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San Diego: 2013: Statistics on Child Abductions Which Include Family Law

In San Diego, and around the United States, missing children have been placed in five categories by the National Incidence Studies of Missing Children from the Office of Justice Programs from the United States Department of Justice. These can involve family law cases of paternity, divorce and legal separation however can also be by a non family member. While the law in San Diego Superior Court [Family or Criminal] may be different from the below, these are important definitions. These are:

  • Family abductions which involve taking children or a child in violation of the custody decree in place or custody agreement, not returning the child when the agreed-upon or legal visit comes to an end, and/or retaining the child at least overnight. It also involves concealing a child to prevent the custodial parent from reaching them or transporting a child over state borders or even across the border into Mexico as San Diego is a border town. Other examples are where a child is kept with the express or implied intention of changing custodial privileges permanently.
  • Non-family abductions which are attempts to do the following. First to lure a child with the intention of committing another crime [such as abuse or molest or for other criminal purposes, without authorization and to coerce or take a child into a building or a vehicle or a distance exceeding 20 feet. This can also include detaining a child for a period in excess of an hour.
  • Runaways are children who have left their homes without guardian or parental permission and who have remained away from home overnight. Another definition would be considered runaways who are children who without authorization leave a facility for juveniles of their own volition.

Throwaways are children who have had one or more of the following experiences:

  • The child was ordered to leave the home
  • The parent refuses to allow the child to enter the home
  • The child ran away voluntarily but the parent or guardian made no effort to trace the child nor cared whether the child returned
  • The child was intentionally deserted or abandoned

Missing, lost or injured refers to children who have been missing for a period of time. This is more individual in definitions and depends on their age, whether they have a disability and whether the child may be missing because of an injury.

A Study of Parental Kidnapping

Some research suggests the below:

  • In 16% of cases, or over 50,000, the child has been through an experience which has traumatized and has caused grievous mental harm.
  • In less than 10% of the cases, the child has been physically harmed or abused.
  • In 1% of cases, there was sexual abuse.
  • The abductions are committed by both mothers and father.
A Firm that Knows all this too Well

Doppelt and Forney, APLC is a San Diego family law firm with a mission to ‘Help Stop Child Kidnapping’. For his legal representation, Roy Doppelt has been awarded a Certificate of Merit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, DC. He is a current Donor to the NCMEC’s Heroes Circle.

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