Film. Books. Advocacy. Rescuing Children. Heroes. International Child Abduction. United Nations. The Hague Convention. Kidnapping. Fighting Kidnappers. Chasing The Cyclone. Hope. Murder. Abuse. Targeted Parents. Hopelessness. The I CARE Foundation. Protecting Children.
In no particular order, these are some of the words that come to mind when I think of international parental child abduction (IPCA).
For those of you who are not aware, IPCA is the crime of child kidnapping. It is a brutal crime against both child and targeted parent: one that is legally complicated to obtain true justice on, and one which in many ways, does not protect innocent children of kidnapping the way you might expect.
The reality is, every child of abduction is severely abused and some are murdered.
It’s a worldwide epidemic. A plague that is finally being pushed back in the United States, but one that continues to spread in nations around the world.
The key to curing this plague is to educate society, particularly those parents who may be at risk of abduction … and who may not know that such risk exists.
Creating various tools that educate others has played a very important role in having the abduction rate in the United States decline by over 15% per year the last two years.
My work in this area continues.
I am very pleased to share that a portion of the film on international parental child abduction titled 150,000 Internationally Kidnapped Children, presently in production and being produced in conjunction with the I CARE Foundation, will add the United Nations as a key location to the film.
Filming at the United Nations is no easy task. I am very thankful to the team at the United Nations for granting the necessary access required to film on location.
However, having previously sponsored a conference and spoken at the United Nations in my capacity as the founding director of the I CARE Foundationconcerning the issue of international parental child abduction (IPCA) in conjunction with the United States Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, it is both an honor and only fitting to have an important portion of the film take place at the United Nations.
I am very excited about the potential positive impact that 150,000 Internationally Kidnapped Children may have on others, including parents who may be targeted to have a child internationally abducted by the child’s other parent or by a stranger.
Previously, and in an ongoing effort, I produced the rather straight-forward educational documentary series on international parental child abduction titled Chasing Parents: Racing Into The Storms Of International Parental Child Abduction which discussed a wide-range of issues associated with international parental child abduction, including warning signs and risk factors, what to do if your child is targeted or taken, the Prevent Departure Program, and the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative amongst many critically important topics associated with child kidnapping.
Judging from the tens of thousands of views of the Chasing Parents: Racing Into The Storms of International Parental Child Abduction along with the rather large number of parents who personally contacted me and shared that the information contained in the educational documentary series made the difference between having their child remain at home as opposed to being internationally abducted, there is a clear international need for a film such as 150,000 Internationally Kidnapped Children: one that not only shares critically important new research conducted by the I CARE Foundation concerning IPCA, but a film that clearly shows both the incredible dangers of stranger and non-stranger abduction in a way that gives light to ways which these kidnappings may be prevented.
Of course, at the core of all the information that I create concerning IPCA is the unbending desire and commitment to help educate society and targeted parents so that children will not face the dangerous, and at times deadly ordeal of IPCA.
There unquestionably is a great crisis on our hands as too many children around the world are being abducted. However, if the statistics of reported cases of abduction originating from the United States demonstrate anything – there has been a two-year consecutive decline of over 15% per year the last two years – it is that stewarding the message that IPCA is a real threat, and enlightening society of the reality of IPCA does in fact mean something: after nearly 30 years of near-consistent growth in the number of IPCA cases, we’ve pushed back the proverbial mountain in the United States . . . and though there is a great deal to still be done, there is measurable indicators that raising awareness has made a sizeable difference in protecting children from abduction.
On a very personal note, and as a storyteller and writer, when I first began my journey as an international parental child abduction prevention advocate by writing the critically acclaimed novel Chasing The Cyclone that was deeply inspired by my own experiences, I never thought that so many miracles would happen as a by-product of these efforts. But that is what happened because through it, dozens of internationally kidnapped children have been reunited while an even larger number of targeted children of abduction have remained safe.
And that is very cool.