David Goldman, Chris Savoie, and the public face of the left-behind parent

Both the case of David Goldman and the one of Christopher Savoie have gotten much media attention recently, and since I have not written on the former and have only recently heard of the latter, I felt it was time to write about both.

If there was to be chosen a public face of the left-behind parent, I could think of few better than David Goldman. He was never accused of abuse by his ex-wife. When she died after giving birth to a child in Brazil, any presumption of Sean Goldman’s well-being contingent upon staying with his mother were negated, and he has worked tirelessly to promote his son returning to New Jersey. Much of this publicity has brought attention to the problem of parental kidnapping, especially international kidnapping. Like with many high-profile disappearances, it makes others aware of the problem. On David’s site, linked above, the forums are devoted not only to his case but to many other kidnapping cases that are not nearly as high-profile. (Full disclosure: I am a member of the forums and have posted there many times.) The fact that his apparently ironclad case in a country that has signed the Hague Treaty is still being fought only indicates the lack of consistancy in such cases, as well as the overwhelming need in most of them to put citizens first rather than the best needs of the child. I am also aware some left-behind parents might despair over the case – if all that publicity and support hasn’t brought Sean Goldman back to the US, how will they succeed in getting their own children back?

Perhaps this is what Christopher Savoie was thinking when he decided to go to Japan and try to abduct his kids back. I do not like the idea of taking the law into your own hands in family abduction cases; it can only make matters worse. But on the other hand, he probably knew that he had no chance with the Japanese legal system. Japan has not signed the Hague Treaty, so the country doesn’t even need to make a pretense of trying to return kids. I know of only one case where a child was returned, and he did so on his own at fifteen. And in Japan one parent is expected to disappear after a divorce. (There is one case where a Japanese politician divorced when his wife was pregnant and has a son he has never seen.) Knowing all that, I can at least understand his motivations in trying a re-snatch. He tried to prevent his ex-wife from going to Japan in the first place but the courts said she could visit the country. He very well knew if she left there was a good chance she’d never return. Now he’s being charged with abduction, even though parental kidnapping is supposedly not a crime in Japan. Some have brought up the specter of “cultural relativism” in this case. While I accept that most countries do not share identical values, I am sure most will agree with me that ordering a parent to essentially vanish, and encouraging such behavior by not signing the Hague, is detremential to the child. Even under the idea of another culture’s values access to one’s child is a basic human right that should only be deprived if the parent is a threat to the child’s safety, which is not the case here.

He currently faces five years in jail. I don’t know if he will serve any of this, or will merely be deported. However, this could be the next face of the left-behind parent in the news. And with that could come the stream of publicity that may force Japanese law to change once and for all.

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32 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Ed Brock said,

    I’ve been married to a Japanese woman for eight years, and we have two children, so naturally Savoie’s case is important to me. However, I have a great deal less sympathy for him than for Goldman for one major reason: Christopher Savoie cheated on his wife. Then, he essentially tried to bribe her to remain in this country with the children, even as he married the American woman with whom he had had the affair.

    He dug his own hole, and when he tried to have his cake and eat it, too, it simply didn’t work out. Had he shown a little more sensitivity to the woman he betrayed — for example, by recognizing the unhappiness she expressed in e-mails before she left the States and allowing her to go, with the children, so she could restart her own life — then perhaps he would have been able to maintain a working parental relationship with her. That is possible.

    Also, I think there’s a misunderstanding about Japanese divorces coming from this case. According to my wife, while one parent does retain contain sole custody of children after divorce, the other parent isn’t necessarily required to “disappear.” I believe the arrangements are left to the couple. The case you cite about the politician who hasn’t seen his son is not necessarily the rule, and could just as easily happen here.

    That being said, I would like to see Japan join the Hague convention. We currently live in the United States and my wife and I have an agreement that, while she would certainly go home if we were to divorce, she would never try to bar me from seeing the children. However, the physical logistics of a cross country arrangement like that make it highly undesirable, and I would like to have some legal options if things do go wrong.

