Sunday, April 11, 2010

Florida Child Abduction Act Passes House Committee: Parents Of Over 200 U.S. Children Criminally Held In Japan Rally In D.C.

As Florida’s House Of Representative ‘Policy Council’ Unanimously Passes today the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill, the loving parents of over 200 criminally abducted children still in Japan are rallying this weekend in Washington DC in conjunction with the Cherry Blossom Festival, urging Japan to release their wrongfully detained children.

If Florida’s lawmakers needed to see first-hand the importance of Representative Darryl Rouson’s sponsored ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill, all that is needed is for these policymakers to look into the eyes or listen to the voices of the fathers and mothers of ‘Bring Abducted Children Home’ who are uniting and rallying this weekend in Washington, D.C. to demonstrate their disapproval and anger over Japan’s refusal to return over 200 United States children-citizens – many their own children – who were criminally detained in Japan.

Perhaps the lawmakers who sat on child advocate Representative Llorente’s ‘Policy Council’ had considered the fact that Japan has never returned an abducted child to the United States, when they unanimously voted on advancing Carolyn Ann Vlk’s authored ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill.

Next up for this critical bill that if made into law would allow courts to consider risk factors associated with a potential parental child abduction and to order remedies that would prevent such abduction from occurring, is for the House’s ‘Criminal and Justice Council’, to vote on the bill this Tuesday, April 13th, 2010. The council is chaired by Representative Snyder, who is known to be a defender and protector of children.

Representative Darryl Rouson, a lawmaker with a long and impressive history of advocating for children everywhere commented, “I am extremely pleased with the leadership that came out of Chairman Llorente’s ‘Policy Council’ this morning. Today marks the fifth legislative committee that the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill passed unanimously. Most of us policymakers in Tallahassee are parents or grandparents – we realize just how important it is to create laws that not only will protect our children, but will also protect the parents of our children who act in the best interest of our children. Prevention law is critical – and all you have to do is look at Washington, D.C. today and hear the pain in the voices of all of those loving parents who have had their children criminally abducted to Japan. And not one of our U.S. citizens has been returned home? This is beyond unthinkable. My prayers are with these illegally detained children and their parents as they fight the necessary fight to bring abducted children home! And this is why we, the lawmakers in Florida need to continue our expedite action of making the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill a law.”

Peter Thomas Senese, the author of the critically acclaimed ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ and producer of the groundbreaking documentary film ‘Chasing Parents’ said, “I am very pleased to see Representative Llorente’s leadership today as the ‘Policy Council’ passed unanimously the landmark bill my friend Carolyn Vlk authored. This bill will prevent many child abductions in Florida from happening. And by Florida demonstrating leadership, new laws will be passed in other states that will prevent abductions from occurring there. And that is why we’re all doing what we’re doing: to protect our innocent children from experiencing the cruelty of parental child abduction. As Representative Rouson pointed out, all you need to understand the nightmare that occurs in most every case is to look at the ordeal the parents of ‘Bring Abducted Children Home’ are doing this weekend in Washington, D.C. I mean, how could we not have preventive laws in place when countries like Japan have never returned a criminally parentally abducted child regardless if the abductor is a Japanese national or not? We need these laws, and we need them now. Fortunately, Representative Rouson realized that and acted. Unfortunately though, if lawmakers and the public in general had understood the reality of these types of abduction crimes, I am certain preventive laws would have been passed earlier, and parents like my friend William Lake, a Florida resident, would not be in D.C. protesting Japan’s shameful behavior. And on that note, I want to urge the public to look for and support the members of BAC Home who will be rallying this weekend during the Cherry Blossom Festival. They really need all the support they can receive.”

The cases of international abduction are endless. Each is different, yet they all have common threads that tie them together. Two of these threads are that a child that has been criminally abducted is removed from the child’s jurisdiction of habitual residency. The other is that the loving Chasing Parents left behind in the wake of their child’s abduction have limited resources available to bring their children home. Examples of this include loving parent Nigel Lewis’ pursuit of his abducted children Jasmyn and Cody, or Captain William Lake’s pursuit of his daughter Mary Victoria, or Commander Paul Toland’s desire to see his daughter Erika, or Doug Berg’s vigilance and endless effort to reunite with his children Gunnar and Kianna. Look at the action of Chris Savoie, who attempted to rescue his children Isaac and Rebecca, or the tragedy that Richard Wood faces in dealing with his daughter Tytiana, and son, Byron’s return. Sadly, the list goes on.

Brett Weed, the Vice President of Children’s Rights Council – Oregon Chapter and a Chasing Parent left staring at Japan’s black hole said, “According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” Both countries involved in international cases of abduction are in violation of this article if uncompromising efforts are not made in the recovery efforts of an abducted child.”

T. Miklia, another Chasing Parent said, “How much longer will the loss of U.S. children be considered good international policy and an acceptable by-product of U.S./Japan relations?”

Carolyn Ann Vlk, the author of ‘The Child Abduction Prevention Act’ sponsored by Representative Rouson and Senator Sobel added, “My heart breaks in learning of the tragedy after tragedy that each of these and many other parents must endure in the face of having a child abducted, particularly across international borders. I can’t imagine what it would be like to wake up every day and not see my child, who was an at-risk child. I hope and imagine that the lawmakers here in my state of Florida are not only listening to the voices of the loving parents in our state who are urging for this critical piece of legislation to be made into law, but I hope they hear the voices and see the faces of our friends in Washington this weekend. Surely, they will come to realize that the issue of parental child abduction is global in nature and perhaps more complex and heartbreaking than they could ever imagine. I urge the lawmakers in my wonderful state to pass the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill and share with the world that the crime of parental child abduction will not be tolerated in our state, and in civilized nations, for that matter. And finally, if you’re in Washington over the coming days, please take the time to visit the parents from ‘Bring Abducted Children Home’. They need your support. Their children desperately need your support.”

For more information on the Florida ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’, please visit For more information on Bring Abducted Children Home, please visit For more information on ‘Chasing The Cyclone’, Peter Thomas Senese, or international parental child abduction, please visit