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Father in 16 year search for his abducted daughter..

(10 Posts)
NormaSknockers Thu 16-Jul-09 09:34:30

Makes it even sadder that it's the childs mother who has disappeared with her

So sad to think that some parents spend their lives never giving up hope that one they'll day they'll see their children again, even sadder to think of the all the children that have been taken by their own parents

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Thu 16-Jul-09 09:42:27

I saw this on the TV this morning and while I really feel for the father of this child I can't help but wonder what drives a mother to disappear with her daughter? No one knows the history of this relationship, it could have been abusive for example. OR the mother could be incredibly selfish. Who knows? sad

mummyrex Thu 16-Jul-09 10:08:22

and the poor daughter who has never been allowed to have a relationship with her dad. I wonder what lies she has been told all these years.

KingRolo Thu 16-Jul-09 10:11:48

I saw this on Breakfast too and wondered the same as kidcreole. I would imagine that in the vast majority of cases where children are taken from their fathers it is because of abuse.

Snorbs Thu 16-Jul-09 10:55:48

KingRolo, you may imagine that but it doesn't mean it's true. It often happens because the mother sees the child(ren) as her sole property with whom she can do what she likes.

Also, most statistics suggest that the rates of male-on-female abusiveness in relationships is not that dissimilar to female-on-male (albeit the styles of abuse vary). One of the prime ways that an abusive woman can continue inflicting abuse on her ex-partner after they've split is by disrupting the father's relationship with the children.

NormaSknockers Thu 16-Jul-09 11:25:32

Well speaking from experience here, my mother disappeared with me when I was 6 months, my father was no angel & I don't agree with all of his actions at the time but he wasn't abusive in any way, just young & selfish.

My mother went to extreme lengths to keep me away from him, told me all sorts of lies about him. He spent many years trying to contact me. I was 16 before I finally met him & it's been very difficult to build a relationship with a practical stranger.

KingRolo Thu 16-Jul-09 13:30:12

Snorbs, women who flee their partners / husbands almost always do so because they fear for their safety or their children's safety. That is why there is a women's refuge in every town.

89% of victims of continuing domestic violence are women. Two women every week in the UK are killed by a partner or ex-partner.

I said 'in the vast majority' of cases. Not all cases. Of course women can be abusive too and of course some women deny access to hurt the father.

Snorbs Thu 16-Jul-09 14:25:28

KingRolo, figures such as yours depend somewhat on what you feel constitutes "domestic violence". If we take the Women's Aid definition (that all forms of domestic abuse are a kind of violence even if nobody's been touched) then 1 in 4 women in the UK have reported as having been subjected to domestic violence, while 1 in 6 men have.

That being said, other studies have shown that men are drastically less likely to report it than women are, or even to recognise that their (ex-)partner's abusive behaviour is actually abusive. As a result, the actual prevalence is up for discussion and the 1 in 6 figure should be considered as very much on the low side.

I've not heard the 89% statistic before. Do you have a source for that? Wherever you got that statistic from, did it compare it against the number of men staying in abusive relationships because they know that, if they left, they'd likely never see their children again?

Yes, you're right in saying that, on average, 100 women are year are killed by partners or ex-partners. That's awful. Around 30 men a year are killed in similar circumstances and the conviction rates for their killers is significantly lower. That's pretty awful, too.

The 2004/05 British Crime Survey reported that 2.7% of women and 2.0% of men had been subject to physical assault from their partner in the last year. 1.8% of women and 1.6% of men classified these assaults as "severe". (source)

Women's refuges are a great thing and I'd never knock that. It's a real shame that there aren't more than a handful of men's refuges though. Recognition, support and assistance for male victims of domestic abuse are 20-30 years behind that available for women. It's virtually impossible for a man fleeing domestic violence to find somewhere that will take him in, and even harder to find somewhere that will take him plus his children. That's not because those services are not needed, it's more because the need is ignored. The Government-funded Domestic Violence Helpline won't even talk to you if you're a man trying to get out of an abusive relationship, for example, even though the Government's own figures show that the prevalence isn't really that different.

You can say "in the vast majority of cases" that women abduct children because of domestic abuse on the part of the father as if you have some proof of that. Do you?

KingRolo Thu 16-Jul-09 15:25:35

"Women are much more likely than men to be the victim of multiple incidents of abuse, and of sexual violence: 32% of women who had
ever experienced domestic violence did so four or five (or more) times, compared with 11% of the (smaller number) of men who had ever experienced domestic violence; and women constituted 89% of all those who had experienced 4 or more incidents of domestic violence."
(Walby and Allen, 2004) (Source)

"On a typical day, 3615 women and 3,580 children are resident in refuge accommodation in England." (Source) Ok, these women have not abducted their children as such, but they are on the run from abusive partners and are in hiding, therefore denying the father access to their children. The fathers could see this as abduction.

"70% of children living in UK refuges have been abused by their father." (source as above)

Interestingly, "One Scottish survey found that a majority of men who said that they were victims of domestic violence, were also perpetrators of violence (13 of 22), and on being re-interviewed, a further 13 later said they had actually never experienced any form of domestic abuse." (Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2002, source as above). A small study but interesting findings.

Snorbs Thu 16-Jul-09 17:07:36

Thanks for the statistics. Sad and sobering as they are, they still don't back up your assertion that "in the vast majority of cases" that women abduct their children because of domestic abuse.

The "70% of children living UK refuges have been abused by their father" statistic is weird because I can't find the slightest hint as to how it was arrived at or where it came from other than a reference to a Women's Aid fact sheet from 1998 that is apparently no longer available. It's also very much at odds with other statistics I've seen.

Look, I'm not trying to say that male-on-female domestic abuse and violence doesn't occur. Of course it does. And, yes, sometimes the reason for a woman disappearing with the kids is because her husband's a violent and/or otherwise abusive monster.

What I'm saying is that the prevalence of female-on-male domestic abuse or other selfish behaviours is such that experiences such as that related by NormaSknockers above are far from uncommon. Whether it happens more, or less, often than women fleeing domestic violence I can't say and, with respect, neither can you despite your claims otherwise.

I also know men who stuck it out in abusive relationships with their partners because they feared - with much justification, in some cases - that if they didn't, they'd never see their kids again. That was a very important factor in me staying in a relationship with an abusive and occasionally violent alcoholic for years.

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