    Still, a person who cheats on their spouse bears full responsibility for the consequences of their actions, and that could include loss of parental access. Savoie does not represent me in this matter.

    • 2

      forthelost said,

      While all of that may be true, the courts still said she had to return to the United States, and she did not. No matter what her ex did, she still defied a court order.

      • 3

        Vapour said,

        The guy game a system to force this woman to either stay in America or lose her children. I presume that she speak very little English.

        Living in America as a married house wife may be acceptable choice. Facing a prospect of being locked in an alien country as a single parent of two children would have driven many to despair. I would expect that the media reacted different if this was a case of an American woman facing a same choice in Asia or Middle East.

        The story is out in Japanese 2Chan. Many details of the case which are not well reported in English media so far are well discussed.

        This case is turning out to be one good example of why Japan should not sign up for the Hague Convention.

  2. 4

    ananddad said,

    Good Lord, Ed!

    First, Chris Savoie is not trying to represent any of us. He is just a loving father who wants his children back where they belong..in USA.

    If adultery on part of one parent is a valid excuse for the other parent to take the children away, how many children do you suppose will grow up knowing both parents. What would happen to children who have both parents cheating on each other? Do you suggest State should take the children away from both parents and let Child Welfare Services raise them? I can’t comprehend how you can conclude that he deserved what he got because he cheated on his wife.

    You talked about the arrangement you claim to have worked out with your wife. God forbid, if you two reach that unfortunate situation where the agreement needs to come into effect, how many times in a year do you think you will be able to go and visit your children? Once? Twice? While you may feel that seeing your children once or twice a year is good enough, other parents have a right to feel that they should see their children more often and are willing to fight for it (which, unfortunately, means the return of children to USA or their habitual place of residence).

    • 5

      Caterpillar said,

      The family lived all there lives in Japan so why should Noriko be the one making the sacrifice and move to the US and live. Maybe she tried because she loved him and the children. I would have done that too. She probably hated it because he has moved and she had nobody so she went back. If he loves the kids so much he needs to move to Japan after all he lived there for 14years.

      • 6

        forthelost said,

        I really don’t see why he should have stayed in Japan if his marriage failed. Why is it bad to have his ex stay in the US but perfectly all right for him to have to stay in Japan?

      • 7

        ananddad said,

        @Caterpillar:

        If the family lived all tyheir lives in Japan, why did she move with him to the USA? You say ‘he has moved and she had nobody’. What does that mean? Are you suggesting he filed for the divorce? Let me get this right…if an American woman marries a Japanese man and settles down in Tokyo with her husband and children, would she be entitled to take the kids and move back to USA when their marriage/relationship breaks down?

        You sound like an endorser of the cultural rigidity for which Japanese society is often criticized by outsiders.

  3. 8

    Ed Brock said,

    First, my apologies for not replying to these comments sooner. I thought I would be notified by e-mail if there had been a response, and I was not.

    I’m going to respond to a couple of points, then spread some information that has been reported on this case in Japan, with the caveat that said information comes from a blog quoting a third source. I will present it here because I also plan to ask CNN to follow up on it (as if they’ll listen to me, but it’s worth a try.

    Now, ananddad, let me say that I believe people should take responsibility for their actions, and I believe, even more so now than when I wrote my original post, that Chris Savoie is not. And yes, I believe that one consequence of cheating on your spouse, of betraying that trust, is that you don’t get to set the ground rules for how to resolve your differences with that spouse. And, even if full reconciliation is not possible, two parents must be able to cooperate as parents even in a divorce.

    So, what I mean is that Savoie incurred the responsibility to make things right with his ex-wife, the mother of his children, when he decided to end their marriage. In other words, if anybody in this particular relationship should have to make sacrifices, it would be him. However, if the new information I’ve heard is true, I suspect that he is not particularly concerned about the welfare of his wife or of even pretending to honor the commitment he made to her.

    As for your other points: When both parents cheat, they have both failed, but no, that doesn’t mean the state is a better option. In those cases, it comes down to both adults having to take responsibility for their actions and doing what they need to do to regain at least enough trust in each other to, again, work together as parents even if they can’t work together as husband and wife.

