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xi 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 Child Abduction until this woman came forward. Her story mobilized us to explore further the intersection between international law, domestic violence, and the safety of women and children. We acknowledge this woman’s bravery in her efforts to protect herself and her children, and we thank each of the women who shared deeply personal, difficult stories with the research interviewers with the wish that their experiences could help other families. We acknowledge their strength throughout the experiences they had, and their courage in sharing their stories with us. Our intended audience for this book is fourfold. First, we know that many legal professionals who work with families in Hague Convention cases are unfamiliar with the dynamics of domestic violence. We wrote this book to inform people outside the domestic violence field about theory and available research on domestic violence and its effects, and to provide examples from women’s experiences that can sensitize and enhance how legal professionals assess and respond to abuse claims. Second, domestic violence advocates are generally unfamiliar with the Hague Convention. Through an in-depth review of the policies and practices surrounding Hague Convention cases, we hope to provide advocates with information that can help them in their interactions with domestic violence survivors in the United States and abroad. Third, international treaties such as the Hague Convention are implemented and administered by a variety of national and international policymakers and government officials. The Hague Convention was written to protect children, but as this research will demonstrate, without fully understanding the reasons underlying the decision to leave one country for another, officials may return children to Preface xii | Preface situations that are harmful to them physically and psychologically. Policymakers and administrators are in a position to advocate for a more thorough awareness of what is happening in these families. Fourth, the experiences of the women and children who participated in this study illuminate deeper theoretical concerns related to globalization, gender, and cross-cultural experiences of domestic violence. We hope, therefore, that this book will be useful to scholars in these areas. This research would not have been possible without the efforts of Sudha Shetty, former director of the Access to Justice Institute at Seattle University Law School, and the students who worked with her to create the first project on Hague Convention cases where domestic violence was alleged. These early efforts were transformed through the volunteer efforts of attorneys at Thomson Reuters and law students from the Minnesota Justice Foundation into the ongoing website for the Hague Domestic Violence Project located at www.hague In a research undertaking such as this, the final product is the result of the collaborative support of many individuals and institutions, although we fully acknowledge that any errors are the responsibility of the authors. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the support given us to conduct this research by our home institutions, the University of Minnesota and the University of Washington Schools of Social Work, and the staff of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) who shepherded this project: Leora Rosen, Karen Bachar, Bernie Auchter, and Christine Crossland. We were assisted by members of our National Advisory Board in the recruitment, analysis, and dissemination of the research: Hon. Barbara Madsen, Chief Justice, Washington State Supreme Court; Hon. Ann Schindler, Judge, Washington State Court of Appeals; Prof. Merle H. Weiner, Philip H. Knight Professor, University of Oregon School of Law; Chad Allred, JD, attorney-at-law, Ellis, Li & McKinstry, Seattle, Washington; Barbara Hart, JD, Battered Women’s Justice Project and University of Southern Maine; Paula Lucas, founder and executive director, Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Portland, Oregon; Sarah Ainsworth, JD, Counsel Emerita, Legal Voice, Seattle, Washington; and Roberta Valente, JD, then general counsel , National Network to End Domestic Violence, Washington, DC. We especially want to thank the attorneys and advocates who helped recruit women to our study, and those who also participated in interviews themselves. We want to acknowledge the many volunteer lawyers and web designers from Thomson Reuters’ West and FindLaw divisions, and the law students who worked with us on this project through the sponsorship of the Minnesota Justice Foun- Preface...


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