Monday, April 20, 2009

Child Abduction and PA

Obviously the sad case of Victoria (Tori) STAFFORD in Woodstock ON, is NOT a case of PA but Stranger Abduction. But her mother's boyfriend/step-dad has been named as a "person of interest" - but given other terrible cases recently, it could just as easily be the mother who is prime suspect. For me I question why the biological father has been sidelined by the media. It would be hard to imagine any parent not feeling helpless and out-of-control as an influence in his daughters life now. There remains disagreement about the strange women who lured Tori away somehow.

Yet, Parental Abductions are among the leading causes of Missing Child reports - according to stats collated by the RCMP1 and Missing Children's Network - Quebec. Missing Children's Network are the provincial component of a national and international network that coordinates various cases of missing children every year. Their Director General, Pina Arcamone was interviewed in this happy outcome on Good Friday (April 11, 2009) for Frank and Ashley GONIS, separated for 2 years.

Then I also saw this remarkable re-uniting story after 27 years between Dirk PRATT and his daughter, Francesca! She was told he was dead but never completely believed it. A few weeks ago, after watching the 2008 movie "Wanted" with Angelina JOLIE, Dirk copied a plot line idea and Googled his own name and came up with a shocking search message that read, "I am trying to contact Dirk Pratt. I am his daughter." After thinking it was a sick joke, he was finally able to re-establish contact with the daughter he lost 27 years before.

Footnotes:
1) While the numbers of Parental Abductions (PA) appear small, this is only because they are overwhelmed by the huge numbers or Run Away (RA) or Unknown/Throw Away (UN) cases. Such large numbers are because of multiple incidents by individuals. It had been reported in the U.S that fully 30% of these single incidents are by a small number of recurrent runaway kids. Also many of these cases are quickly resolved. Source: RCMP 2007 Missing Children Reference Report - National Missing Children Services, Appendix 1.

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