Saturday, May 5, 2012

Be the Change: Protect Against International Child Abductions

Best-Selling Author Peter Thomas Senese’s Critically Acclaimed New Novel CHASING THE CYCLONE Educates On How Parents Can Protect Against Surge Of International Child Abductions

There is a serious problem occurring in the United States, Canada, and Mexico called international parental child abduction that has received little attention to date despite a growing surge of illegal international parental child abductions. How bad of a problem is it?

According to best-selling author and child advocate Peter Thomas Senese of the I CARE Foundation, a highly respected not-for-profit organization at the forefront of the war against the alarming growth in illegally kidnapping and abducted children in our nation, there may be as many as:

1.     125,000 American children internationally abducted over the next decade; and,
2.     20,000 Canadian Children internationally abducted over the next decade; and,
3.     60,000 Mexican children internationally abducted over the next decade; and,
4.     10,000 Caribbean island nation’s children internationally abducted over the next 10 years.
5.     Total Global international parental child abductions appear to be rapidly growing, due to a surge in abductions from all nations that publicly report the number of abductions.
6.     Many nations, including those in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East do not participate in the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and generally do not report abduction cases.
7.     Of the total number of IPCA cases, it is estimated that only 10% of these kidnapped children are expected to come home.
8.     The I CARE Foundation puts conservative growth rates of IPCA based upon U.S. government statistics far exceed 20% per year over the past 5 years.
9.     It is estimated that over 200,000 children living in North America will be internationally kidnapped by one parent from another over the next ten years.

This is crazy, and with statistics like this, international parental child abduction is not an isolated problem. One that very well could touch your life.

If you are outraged about this issue while being concerned about the safety of our nation's children, then you are not alone.

Working tirelessly to raise awareness of this devastating phenomenon known as International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) is renown geopolitical best-selling author and child advocate
Peter Thomas Senese. Mr. Senese has created and launched an arsenal of tools available for other at-risk parents to turn to in order to help them defend against this terrible crime.

At the center of the best-selling author's arsenal is the critically acclaimed novel titled Chasing The Cyclone. According to numerous highly respected book critics, Chasing The Cyclone is a gripping novel about a father's attempt to reunite with his abducted child. Outside of the book critics, who are raving at Senese's novel as a can't miss- must read legal thriller, the world of child advocates are applauding the author's tireless mission to raise public awareness of this widespread crisis that is impacting families across the United States, North America, and the world.

Parental Challenges Of Recovering A Child Internationally Abducted:
1.     Under United States federal law, this act is also known as kidnapping as mandated by the International Parental Kidnapping Crimes Act. Additionally, every state has its own criminal laws that address this issue. Canadian and Mexican laws also make this a criminal act.  However, very rarely are criminal charges brought against an abductor.
2.     Very few countries uphold criminal extradition orders against a parental abductor.
3.     A parent who has a child internationally abducted by the other parent is solely responsible for all financial cost associated with legal and recovery costs.
4.     The Hague Convention covers international parental child abduction, but too many countries such as those located in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa are not members of the international treaty. Other countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and Germany do not uphold the international treaty and are considered non-complying.
5.     International parental child abduction is nearly always orchestrated with a hidden scheme, and the targeted parent does not know their child is about to be taken.
6.     Men and women generally abduct equally.
7.     As cross-cultural relationships continue to grow, so too will the number of international parental child abduction cases.

Now you may ask yourself, "Why isn't anyone talking about this until now?"

The answer is rather simple: until Mr. Senese and the I CARE Foundation conducted an extensive research study on the issue of international child abduction, there was no published public data that incorporated the total forecasted number of abductions by including the measurable yearly growth rate in reported abduction cases and a measurable number of abductions that will occur directly related to yearly unreported cases of abduction. According to the I CARE Foundation study, reported and unreported cases of international parental child abduction appears to be equal.

Do you think this can't or won't happen to you? Well according to the tens of thousands of parents who have had this horrific crime happen against them and their child, you better think again.

