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Battered Women, Their Children, and International Law

The Unintended Consequences of the Hague Child Abduction Convention

Taryn Lindhorst

Publication Year: 2012

An eyeopening appraisal of how current Hague Child Abduction Convention agreements unintentionally harm abused women and their children

Published by: Northeastern University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-x

When battered mothers cross international borders with their children, they are often seeking safety with relatives in their home country. But when they cross borders, they also run a risk that the left-behind fathers may petition the court for the return of their children. The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International...

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

This book began because of one woman who reached out for help after fleeing her physically abusive husband. Although all of us who worked on this book have extensive backgrounds in research and practice with women survivors of domestic violence, none of us had heard of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International...

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Authors’ Note

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pp. xv-

Although many international conventions are administered by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, for ease of reading in this book we refer to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as the “Hague Convention” or the “Convention.” For reasons we discuss in the introduction and in appendix B on the research method of the women’s...

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Introduction | Globalization, Families, and Domestic Violence: The Hague Convention in Practice

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pp. 1-27

Falling in love and starting a family is one of the joyful events of life. We are planning for the best when we begin a romantic relationship, full of ideals and hope. But what if the hope of the early days of love becomes a landscape of conflict and destruction? What happens when conflict erupts into physical violence, and into threats that...

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1 | Emotional Terror, Physical Harm, and Women’s Experiences of Domestic Violence

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pp. 28-55

Falling in love and starting a family is one of the joyful events of life. We are planning for the best when we begin a romantic relationship, full of ideals and hope. But what if the hope of the early days of love becomes a landscape of conflict and destruction? What happens when conflict erupts into physical violence, and into threats that...

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2 | The Misinterpretation of Domestic Violence: Recasting Survival as Child Abduction

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pp. 56-83

The purpose of the Hague Convention is to return children to their habitual residence as quickly as possible, because the assumption is that the taking parent has abducted the child, and that abduction is harmful to the child. The treaty priority is to have courts in the country where the child has usually resided make decisions about issues of custody and visitation when a marriage or partnership is dissolved, rather than...

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3 | The Unique Situation of Latinas Responding to Hague Petitions

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pp. 84-100

Currently, Latinos and Latinas comprise 16% of the total us population; their numbers grew by over 15 million between 2000 and 2010 to 50.5 million (Ennis, Rios-Vargas, & Albert, 2011). Demographic projections indicate that by 2030, one in four us residents will be of Hispanic descent (National Research Council, 2006). Because of...

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4 | Child Exposure to Abduction and Domestic Violence

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pp. 101-120

Up to this point, we have focused primarily on the experiences of mothers in Hague petition cases. In this chapter we explore the situations of the children who fled with their mothers. We review research on parental abduction and the effects of exposure to domestic violence for children to set the stage for the children’s experiences and...

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5 | Hague Decisions and the Aftermath

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pp. 121-145

Despite the evidence we have presented of the seriousness of the abuse these mothers faced, and despite the larger social science literature on the effects of adult domestic violence exposure on children, over one-half of the women in this study had their children returned to the other country—and most of the time, this meant return to the abusive...

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6 | How Attorneys Litigate Hague Domestic Violence Cases

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pp. 146-171

The literature reviewed in earlier chapters focused on domestic violence as an issue in abduction cases. There is also a small literature on litigating Hague Convention cases, but little in this literature directly addresses the issue of domestic violence. There are three primary published resources focused on the litigation of Hague cases. Two...

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7 | Judicial Reasoning in Hague Cases Involving Domestic Violence

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pp. 172-191

Surprisingly, previous empirical studies of abducted children have not analyzed us court data involving Hague petitions, despite the fact that these data are part of the public record in most cases. We examined published us judicial decisions in Hague cases

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8 | Practice and Policy Implications

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pp. 192-203

The Hague Convention was originally intended to protect children from the harm of abduction, and to protect custodial parents from having the other parent unlawfully remove or retain a child in another country. In practice, the Convention is now often used against mothers who are the primary custodians of their children. In cases where women cross international borders with their children to escape...

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Afterword

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pp. 204-206

It is ten years later that I am now able to see light at the end of the tunnel; the light is still a ways away, but I can see it. I need to reflect on how we began this project and where we are headed in the future. The Hague Domestic Violence Project started at the Seattle University School of Law under the leadership of Dean Rudy Hasl, Professor...

Appendix A

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pp. 207-210

Appendix B

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pp. 211-225

Appendix C

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pp. 226-227

Appendix D

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pp. 228-233

References

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pp. 233-248

Legal Cases Cited

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pp. 249-250

Index

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pp. 251-258


E-ISBN-13: 9781555538040
Print-ISBN-13: 9781555538026

Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law

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Subject Headings

  • Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980).
  • Parental kidnapping.
  • Abused women.
  • Family violence.
  • Custody of children.
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