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Mothers and Children Seeking Safety in the U.S.: A Study of International Child Abduction Cases Involving Domestic Violence - NIJ Research for the Real World Seminar

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2010
14 pages
This is the transcript of three presentations from the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Research for the Real World Seminar (October 12, 2011) that address the findings of a NIJ-funded study of the implications of The Hague Convention for the civil aspects of international child abduction.
The study focused on the experiences of women who are victims of domestic violence who seek safety in the United States only to have their children ordered returned to the country from which they fled, often to be placed in the custody of the abusive partner. The three presenters discuss the complex legal and safety issues facing these women as well as the social and policy implications of such cases. Ms. Sudha Shetty, director of the international fellowship program at the University of Minnesota, presents an overview of The Hague Convention, which is a treaty signed by 82 countries that commits these countries to returning to their home countries children who have been abducted by a non-custodial parent. The other presenters - Dr. Jeffrey Edleson, professor in the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, and Dr. Taryn Linhorst, associate professor of social work at the University of Washington - discuss the findings and policy implications of the study of how the Hague Convention is impacting mothers who come to the United States with their children to escape an abusive father. The focus of the study is on U.S. citizens married to foreign citizens living overseas, who return with their children to their families in the United States in order to escape an abusive husband/father.

Date Published: October 1, 2010