    Whether Savoie wants to represent me or not, he does. He’s the one in the spotlight right now, again, as the result of his own actions (and that will become more clear with the new info I have).

    Would seeing my children once or twice a year be enough? Not by a long shot, but that is exactly why I DON’T CHEAT ON MY WIFE! That is also why both of us take great pains to maintain our marriage, because neither of us want to face that situation.

    To Forthelost: I believe she was trapped into the arrangement that led to her violating the court’s decisions, which doesn’t mean she’s right. It just mitigates her guilt. May I also point out that this is not a court of law. It’s the court of public opinion, and that means we must consider more than just the technicalities of the law. I’m talking about the moral decisions people make and the resulting consequences they must face as a result.

    Now, for the new info that may answer some of your other issues. Again, this is from a Japanese blog (though parts of it were also reported in the general media) and comes from a third party who knows the ex-wife, Noriko.

    Apparently, Chris Savoie had a business in Tokyo while he lived in Japan with Noriko and the kids (who, by the way, spent most or all of their lives there, not here). In 2008 he moved the headquarters for that business to Tennessee, then he moved there as well. He was living in Tennessee with his current wife, but I’m not certain if Noriko knew about that at the time. I suspect she did, because, according to the blog, Savoie wrote to Noriko and asked her to come to America to essentially start their life over.
    The day after she arrived, with the kids, he served her with divorce papers (this last fact was reported in the regular Japanese media). Thus, she found herself here, in a foreign country, forced to deal with our system, and she made a bad choice. She accepted a deal she never should have accepted, and maybe that was just for the money, or maybe it was because she felt like she had no other choice.
    Now, again, this is all from an unconfirmed source, and I apologize if it turns out to be inaccurate. However, as Vapour said, I believe the American media in this case has been too intent on portraying him as some kind of victim and they have not done enough to report the full situation. I continue to consider Savoie to be a manipulator who shares at least part of the blame.

    In conclusion, may I ask if anybody else here is in an international relationship?

    • 9

      forthelost said,

      If we are allowed to report third parties here, I have heard that he gave her 800,000 dollars to remain in the United States. I don’t think it’s acceptable that he cheated on his ex-wife, but if he sensed the marriage was failing anyway he might have wanted to return to his home country. Should he be denied that right? Japan still has large inequities in its custody system. There is no such thing as visitation rights, and even if custody is recognized by the courts children can still stay with their abductor. A man named Samuel Lui managed to get the Japanese courts to recognize he had custody in the United States, and was allowed from this to see his son once a year.

      I don’t think this is a case of who is the victim or who is not the victim. As I said before, it may draw attention to the many kidnapping cases from other countries to Japan. And through that perhaps the whole problem of international parental kidnapping. All of that may have lead to his actions. I was in this post merely speculating on why he tried this and not completely condoning his actions.

      I’m not a parent at all. Anand’s dad is a left behind parent in an international abduction case, but it wasn’t a mixed culture marriage – they are both of Indian descent. I don’t think the whole problem of international abduction is about cultural differences. I know of one case where an Illinois woman who had lived in that state her whole life took her son to China, despite neither having any Chinese descent or having any connections to the country – she just knew if she went there the authorities would not extradite her.

      I encourage you to listen to the podcast I posted, which goes into a lot of detail about the problem, and not just in Japan.

      • 10

        Ed Brock said,

        I certainly agree that international abduction is a problem, and I would really like Japan to join the Hague Treaty. My fear, though, is that the Savoie case may actually drive them further away from doing that if further information comes out that portrays Noriko Savoie in a sympathetic light. That being said, she clearly made several mistakes, and even my wife agrees that she may have been motivated by greed to accept that settlement. I just don’t like the one-sided portrayal I’ve seen of this story so far, and I’m extremely frustrated by people who dig holes for themselves and then cry when they fall in.
        These situations are just not something the law can solve. Having lived in Japan for two years, and having experienced the stress of living in an international marriage for eight years, I understand how Chris Savoie could be ready to just go home again and start over. But, if he’s going to make that choice, it will come with a sacrifice. It was inherently unreasonable of him to expect his ex-wife to live here, watching him start his life over, while she had to stew in her misery. She gave him several warning signs that the money was not enough to keep her here, and I think his response was insensitive. On the other hand, there may be information I don’t have. Maybe he did make an offer to let her return with the kids (I’m sorry, but, again, he was the one ending the relationship and therefore he was the one who should make that sacrifice) but without the money.

