The Abuse of Parental Kidnapping

I was inspired to write a poem after watching a documentary about a horrendous example of international child abduction. A woman lied to her Italian ex-husband that she was taking their daughters on a vacation to her home country of Australia. She even presented him with the receipt for the camping tickets. Under this pretense the father signed the paperwork that allowed the mother to obtain passports for their children.

She left Italy with the girls and didn’t return, much to the father’s shock and anguish. He did not give up, however. After two years, the Australian authorities finally caught up with the mother and her family and forced the daughters on a plane back to Italy, a harrowing experience for the girls.

The mother was later interviewed by 60 Minutes after the ordeal and was directly asked if she took any responsibility for and/or regretted putting her daughters in a position to be traumatized by such a drastic relocation. She evaded the question, allowing her mother and grandmother to speak for her. She eventually offered a feeble, vague answer that she’s always blamed herself for things since childhood. It was obvious that she didn’t regret anything and was only bitter that her ex had had the ability to insist upon his parental rights.

This is my poem reflecting on such a horrible predicament.

The crime that cuts through families

Deeper than any knife into flesh

The crime that keeps wounds fresh

Broken hearts, abundant fatalities


Oceans fill with endless tears

As a child grows without love

Imprisoned like a caged dove

To advance a vendetta lasting for years


A parent who wants to smear

The name of the other for sport

Will not find compassion in court

To whose orders they do not adhere


What does the kidnapper fear?

Not abuse, violence or rage

But to watch their child come of age

With the parent at whom they cannot sneer


The darkness of this crime is boundless

Kara, kara, kara…

Bring forth the candelabra

To shed light on the night so merciless


When a parent stoops to this crime

They lose their heart, their soul

On the child this takes its toll

But on the Day of Judgement

Come will the kidnapper’s time

It is hard to imagine that a child can be abducted by his/her own parent. How can this be? How can a child be kidnapped by a person who is legally responsibly for them?

But for those who have high-conflict ex-partners with whom they share children, they know fully well that the possibility of parental kidnapping is quite real. These parents knows that they are not relying on their ex’s sense of personal integrity or interest in the child’s well-being, but rather on their ex’s desire to avoid punishment from the police and/or courts.

Many toxic mothers and fathers try to force the other parent out of their child/children’s lives through parental alienation and other forms of domestic guerrilla warfare. They deny visitation, they are uncooperative for the mere sake of it, they undermine their ex’s parenting. Such actions are infuriating, especially when the toxic parent has the audacity to claim that their combative behavior is all in the best interest of the child.

Yet in some tragic cases, a toxic mother or father will the extreme step to move with the child without properly settling custodial matters with the other parent in family court. Whether for simple convenience or sense of revenge, these toxic parents place more importance in ridding themselves of their ex-partners, with no regard whatsoever to the negative impact it will have on the child.


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