Saturday, 16 April 2016

I know a little about child abduction

and I mean a little. It's not much.I hope I never know a lot.
I was once peripherally involved in a case.
The mother had been awarded custody by the court. There were well documented  incidents of domestic violence. The child was still not old enough to go to school. His father took him from home and disappeared.
It took almost eight months to find him. By that time they were in another country. It took almost twenty-two months to plan the operation to retrieve him from the appalling conditions they were living in. Everyone involved knew that silence was essential for success. (It was successful.)
The only thing I did was let his mother talk to me about it years later. She was under extreme stress for the entire time. The stress has never gone away. They will forever look over their shoulders and wonder if he will find them. They moved and changed their names. The local police know that an emergency call from them will be an emergency call that could lead to violence. 
Their lives are not easy even now - seventeen years later. They keep largely to themselves. They are cautious about friendships and trust does not come easily to them. The father has very powerful friends in other places. 
We were, inevitably, talking about the current failed attempt in Lebanon. There were so many things wrong with it that we both wondered at the real motives of the television crew. Did they seek any advice at all? Did they really think it was just a simple matter of snatching the children off the street and whisking them out of the country?
The possible damage to Australian-Lebanese relations at government level doesn't seem to have occurred to them. If it did they were clearly not concerned about it. 
It makes me wonder just how far the media will go in order to make and break a story.

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