        Anyway, thank you for giving me an opportunity to vent on this, and to see how other people are viewing the situation. My sympathies to ananddad for his situation. I hope to never experience this situation first hand, and I sincerely hope you are reunited with your children at some point. I just think that, in order for there to be resolution to most conflicts, both sides must be taken into account.

    • 11

      barb said,

      I am disturbed that many people out in the internet world support Christopher and no none cares about Noriko.
      I am bicultured my parents are happily married. My mother is japanese and I have to say the whole story was disturbing to her too.
      Overall what makes me upset that christopher has a japanese citizenship and that he abused his citizenship by plastering if Japan is the bad country.
      He tricked Noriko to come to the USA.
      He cheated morally he did wrong. Also his current wife Amy is acting like the kids are hers.. which are not.. I think Noriko felt Amy was stepping in as a mother..
      Being another country and trying to adjust to the different culture is hard.
      Especially when you come from a Japanese culture. In Japan you do not express your strong opinion you work with people together. You follow the structure..
      In the USA there is more freedom more freedom to express yourself.
      something it takes time for a Japanese lady to get used to..
      An American Woman are strong and sometimes it is overwhelming if you are not used to it..
      I think Noriko was still adjusting and Amy was not helping.
      over all in the law of USA she did wrong.
      Even if she returns she will face prison time , loose kids and will be deported from the USA that means she will never see the kids again.
      Basically the USA is banning the kids from the mother.
      The law is hurting the kids.
      No justice done.
      Unless USA drops the charges and the Japaense government tries to bring both parents together for a solution there will be never a solution.

      So much hatred has been caused by this case.. something it hurts for me to see. As a bicultured woman like the kids. No justince for us who are thrown into 2 different cultures.

      We will never belong to USA or Japan fully.. because we take both culture as a treasure..

      • 12

        forthelost said,

        If the case was reversed, and a Japanese woman had her kids taken out of Japan by her ex, I’d still be against it. If she didn’t like the kids’ stepmother, it is her job to deal with it rather than abduct her kids. She had the right to take them to Japan if she returned them. When she made it clear that she was not coming back, then she was charged. Now, they cannot see their dad. That’s not any better. None of this is about cultural relativism at all – it’s about not abducting your kids. If you have no intention of keeping a promise, don’t make it. If she wanted to go back to Japan permanantly, she should have asked the courts. No, I don’t support her. But it doesn’t matter who did it – I never support parental abductors.

  4. 13

    Carol said,

    “And in Japan one parent is expected to disappear after a divorce. (There is one case where a Japanese politician divorced when his wife was pregnant and has a son he has never seen.)”

    You need to get your facts straight. The Japanese politician your referring to here is former Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi. Yes, Koizumi has a son he has never seen. It’s also correct that the wife was pregnant at the time of the divorce. Your so busy trying to get sympathy for fathers who had children abducted to foreign countries, you left out some critical information. First of all, Prime Minister Koizumi is the one who divorced his wife while she was pregnant. At the same time, Koizumi got custody of the couple’s TWO OLDER SONS. He dumped both of these sons on his sister to raise, and he refused to let their mother see them. At the same time, Koizumi REFUSED to see the son his ex-wife raised even though the boy had asked to meet him. Your trying to spin this story to make it look like Koizumi was the victim here. That’s dishonest. OTOH, mothers have been geting their children abducted by foreign spouses for decades. Yet, it seems that international parental abductions only makes the news when Dad is the left behind parent. That said, I can sympathize with the Goldman case, but I don’t feel the same way about Savoie for the same reasons the other commentators have listed. I don’t agree with Japan’s custom of cutting the non-custodial parent (mother or father) out of the children’s lives. However, I lived in Japan while I served in the U.S. military. I’ve seen the way a lot of American men treat their Japanese wives. These guys buy into this “submissive asian wife” stereotype, and they can’t cope when the reality isn’t the fantasy. They mistreat their Japanese wives horribly. It’s no wonder these women take their kids and get out of dodge while they can. Christopher Savoie doesn’t strike me as anything different.

