Abduction, as awful as it is, is no longer an issue in your community or neighborhoods, but a problem that has gained momentum through the growth of cyberspace. While what separates us from each other around the world is shrinking in some ways, abductions, no matter where they occur demand our attention and all efforts toward mitigation them must be made.
The times are truly changing. Because almost all essential transactions can now be coursed through the Internet, even crimes are emerging into new forms to underpin the rising popularity of the online medium. Thus, you can hear of numerous reported cases of cyber crimes, or crimes that are perpetuated through the Internet. Take note that criminals and law offenders are equally effective when they operate online as they operate personally during normal circumstances.
Although online crimes have risen in number in nations and governments around the world, there are still not enough legislations and international treaties that would appropriately deal with such unique crimes. Thus, the online predators or perpetrators of crimes through the Internet are freely roaming the Web to find prospective prey.
In the United States alone, the volume of filed online abduction cases are on the rise. The US Department of Justice has revealed that in all abduction cases in the country, about a quarter had been perpetrated through emerging online technology.
- About 49% of kidnapping incidences in the United States are committed by family members, when the child is abducted either by his dad or his mom. Such cases occur especially when the parents are separated.
- On the average, about 27% of abduction cases in the country involve acquaintances or new friends of the child. Take note that the police identifies online chat rooms and interaction as the prime venue where kids meet new friends, that lead to abduction.
- The remaining 23% of kidnapping incidences are committed by total strangers.
How is online abduction committed? The process can be very simple and suspicious, but still, many kids fall for the trap. The abductor gets in touch with the child, befriends him or her, asks for personal details like address or invites the kid for a personal meeting.
The abduction of course isn’t committed online, but the Internet becomes the facility that makes the crime possible. Criminals purposely meet kids over the Internet for the aim of kidnapping. They either disguise themselves as a boy or a girl who is of the same age as the prospective victim.
Experts and investigators analyze that the popular social networking sites are often the sites wherein strangers and kids meet. Online criminals target these sites, register to them and log in to them so they could meet kids who would be very easy to lure and convince.
What about international abduction?
International abduction is committed when the kidnapped child is taken abroad after being abducted. The criminal takes the child offshore so the parents can’t easily trace their kids’ location.
Also, international abduction somehow provides protection to the abductor. For one, federal police aren’t as free to roam around and flex its muscles to find the abducted child and the kidnapper. It takes time before the parents and the police figure out that the case was an international abduction.
You might be wondering how the abductor can take the child abroad. As you see, there are many ways a criminal can take a child without proper documents. Crossing land borders can be one, as well as processing a fake or fictional identification for the child.
You might be asking, “Does it really happen?” The answer would be, “Yes, and too often.”
How to pursue international abductors using the criminal justice system
The criminal justice system is primarily instituted to protect the rights and legal privileges of US citizens. If they have been aggrieved by foreigners, there can still be justice using this system.
In the case of international abduction, you will have to file reports to the police first. After establishing that the child has been taken abroad, that is the time you will be advised to pursue the criminal through the federal criminal justice system.
The US has extradition treaties with many countries. If the criminal is staying in a country that has an extradition agreement with the US, then the criminal will be apprehended and arrested and brought to the US for prosecution.
If there is none, the criminal justice system will cooperate with the country’s justice system, so the respective justice system will prosecute the offender accordingly. This can be possible especially when the law provisions violated by the criminal are the same with the provisions he violated under US legislations.
Overall, it surely won’t be an easy fight, but it will be all worth it, if you want to get your child back. To prevent such problems, watch the online behavior and habits of your children and monitor the friends they make online.