The Metro today contains an article which confirms that Parental Child Abductions have increased by 88% since 2003, figures upon which we have commented previously. It also states that up to the year ending September, the Foreign Office was receiving 4 calls per day from families involved in parental Abduction disputes. The Foreign Office has released the figures in the run up to the school Christmas holidays, which start next week. Christmas is one of the most common times over the course of the year for abductions to take place, given that most international families will make arrangements for Contact, and that it is a time when emotions run particularly high. Anyone who has any concerns about whether or not their Child could be taken or retained abroad over Christmas by members of the family are always advised to seek expert advice before the trip takes place, so that where necessary, appropriate safeguards are put in place to minimise the risk of an Abduction taking place.
Agencies such as Reunite also offer packs containing self-help tips for worried parents, and other specialists in the field, such as ITF Detectives, offer detailed advice on risk indicators, which can offer an early warning that an abduction could be attempted. Here at Slater and Gordon Lawyers we regularly speak to parents who are concerned that their child may be at risk of abduction by the other parent or members of the family. Some people feel embarrassed for raising their concerns, in case they are considered to be over-reacting, but specialist abduction lawyers will always confirm it is better to raise it if you have any doubts, if nothing else, so that minds can be at rest over the festive period.
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