    • 14

      forthelost said,

      I’m not trying to get sympathy for fathers – I am trying to get sympathy for left-behind parents of abducted children. And with the prime minister case, I was merely using it as an example of how the system favors one parent for care over another.

      And what do you mean international parental abduction only gets attention when dad is the left-behind parent? Nadia Dabbagh? Jean Paul Lacombe? The Matusiewicz girls? Lenora Karolys? Sarah Elgohary? Nadine Ayesh? Right now I’m just picking cases from my blog that have gotten widespread coverage. If you bother to read everything on this blog, I critique male abductors plenty. The only difference I’ve noticed is that female abductors get more defenders than male abductors. (The response to a male abductor is usually “so what?” but not outright defense.)

      And there is no excuse for abduction. None. Sorry. You’ll have to prove in this case that the “submissive asian wife” stereotype was in place and that he treated his ex badly, and even then that doesn’t make abduction right.

      • 15

        silvereyes1945 said,

        “The only difference I’ve noticed is that female abductors get more defenders than male abductors. (The response to a male abductor is usually “so what?” but not outright defense.)”

        How do you figure that? David Goldman’s case has been cause celebre for international parental abduction for years. He had American politicians threatening to put economic sanctions on Brazil. NBC gave him numerous interviews and a free plane ride back from Brazil. Christopher Savoie has been all over the news since he landed in jail for trying to reabduct his kids. I don’t think many mothers have gotten that kind of treatment.

      • 16

        forthelost said,

        Maureen Dabbagh? Deanna Hebert? Janet Greer? Lioubov Shipman?

  5. 17

    silvereyes1945 said,

    “Maureen Dabbagh? Deanna Hebert? Janet Greer? Lioubov Shipman?”

    I’ve heard of one of those names (Maureen Dabbagh), and that was 20 years ago. In the meantime, David Goldman, Christopher Savoie, Alejandro Mendoza, Colin Bowers have been all over the media. I did hear of one case where an American mother got her 11 year old daughter back from Malaysia after having the child abducted there by said father around the same time as Sean Goldman. The Malaysian father was such a bad father, he lost custody of said daughter for abuse and neglect even in a country like Malaysia which doesn’t give a darn. I only heard about the case after the mother got her daughter back. However, most people never heard of this case, nor is the mother’s name even mentioned:

    http://newkingwords.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/abused-american-girl-11-reunited-with-mother/

    I guess with Goldman’s case happening at the same time, no one gave a damn.

    • 18

      forthelost said,

      Maureen Dabbagh’s case was very big news at the time it occured. Until last year, all her efforts were in vain.

      The vast majority of parental kidnapping cases get no press whatsoever. The few that do are ones with unusual circumstances (Isabella Miller-Jenkins having two mothers, Chris Savoie being arrested for trying to snatch his kids back, David Goldman’s son still being held after his mother’s death, Liam McCarty put in an orphanage.).

      • 19

        silvereyes1945 said,

        The Malaysian case with the nameless mother I cited happened in the same time frame as the Goldman case. Who is this woman if you know so much?

    • 20

      Hello,
      I just found this discussion, How interesting that time chances very little. This is Maureen Dabbagh. My child was abducted in 1993. I was reunited with her in 2010. Her Syrian father arranged it at a time when civil unrest in the Middle East and North African was/is resulting in violent clashes between government and rebels. After allowing my child (now 20 years old) to speak to me on the phone and for me to fly to Syria to visit her, my ex asked me to drop chaeges against him so he could leave Syria.
      I mention all this to say that there are no “old” cases. These become generational. My ex huband’s father had abdcued his two oldest children also.
      I have a another book coming out in November. It is not my story, but rather an acedemic look at parental kidnapping. The bok presents facts and myths regarding abduction. Supported by more than 100 cases over a 200 year period, I can tell you that my research ( reveiwing more than 1,500 cases total) provided much insight. I hope that everyone will buy the book so that FACTS can be established. After all, how can we resolve family conflict if we cannot even agree on what the conflict is about?
      Maureen

  6. 21

    forthelost said,

    Are you seriously saying my point is invalid if I don’t know this woman’s name?

