thing and he used the children to hold on to her.

Things never went in her favour as he was the carer at the time of the incident.
Hi Jon.

I'm saying woman do get labelled as abductors, as my cousin was, but I dare say men are victimised as a greater percentage.

There is definitely bias everywhere including within the system.
I'm a bit confused. If someone abducts their children, while in the care of the other parent - are they not abductors?

The use of the word "labelling" implies to me, that the action taken to remove/withhold children from the other parent is not valid.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I think the abductor and other labels are applied (and we have discussed this before) differently - women SAVE children men ABDUCT.

A few years back an Australian Woman claimed the Malaysian PRINCE she was married to ABDUCTED HER children. She got a lot of media and government attention. The children are fine and grown up now and have visited the mother . She admitted that he really had custody and she had told a few stories to get attention ( as some women do).

We can think what we like - the police, the government and media are really quick to jump to facile conclusions along the lines - men are abductors - women are victims. Its a common theme (i submit).

Of course there are NO CONSEQUENCES for this woman or other who only tell half the story and withhold the truth.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
Yes, that was quite a good seller for the ladies mags. It didn't hurt that she was pretty too.

The other attention seeking female coming to mind was "Fairley Arrow" who deliberately went "missing".

Sadly, because women are seen by the judiciary as being a bit less stable than men, they seem to get away with it.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
The labels abduct and kidnap are just media labels to sell copy. Often the difference is what the publisher (legal department) thinks they may get away with without recourse from an unjustly accused party

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
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