Law Protecting Children From Parental Abduction Nears Reality In Florida.
Online PR News – 15-April-2010 – – Lawmakers sitting on child advocate Representative Snyder’s ‘Criminal and Civil Policy Committee’ voted unanimously for the advancement of Representative Darryl Rouson and Senator Sobel’s sponsored ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill. The ‘Criminal and Civil Policy Committee’ was the last of six legislative committees that Carolyn Ann Vlk’s authored legislation needed to pass through. The bill, if now approved on both the Senate and on the House floors and then signed by Governor Crist will establish risk factors associated with potential parental child abduction and further provide courts with remedies to prevent a criminal abduction from occurring.
Today was a great day for the present and future children of Florida. With approximately 400,000 criminal parental child abductions occurring each year in this country, including nearly 11,000 international parental child abductions, the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill will give courts the ability to act before the crime against innocent, defenseless children occurs.
Carolyn Ann Vlk said immediately after Representative Snyder’s committee’s ruling, “ With all of my heart, I want to thank Representative Darryl Rouson for his incredible and tireless efforts to protect the children of the state of Florida. Representative Rouson has acted with compassion while demonstrating incredible and necessary leadership the children of our state and their parents so desperately need.
“When I first set out to author the legislation that would become the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’, I have to admit it was no easy task. At the time that I sent out detailed packages of information regarding the growing severity of parental child abduction in our nation, including the fact that Florida had a very limited child abduction prevention law in place to dozens of lawmakers that I solicited, it was only Representative Darryl Rouson out of this group that immediately recognized the importance and need to have the state pass stronger child abduction prevention laws. At the time, I did not know just how dedicated of an advocate Representative Rouson is - a true legislative leader and complete defender of our children. I have such deep respect and admiration for him. When Representative Rouson and his legislative aide, Henry Moseley, invited me into their offices and began discussing child abduction, I realized I was sitting with two tenacious, intelligent men who really cared about our children. It was then that I realized Florida had a legitimate chance to pass preventive laws against child abduction.
“It has not been an easy road traveled on, but Representative Rouson and Henry Moseley worked long and hard at this bill. They have both been incredible. And I must acknowledge how Senator Eleanor Sobel soon realized the importance of this bill, and quickly sponsored it in the Senate. Between Representative Rouson and his dynamo legislative aid Henry Moseley, and, Senator Eleanor Sobel and her astute legislative assistant Nick Matthews, we had a strong nucleus.
“And when I reached out for much needed assistance, an incredible group of activists organized very quickly and worked tirelessly at educating the lawmakers here in our state’s capitol. It was remarkable that these caring individuals showed up - with Peter Thomas Senese and his family flying in from Los Angeles, and Ken Connelly flying in from Texas, and Captain William Lake coming down from the Pan Handle – all in the name of protecting our children. It was due to all of these combined efforts, and the fact that our lawmakers in this state really do now understand what is at risk, that today I am more optimistic than ever that the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ will soon become law.”
Next up for HB787 and the identical SB1862 is for each bill to be read two more times in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. After the third reading in each legislative branch, the bill is then brought for a floor vote. With three committees in each branch voting unanimously for the bill’s passage thus far, it is expected that the bill will quickly pass Florida’s legislative body and brought before Governor Crist for signing.
Peter Thomas Senese, the author of ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ added after the vote, “Today we have seen how our nation’s perception of the cruel criminal act of parental child abduction is quickly changing from a non-event to the extraordinarily dangerous, abusive, and hideous crime against our children and their targeted parents that this act really is. With Florida’s Senate and House combining for six unanimous approval votes to pass the ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill, surely our nation and the world has taken notice.
“Unfortunately, our nation, and the world for this matter, has a growing epidemic called parental child abduction on its hands. According to various reports, international parental child abduction is increasing at a rate of nearly 40% per year. This is a giant leap in the number of international abductions – abductions that all too often do not have a positive outcome. So, in Florida, and due to a giant effort by Carolyn Ann Vlk, the lawmakers have acted swiftly. I applaud Representative Rouson and his legislative aid, the incredible Henry Moseley for taking the legislative lead on this important bill. And words of thanks and deep gratitude must be directed toward Senator Eleanor Sobel and her legislative aid Nick Matthews. But more than anyone, I want to thank my friend Carolyn Ann Vlk to have the courage and dedication to write the bill and work as hard as she has in order to protect our children. But we’re not done, the bills must pass both the senate’s and the house’s floor vote, then Governor Christ must sign this into law.”
Captain William Lake, the Floridian father of a young girl criminally kidnapped by the child’s mother and illegally detained in Japan said, “I am pleased to see that international parental child abduction is now beginning to be understood by policymakers the way it must. But my true hope, particularly in this state, is that the judges and our courts realize just how critical it is for them to act carefully and not blindly in the name of our children. They must actually enforce the laws they are responsible to enforce. So many abductions can be prevented if the courts act with caution and pay attention to warning signs and risk factors.”
For more information on Florida’s ‘Child Abduction Prevention Act’ bill, please visit www.floridachildabductionpreventionact.info. For more information on Peter Thomas Senese, International Parental Child Abduction, and ‘Chasing The Cyclone’, please visit www.chasingthecyclone.com.