How can a kidnapping be stopped?

Child abduction by a parent

Fears of child abduction or the threat of it can be found in almost all binational families in crises and serious conflict situations. The spectrum ranges from panic fear and clear threat to completely subliminal, dare fears or corresponding hints.

Experience shows that fears of child abduction or the threat of it occur primarily in connection with separation and divorce, mostly in the run-up to or in an acute separation situation, but also after a separation that was long ago. The background is usually escalated conflicts and the attempt to exert pressure on the partner through the child in order to achieve certain goals, e.g. to prevent or reverse the separation. On the part of a foreign parent, however, the feeling of being marginalized and not being able to get one's rights in Germany can be a reason to consider taking a child with them.

German parents who are taking a child with them from abroad also generally feared in advance that they would have worse chances than foreigners in the respective country, that they would not be able to cope with the superior relationships of the domestic parent.

The fear of taking a child with you has its roots in the actual conflicts in the family. It is also promoted by prejudices and stereotypical images that are very common in this society and firmly anchored in our heads. "Muslims kidnap their children" is one of those images that are shaped and cemented not least through the effective media treatment of tragic individual cases. The worried question from your friend: "Aren't you afraid that he might kidnap your children?" Can stir up fears, regardless of the actual behavior of the other parent.

Child abductions happen in crises, but they are seldom purely emotional acts, but mostly more or less well-planned acts. Parents who take their children with them are often in an exceptional psychological situation. You have no strategy to deal with the breakup or see no future prospects. Sometimes it is about the possession of the children as a fair compensation for the loss of the family or as punishment for the one who wanted the separation and thus the dissolution of the family.

Assessing in advance whether fears of taking a child with you are justified, whether there is actually a risk, is very difficult in individual cases. There are cases in which a foreign parent has lived and worked in Germany for many years and asserts that they do not want to take the child with them - but eventually do so. In other cases, a parent may threaten to do so, but never really turn the act into reality, but primarily wants to extort concessions from other partners.