Peter Thomas Senese commented, “Studies have demonstrated that an unprecedented number of abductions have occurred where one parent took unilateral action to deprive the other parent of contact with their child.  The majority of abducting parents will typically use the child as a tool to cause the targeted parent great pain and suffering. Their intent is simple: to make the other parent suffer as much as possible by depriving that targeted parent with the love and connection to their own child. Nearly every published study on this subject has concluded that an abducting parent has significant, and typically, long-term psychological problems and may in fact be a danger to their child.
“It is important to acknowledge that in certain cases of parental child abduction, a parent claims to have no other choice but to flee the other parent due to serious, grave, and ongoing forms of abuse. It must be acknowledged that in many abduction defenses found under Article 13 of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an abducting parent will often claim mental, emotional, and physical abuse by the other parent as part of their defense to sanction their criminal behavior of abduction. However, it must also be acknowledged that domestic violence is a very real, measurable, and in many cases, an ongoing crime that has limited law enforcement safety controls. In fact, there are parents who must flee for their and their child’s safety due to failures by law enforcement and courts to protect their safety, combined with a habitual abuser who aims to cause grave hurt to the targeted parent.
“In addition, and understandably, family abductions occur at a higher rate during times of heightened stress such as separation or divorce and often involve custody issues and visitation problems.  The sad fact is that a large number of marriages, estimated to be between 40% and 50%, in the U.S. end in divorce. 
“One of the many considerations that factor into the increase in total abductions indicates that economic difficulties in the United States and elsewhere are a measurable factor in the number of increases in separations and divorces. This added stress can lead to a parental cross-border abduction, particularly since we live in a global society, and the number of international relationships has increased dramatically.
“While all children can be potential targets of a family abduction, the likelihood increases when that child has a parent with ties to a foreign country. According to the Juvenile and Family Court Journal Vol. 48, No. 2 titled Jurisdiction In Child Custody and Abduction Cases, ‘Parents who are citizens of another country (or who have dual citizenship with the U.S.) and also have strong ties to their extended family in their country of origin have long been recognized as abduction risks.’ This increase in cultural diversity within the U.S. population has created challenges for our existing laws. Many U.S. born children-citizens fall victim to parental abduction when a parents’ union ends. 
“Across the U.S., states are struggling to address their archaic and outdated laws, and establish additional precautions to better protect their child-citizen population. Unquestionably, it is critical that child abduction prevention laws are passed in each state and upheld by the judiciary and law enforcement. Failure to do so will likely lead to the looming disaster that is already upon us.
“As a nation, the United States must fight back this sweeping plague by passing child abduction prevention laws and by increasing our judiciary’s level of competency in overseeing and enforcing laws associated with these complex cases of potential or actual international parental child abductions.  Critical to judges and lawmakers’ ability to protect our children is the need for immediate research on this subject. The present available information is archaic, and more than likely inaccurate particularly due to the inability to measure 'unreported' cases. The community of child abduction prevention advocates has pointed this out for some time now. What we also need is for the creation and enforcement of well thought out and researched laws along with the upholding of the intent, spirit, and law of the international treaties such as The Hague Convention so we can protect our children.”

What’s The Bottom Line

Clearly, with over 200,000 children potentially expected to be lost over the next ten years from North America and of that 125,000 American children stolen and possibly as many as 112,500 not coming home ever, a great deal has to be done.

At the top of the list is for all parents to be aware of the risk factors and warning signs of a potential abduction because clearly with a 10% recovery rate, if you ex spouse takes your child or children, they more than likely are not coming home.

And let’s say you are not truly in the cross-hairs of this ordeal, the likelihood is that someone you may know very well could be. After all, how many relationships today are multi-cultural, or where one or both of the parents are not American citizens or have ties to a foreign country.

Peter Thomas Senese is not only raising society's awareness, but he is also helping to create and pass laws that protect children and parents, and in the process, and according to a large number of sworn testimonials I have read, Mr. Senese is personally and via the not-for-profit, self-funded I CARE Foundation he is the Founding Director of, Mr. Senese is helping many parents either reunite with their kidnapped children or helping these parents prevent the criminal international abduction of their child.

So what can you do? Well, obviously educate yourself. You can do this by considering to read Chasing The Cyclone by Peter Thomas Senese, particularly if you are a fan of legal thrillers that dart you across the globe . . . and if you love a good old fashion love story. This is what some of our nation's top book critics are saying:

The highly influential
New York Journal of Books said of Chasing The Cyclone, "Chasing The Cyclone is a well-written thriller . . . Senese shares myriad emotions by writing in the first-person as he weaves through the action in this suspense-filled story . . . This novel might also be considered a treatise on international child abduction. Cyclone, while full of actual strategies and resources to assist parents in international abductions, is above all else a love story about a father and son ... From Los Angeles, to Canada, to New Zealand, and eventually, Macau, a special administrative region of China, Cyclone is rife with international intrigue and suspense. The protagonist, Paul Francesco, orchestrates a master plan that he hopes will reunite him with the love of his life - his son. Along the way he finds himself swamped in red tape and drenched in frustration. Filled with a plethora of powerful characters and puzzling predicaments and dead ends, the story moves quickly . . . Cyclone will leave you informed and satisfied . . . you will be reluctant to put down."

