When Parents Kidnap

Geoffrey L. Greif, Author, Rebecca L. Hegar, With
Geoffrey L. Greif, Author, Rebecca L. Hegar, With Free Press $27.95 (321p) ISBN 978-0-02-912975-3
Ebook - 321 pages - 978-1-4516-0235-7
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The authors, both faculty members of the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland, have written a comprehensive analysis of the burgeoning problem of parental abduction, of which it is estimated there may be as many as 350,000 cases a year in the U.S. alone. Greif and Hegar conclude that abductions usually occur to right a perceived wrong (as in custody decisions), to recapture the love of the other parent, to get revenge or to hold onto someone dear. Thus abductors are of both sexes, take children of all ages (although mostly under five) and keep them for as short a time as a weekend or as long a time as 15 years. The authors address the traumas to the abducting parent, the searching parent, the children, their siblings and the extended family, which is often involved, and suggest ways the incidence of parental kidnapping can be reduced. One of the strengths of this study is the authors' reluctance to generalize, a tendency they believe is inaccurate when studying this volatile subject. Dry, academic prose will probably prevent this valuable book from reaching the wide readership it deserves. (Dec.)
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