    Colin Bower’s case hasn’t gotten that much attention. If you’re arguing he was on the Today show, so was Janet Greer.

    • 22

      silvereyes1945 said,

      “Are you seriously saying my point is invalid if I don’t know this woman’s name?”

      Who is running this webite? Isn’t this website called “For The Lost”? Don’t you make it your business to keep track of these things? You say very few parental kidnappings get press unless there is unusual circumstances. Well, hello! Malaysia is a predominantly muslim country. A lot of women who get their kids kidnapped to a muslim country never see them again. Muslim countries are a fathers custody paradise. I would say an American woman getting her daughter back from a muslim country because even the muslim country agrees the father is unfit is highly unusual! The news media should’ve been all over this story. This woman should be right up there with Goldman and Savoie. The fact that someone like YOU has never heard of this case just proves my point. The media only thinks it’s a big story when the left behind parent is a father.

      • 23

        forthelost said,

        If the woman’s never been named in the media, I don’t think I’d know her name. Unless a LBP is named or decides to contact me, I don’t always know who they are – at least half of the family abductions on my site I have no idea who’s looking for the child or children. And I can’t find a resolved case on my site that matches this description, so it’s likely it never wound up on NCMEC, which is where I get most of my cases from. I know a left-behind mother *from* Malaysia if that helps.

        Looking at my past entries about missing people in the news, I count at least eleven cases where mothers found their children and it received some sort of national attention (the New York Times, CNN, Today show, etc.)

        It’s interesting that you view my failure to know about a case as the problem of the news media, but your failure to know about cases, even when they get national attention, is brushed aside.

  7. 24

    Celeste said,

    Even though Nadia Dabbagah is over the age of 18, she just turned 21 I guess, but she still needs her father or a male relative’s permission before she can even leave the country.

    As for Mr Savoie and his children. His ex-wife took the children knowing that she wasn’t allowed to take the children out of the jurisdiction without their father’s consent.

    The only case where I’ve seen the Japanese courts work in an american father’s favour is the case of Sean Hillman where his mother took him to Japan and threatened to charge Sean’s father with stalking. Sean’s mother was ordered by both the US and Japanese courts to return Sean to his father. But from what I understand Sean’s mother is still holding him hostage in Japan.

    • 25

      forthelost said,

      No she doesn’t. Syria doesn’t have Sharia law (and for that matter, neither does Malasiya). I know she has met with her mother and is in regular contact with her. Perhaps she just wants to stay in Syria.

    • 26

      HI,
      This is Nadia’s mom. Nadia turned 21 years old in Febuary of 2011. She is an American citizen, or rather a dual national. Her legal status allows her to leave Syria without her father’s permission or consent, She has not left. The complex dynamics between parent-child relationships are not often visible or understood.
      Nadia loves her father. She says she loves me, but we really do not know each other very well. Her father does not want her to leave Syria without him. She has an emotional bond to him. He has been her protector and provider her whole life. How can she just ignor all of that and simply come to America? She does not remember me or America. Her friends, and family are in Syria.

      Find out more about these complex dynamics in my new book, “Parental Kidnapping in America”. It will be on sale in Nov. of 2011 from Barnes & Noble and Amazon. It is important that we understand many of the complex dynamics in parental kidnapping. This book does that.

      I promise that those that read it will find it hard to put down.
      The book covers subjects never before presented in print.
      I have a chapter on mercenaries and recovery agents. I can tell you it is eye-opening. This chapter presents actual covert recovery cases dating back to the 1800′s. It features the European recovery agent credited with having successfully completed the most recoveries, a female agent from France, and much more. It even provides info on those killed during recovery efforts – including a child.

