FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26th, 2010
Florida’s ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Crucial Senate Judiciary Committee. Momentum Grows For Bill’s Passage Into Law.
Hope grows for tens of thousands of children in Florida and hundreds of thousand of children in the nation as Florida Senate’s Judiciary Committee supports the Child Abduction Prevention Act bill.
After traveling 3,000 miles from Los Angeles, child advocate, successful Chasing Parent, producer and narrator of the ground-breaking documentary film ‘Chasing Parents: Racing Into The Storms Of International Parental Child Abduction’, and the author of the highly anticipated book publication ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ Peter Thomas Senese said after his impassioned testimony before the Florida Senate’s Judiciary Committee, “Today, I am extraordinarily pleased with the Florida Senate’s Judiciary Committee’s overwhelming decision to boldly share with the citizens of Florida, and for that matter, the world, that lawmakers in this great state are serious about preventing the intolerable, cruel, and at times deadly crime of parental child abduction hundreds of thousands of our defenseless and innocent child-citizens must painstakingly endure each year, that is of course, if they are lucky enough to survive their kidnapping all together. Under today’s exemplary leadership of Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Joe Negron, the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill was passed unanimously (9 Yeas and 0 Nay’s).
“Unquestionably, SB1862 and the House’s adjoining bill HB787, if passed into law, will provide courts and judges mandated with the responsibility to protect our children’s welfare and safety with the opportunity to consider apparent risk factors that are indicative that a parental child abduction is either planned or in progress, and, it further provides ways courts may act in order to preempt the criminal abduction of an unsuspecting, defenseless child from their targeted parent. Additionally, this bill, when passed into law, will place accountability onto the courts and its judges. No longer will the pleading voices of Florida’s citizens who come to court urgently seeking a judge’s assistance related to a planned or in progress abduction fall on deft ears. If this bill becomes law, everything changes.
“As a loving and committed father who extensively searched for my own child in multiple countries and who successfully litigated in several foreign jurisdictions, I cannot express how critical it is for preventative laws to be passed and upheld everywhere. Today, the state of Florida demonstrated great national and global leadership. On this note, I would like to personally thank the bill’s sponsor, Representative Darryl Rouson, who has worked tirelessly and stood unbowed in his campaign not only to educate the state’s other esteemed lawmakers about the growing worldwide epidemic that destroys many of the lives who cross its path, but to earnestly protect the lives of our children everywhere.”
Carolyn Ann Vlk, a remarkable mother desperately trying to prevent the international abduction of her own child, and, the critical bill’s author provided the Senate’s Committee testimony from the perspective of a parent attempting to prevent their child from being stolen overseas. Ms. Vlk said, “I am immensely pleased that the Florida Senate and House of Representatives members are realizing that child abduction prevention law is a necessity in the name of our children’s best interest. In today’s Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous vote to move the bill through committee, it is clear that our lawmakers are realizing the necessity of this bill.”
Captain William Lake, who presently is seeking for the rightful return of his child who was criminally abducted to the parental abductor safe-haven nation of Japan added, “As a father who has a criminally abducted daughter, Mary Victoria, residing illegally in Japan with her non-Japanese national mother, I cannot express how critical it is for the State of Florida as a whole to understand and address the issues at hand regarding international parental child abduction. Unquestionably, it is through preventive laws that we will realize a dramatic reduction in these types of crimes. I am very hopeful that the political leadership of my state of Florida is not only recognizing the importance of this bill, but voicing an opinion for the rest of the nation about the need to protect our children before a crime of abduction occurs against them.”
Child Advocate Representative Darryl Rouson, the House bill’s sponsor remarked, “I am extremely pleased with today’s Senate Judiciary Committee passage of the Child Abduction Prevention Act bill. Obviously there is more work to do; however, it is becoming clearer by the day that my fellow lawmakers realize just how critical this bill is for all children residing in the state of Florida. Unquestionably, when the Child Abduction Prevention Act becomes law, the safety of our children in this state will increase substantially. And that, our children’s safety, is what this is all about.”
Senator Eleanor Sobel, the Senate’s sponsor of the SB1862 stated today at the hearing her satisfaction with the committee’s passage of the bill.
It has been reported by various United States Government records that there are nearly 400,000 parental child abductions that occur each year. Various studies indicate that there exists hundreds of thousands more than what has been accounted for. Of this total, it is unofficially estimated that there are over 10,000 criminal international parental child abductions each year. Due to incredible hardships faced by Chasing Parents left behind in the wake of their child’s abduction, too many of this nation’s stolen children are never returned. Common difficulties Chasing Parents encounter include the mountainous and complete financial burden a parent faces in attempting to rescue their child even though child abduction is a federal and state crime. In addition, since most of these types of abductions are well planned and schemed, many abducted children literally disappear with their abducting parent. Notwithstanding, many nations who are signatories of the Hague Convention do not uphold the spirit and law of the treaty to which they signed while other nations have not signed any international agreement at all.
If Florida’s ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ becomes law, it is anticipated that a significant number of would-be abductions would be prevented, and financial relief would occur for an already financially strained legal system.
For more information on parental child abduction, please visit www.chasingthecyclone.com