The renown
Guilty Pleasures Book Review, known as one of the nation's top book critic book review sites by women for women said, "If I had to use one word to describe Chasing the Cyclone by Peter Thomas Senese it would be phenomenal. As in remarkable. Extraordinary. I have read many books over the years, for enjoyment, for education, because I had to, because I wanted to. I cannot think of any other book that comes close to making me feel as I did when I read this book. I believe these feelings will stick with me forever. This story, inspired by horrific events, is about the love between a father and a son. And that love is beautiful . . . Mr. Senese's is evidenced by a large number of sworn testimonials by many thankful parents who Mr. Senese has directly helped in either reuniting with their own child or preventing their child from being internationally abducted. Establishing the I CARE Foundation and being closely involved in the rescue attempts of abducted children is but one of the many impactful acts of Mr. Senese. Clearly, 'involved' for Mr. Senese means financially, emotionally, legally, and investigative support. His selflessness is inspiring. He is hope."

The nationally syndicated Examiner stated, "Peter Thomas Senese is a gifted storyteller who takes readers on a heart pounding journey around the globe through the eyes of Paul Francesco, a father whose 7-year old son is abducted by his mother. The writing is raw and the emotions are real . . . The story is filled with twists and turns that will leave readers scratching their heads, seething in anger, and hugging their children a little tighter . . . I highly recommend Chasing the Cyclone as a must-read. You will not be able to put it down. It may very well change the way you look at life, child custody, and interactions with your child's other parent. I cannot endorse this book strongly enough."

The highly respected True Crimes Book Review added, "Chasing the Cyclone is a gripping story. Writing in a style that reads much like a diary, Senese blends cold, hard facts with a fictional plot – a plot which will evoke heartbreak, rage, disgust, and a whole host of other emotions you can’t put a name to . . . I never realized just how prevalent international child abductions are and the ridiculous hoops a Chasing Parent must go through to be reunited with their child . . . And last, but definitely not least, hug your child. Tightly. To know where your child is, is something many of us take for granted. Too many parents would give anything just to know where to start looking."

But book reviews alone don't tell just how important Peter Thomas Senese's extraordinary work is. The following are a few excerpts from testimonials I have read about how Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation have come to the incredible aid of other parents, and in fact created a few miracles (note: I am only removing the parents name in order to keep their privacy; however, each cited statement comes from a sworn testimonial).

Parent 1, whose child was abducted and living in Africa for eight years speaks of the miracle Peter Thomas Senese created when he said, "On January 16th, 2012 I received a telephone call from Peter Thomas Senese. He said to me that my son was on an airplane 30,000 feet high over Africa and on his way home to the United States . . . As for Peter Thomas Senese, what can I say about this incredible man who led the efforts on all fronts to rescue my son? He asked for nothing other than for me to help others one day when my child was home, he provided financial support, emotional support, and all the necessary legal support required. I will be forever grateful to Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation for the selfless acts and considerable kindness."

Parent 2
, who has successfully defended against an abduction threat added, "Chasing The Cyclone and Peter Thomas Senese have assisted me and my family significantly in protecting my daughters from being parentally abducted to Saudi Arabia, where women like myself have no rights. If my children were abducted there, I would never see them again. Ever. Today, I sleep a little better due to the incredible efforts of Peter Thomas Senese, knowing that Mr. Senese has helped ensure my children's safety and has helped protect us from Chasing The Cyclone of international child abduction. Along the way, he has never asked for anything."

Parent 3 said, "Unequivocally, Peter Thomas Senese is a tremendous person of great honor and integrity, he acts selflessly on behalf of children all across the globe, he is honest, sincere, unbowed, and willing to stand up against those that act against others. My abducted child is coming home, finally after all these years, in no small way because of the great assistance I received from Peter Thomas Senese. There is no doubt in my mind the world and our children are safer because tragically, Peter Thomas Senese found himself once Chasing The Cyclone."

Peter Thomas Senese commented, "There are no fool-proof warning signs that your spouse or ex-spouse is thinking of taking your child across international borders, with or without your permission and knowledge. However, there are in fact many signs and signals that can provide you with insight that your spouse or former spouse is intending to abduct with your child."

Here is a list of
Warning Signs and Risk Factors. Here are some things Mr. Senese suggests you do if an Abduction Is In Progress.

I am happy to share that Peter Thomas Senese is donating 100% of his e-book author royalties earned from Chasing The Cyclone to the I CARE Foundation. The highly anticipated legal thriller is presently available on
Amazon for Kindle readers and on Barnes & Noble for Nook readers. Mr. Senese's hardcover novel Chasing The Cyclone will be released wherever books are sold beginning in late May, 2012.