Australia is one of the highest-ranking parent-child abduction hotspots in the world. The Child Snatchers takes an investigative look at some of Australia’s more notorious child-abduction cases. Each story is deeply personal, highly complex and frighteningly true. Were they a desperate act of protection or a despicable act of revenge?
The Child Snatchers explores the often bitter nature of separation and divorce, and our heavy reliance on the overburdened Australian Family Law system. It brings you the heartfelt, true accounts of left-behind parents and the children they longed for. Some are heart-warming, successful recoveries; others may never see their children again. All leave you questioning everything you thought you knew.
About the Author
Jasmin Newman is an educator, mediator and coach who has been an active proponent in the reform family law system since 2013. Her interest in family court matters arose when, through her work, she found herself listening to heart-wrenching stories of parental alienation and abduction, all of which involved complex family court decisions. Jasmin immersed in herself in understanding the history of Australian family law and the interested political lobby groups which shaped its legislation. With neither the mothers’ or fathers’ groups happy with outcomes, the system was failing everyone, but none more so than the children.
This raised deep questions on the efficacy of family law in parenting disputes and the public’s over-reliance on using it. How could legislation, which in theory was designed for child protection, result in such catastrophic outcomes?
With a pragmatic, child-focused approach, Jasmin helps parents navigate divorce and separation through her parenting after separation course and mediation business. She remains a dedicated advocate for a less adversarial family separation process.
Excerpt from the Book
“By talking to dozens of parents, reading countless stories and watching associated documentaries, the standout observation is that the left-behind parent is always the one who was willing to co-parent. Even after abduction recovery, their strongest desire was to facilitate a relationship with the other parent so the children could have as normal upbringing as possible.
When I learned of the mothers fighting for their children in Islamic countries, I felt sure I would be hearing stories of hopelessness. My experience was the opposite. These women were respected for choosing to follow the appropriate legal path of Sharia family court and were richly rewarded with custody for doing so. Their children were allowed to return to the country of their birth, the people they know and love and a culture they were intended to be raised in. Then most satisfying of all, they were not traumatised twice in order to facilitate their repatriation.
In dire situations where parents use recovery agents, the least damaging approach is one of negotiations. Where that’s not possible, reuniting the children with their left-behind parents and allowing them to come willingly causes the least stress on the child. If, and only if the agent has done their due diligence on the alleged left-behind parent. By far the worst, most traumatic approach is when children are snatched away from loving family members suddenly – especially by people they do not know.”
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This ground-breaking book exposes a taboo aspect of Holocaust history; the sexual abuse of children. Children were sexually assaulted in ghettos, camps, on transit trains, while in hiding, and even when sent to supposed safety outside Europe. The Nazi’s genocidal brutality facilitated the abuse of children, in addition to targeting them for murder. In addition, children were sexually assaulted by some rescuers and peers who took advantage of their vulnerability. After the war, they were again betrayed by those who discounted their experiences, and by Holocaust scholars who refuse to acknowledge their stories or give credence to their memories.
About the Author:
Dr Beverley Chalmers has dedicated her life to studying women’s and children’s experiences in difficult social, political, economic and religious settings. She has held professorial appointments in Faculties of both Medical and Social Sciences and served for decades as a maternal and child health consultant to numerous United Nations and other global health agencies. Her inter-disciplinary focus and extensive international experience provide a unique perspective on the Nazi era and on the neglected issue of child abuse in the Holocaust.
In 2015, Bev’s book “Birth, Sex and Abuse: Women’s Voices Under Nazi Rule” was awarded the USA National Jewish Book Award, the Canadian Vine Award for Jewish Literature, a CHOICE ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ Award, and a Canadian Jewish Literary Award. She has two doctoral degrees: a Doctorate of Science in Medicine (DSc (Med)) and a PhD in Psychology.
Reviews of “Betrayed: Child Sex Abuse in the Holocaust”:
“Sexual abuse was one of the many horrors that some children were forced to endure during the Holocaust. But their stories deserve to be told.
‘Betrayed’ is a well-written and researched, albeit difficult, read that gives these victims a voice to be heard.”
(Dr Tessa Chelouche M.D, Unesco Chair of Bioethics, Haifa)
“With a rare combination of humane empathy and scholarly criticism, Beverley Chalmers delves into a disturbingly difficult subject: the sexual abuse of children during World War II. Her research sheds light on the various forms of child abuse, and undermines conventional categorization patterns. For example, Chalmers shows that children were sexually abused not only by people related to the occupying forces or by hostile strangers, but also by others, including some of their very protectors. Chalmers puts the children and their suffering in the center and makes their voices – their cries – heard; by doing so, she creates a wider awareness of this dreadful phenomenon, awareness that is crucial to anyone who wishes to build a better world for our children.”
(Noam Rachmilevitch, archivist at the Ghetto Fighter’s House, Israel)
Betrayed: Child Sex Abuse in the Holocaust (Grosvenor House Publishing, UK, 2020) is available from all major international booksellers including Amazon.
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