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FBI says abductions by non-custodial parents rise dramatically

holding hands

A report from the Federal Bureau of Investigations says they’re seeing an increase in the number of non-custodial parents who abduct and threaten children in retaliation against parents with custody.

The FBI says the number of child abductions motivated by revenge of a non-custodial parent increased from nine percent in 2010 to 50 percent in 2012.

“Sometimes the motivation is to convince the custodial parent to stay in a relationship; more often it is to harm the child in an act of retaliation,” said FBI analyst Ashli-Jade Douglas.

Douglas said children three years and younger were most at risk of being abducted by their non-custodial parent, and that domestic custodial abductions are also more likely to have violent outcomes for the children involved.

“Custodial parents should inform schools, after-care facilities, babysitters, and others who may at times be responsible for their children about what custody agreements are in place so that kids are not mistakenly released to non-custodial parents,” Douglas said.

She said it is also important for law enforcement to be notified, and police should consider the child in danger in such situations.

“It’s mind-boggling to think that a parent would hurt their child to retaliate against the other parent, but in that moment, they may make themselves believe that it’s okay,” Douglas said.