After the Abduction - This Week on Insight

image source - SBS

International parental child abductions have dominated the news in recent weeks with the focus almost entirely on the adults’ battle.

This week Insight takes us behind the headlines and into the lives of four children who were taken abroad by a parent, and discovers how as adults, they are still dealing with those events.

Winding back the clock 30+ years in some cases to speak about their experiences, Insight uncovers how these traumatic events have affected their lives.  Recounting memories that had long been locked away, this is a raw and emotional program that highlights how diverse and unique each situation is.

We discuss the abductee’s perspectives as they lay their feelings bare, the emotional scars still evident from these childhood events that changed the course of their lives forever.

How do they feel towards their parents now.  Understanding?  Anger?  Resentment?

We explore in depth their differing experiences of being abducted by a parent, plus we have two of their parents in the audience sharing their own side of the story.  They reveal the fears and motivations that lead to them choosing what is viewed as the last resort, abducting their own child.

Other guests include parents who have taken differing paths to resolve their international family disputes.  These include a Sydney father who hired a child retrieval agency to bring his daughter back from Vietnam. And a mum who after years of trying to get her daughters back, realised that her continuing efforts to retrieve them were only making it harder for the children as the husband moved every time she tracked them down. Eventually her ex-husband felt their teenage daughters needed some contact with their mother and they came to an arrangement.

Amanda now 42yrs old, was abducted by her father when she was 12yrs old, taken to the US to live and not allowed any contact with her mother.  When she was 18 she decided to come back to Australia to reconnect with her mother who she describes as a “broken woman”. Amanda’s mother committed suicide shortly after they reconnected. Amanda says it’s something she will never get over, or forgive her father for.

Michelle (56yrs) and daughter Mia (20yrs) Michelle followed her husband to Dubai when he took their two daughters without her consent. She gave up her life in Australia to pursue every legal avenue available to her, determined to bring her children home. Over a six year period, she married a Muslim to improve her social standing, wore a full hijab and fought the courts that adhered to Sharia law to eventually win back custody of her daughters and return to Australia.

Insight - 8.30pm, Tuesday 31 May on SBS