      The book is full of actual pictures.

      If you want to become knowledgable with facts regarding parental kidnapping, pick up this book.

      The politics of abduction include lengthy discussions on abdcutions to Japan. Learn how the American government puts a value on individuals and how their value is defined. Learned what previledfges are availalbe for individuals considered “desirable”. If you like concrete facts & Stats, then this book is for you. I woud llove to hear feedback from all those that read this book. My goal is to educate. Just as I found P.A.R.E.N.T. (Parents Advocating for Recovery through Education by Networking Together) in the early 1990′s to get information out – I continue to do that through this book.

  8. 27

    Celeste said,

    Janet Greer is Sarah Elgohary’s mother. Her ex Madgy Elgohary kidnapped her daughter to Egypt and untill last year she had always been told that she couldn’t have her daughter because the courts agreed with Sarah’s father that she should be raised in the muslim faith. It wasn’t untill Hilary Clinton intervened that Miss Greer was allowed with supervision by Sarah’s father to see her daughter for the first time in years. But she had to drop the International Parental Kidnapping charges against Sarah’s father in order for that to happen. :(

  9. 28

    silvereyes1945 said,

    “It’s interesting that you view my failure to know about a case as the problem of the news media, but your failure to know about cases, even when they get national attention, is brushed aside.”

    You mentioned Janet Greer was on the Today Show with Colin Bowers. I didn’t see that particular show, but I have seen Colin Bowers on just about every other news media outlet. Funny thing is that Janet Greer wasn’t mentioned as it should be since they both are in Egypt. However, they sure mentioned David Goldman or Christopher Savoie as a way of comparison ad nauseum. Neither of those guys have anything to do with Egypt. Alejandro Mendoza was mentioned along with guess who?-Christopher Savoie. Every time a case is mentioned-it is compared to David Goldman or Christopher Savoie. Goldman and Savoie have overshadowed every case especially if it involves a mother. You ask anyone who David Goldman or Christopher Savoie is-most people could probably tell you. Most people aren’t going to know who the mothers you mentioned are, and yes, that is the fault of the national media.
    That said, you get your info. from the NCMEC. These are the people who should know about the Malaysian case. That just proves my point even more. What bothers me is that your denial of how mothers are treated to favor the dads is a whole lot of the problem I see on news media coverage of these cases. Have you ever been kidnapped by an abusive father? Do you know what it feels like to be 3 years old and have your abusive father kidnap you, tell you your mother is dead, and than live like a fugitive for 2 months until your mother tracks you down via your father’s sister? Do you know what it feels like to have your mother forced to stay with your abusive father for three more years because she is afraid your father will kidnap you again? Do you know what it’s like to have your mother continue to be abused for those three years until she can’t take it anymore and decides to pursue a divorce? Do you know what it’s like to be kidnapped AGAIN at the age of six because said abusive dad wants to use you as a pawn to force your mother to take him back because it worked before? Do you know what it’s like to spend the second kidnapping travelling around the country for two weeks constantly asking where mommy is and being afraid of your own father until said father gets sick of his petty mind games and returns you due to lack of money? Well, I do because all of the above happened to me. Good thing my mother managed to get me back and prevent future kidnappings because my father violated a court order not to take us out of state the second kidnapping. He was afraid of six months in jail and didn’t pull that shit again. Unfortunately, for me, it didn’t stop me from having to visit this guy the rest of my childhood. Do you know what it’s like to be a kid in a kidnapping? Most of those guys who pull this stunt are abusive men. That said, I can well believe that a significant portion of mothers who kidnap are fleeing domestic violence. Your idea that abuse is not an excuse for a mother to kidnap her kids is absurd. I’m sure not all men who abduct are abusers and not all women who abduct are fleeing from domestic violence. However, mothers are more likely to experience dv as well as flee from it. The fact that you make blanket statements saying that mothers who have their kids abducted get more sympathy while mothers who abduct their kids because of dv are somehow in the wrong boggles my mind. Dv is not experienced equally by men and women. The reasons why men and women are the left behind parent or the abductor doesn’t have a lot of gender parity when it comes to dv. Your not helping ANYONE by minimizing or denying this problem in either the case of an abductor or a left behind parent.

    • 29

      forthelost said,

      It is true that a large percentage of men who abduct their children have some sort of abuse or DV history. And I’m very sorry you had to experience that. Your story is just one of the many examples of how parental kidnapping is a damaging and abusive experience.

      I am skeptical of mothers who say they kidnapped their children to flee from an evil abusive father™ because those claims are usually long on tragic stories but short on any actual evidence.

  10. 30

    silvereyes1945 said,

    “I am skeptical of mothers who say they kidnapped their children to flee from an evil abusive father™ because those claims are usually long on tragic stories but short on any actual evidence”

    Really? I find that same sort of thing when I hear these long involved stories from left behind fathers. David Goldman says his wife never alleged abuse against him, and waves her New Jersey divorce affidavit briefly in front of the camera as proof. Yet, you can’t even see it to read it, nor is it published on the bring sean home website. Christopher Savoie makes all these claims about how his wife was greedy and lied in court under oath. His court documents were put on line to show his wife’s testimony. I had to hunt around the internet to find Savoie’s own testimony. He comes across as arrogant and rude. He interrupts the judge several times and has to be threatened with jail before he shuts up. He accuses Noriko of violating the parenting plan while doing so himself. He disputes some legal language in the parenting plan that gave Noriko final say over the activities the kids were involved even though he signed the document agreeing to it. Hiis claim was that he didn’t know it was in there, and then he claimed that he signed it under duress (hey, maybe Noriko signed it under duress too!). He callls his ex wife an idiot in an email and brags about how intelligent he is. He threatens to have her father jailed in Japan over the sale of a car (the same father-in-law who signed his student loans). Yet, according to Savoie, I’m suppose to look at Noriko to see what kind of evil witch she was, but ignore how very very badly he comes across. I got to tell you-the red flags go up almost every time I read these stories. I’ve lived through domestic violence in my family, and these guys don’t come across as very creible-especially Savoie. That said, many women who abduct their kids are foreign women who don’t speak english very welll or at all, their dependent on their husband’s for financial support, their husband’s lie to them about having them deported and isolate them. These women have very little resources or knowledge of the American court system. A lot of these women fair very badly in court, and their claims aren’t believed or dismissed. They don’t know how to support themselves and their children in the states,and they don’t get the help they need. Heck, American women don’t get the help they need. Time and time again, we hear stories about women claiming domestic violence, but are not believed or dismissed. Yet, these women and/or their kids end up dead! f these women would’ve abducted their kids, maybe they would still be alive. Instead, women abduct their kids and are called liars. Nice! There are a lot of reasons why domestic violence is not reported, under reported, or even dismissed because of so-called lack of evidence. These women live in fear of these guys, and it gets worse if they tell anyone. It’s not unusual for a guy to kill his whole family, and doesn’t have any record of dv. Even in cases with lots of evidence of dv, it’s not unusual for an abuser to get custody. You might be skeptiical of the mothers, but if you looked into the background of a lot of these fathers as much as you do these mothers, you’d be in for a big shock. A lot of these guys are dangerous liars who know how to play the system and the news media. And the news media caters to them!

    • 31

      forthelost said,

      If Bruna had alleged abuse, how come that never came out in the court case after she died? Oh, and out of all the parental kidnapping cases I’ve seen and researched, I’ve found two where I thought the abductor truly believed they were acting in the best interest of the child.

      But I don’t see a point in debating with someone who’s mind is made up. Especially with such nebulous arguments as “he just felt abusive to me because of some emails and court testimony.”

      • 32

        silvereyes1945 said,

        “But I don’t see a point in debating with someone who’s mind is made up. Especially with such nebulous arguments as “he just felt abusive to me because of some emails and court testimony.”

        And in the process of your “research”, you do the same thing you accuse me of doing. Well, good luck with that. Your going to need it.


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