Tag Archives: kidnapping

Protective or Not?

Las Vegas Strip, Author David_Vasquez (PD)

Hotel clerk, Danielle Jacobsen, expected a routine shift.  The middle-aged woman approaching her desk looked like any other Vegas tourist.

But Virginia Paris was decidedly out of the ordinary.  Explaining that she had been kidnapped, Paris asked that Jacobsen contact police without alerting her kidnapper who was standing nearby [1A].

“She was like, ‘Uh, I need help.  I’ve been abducted.  I’ve been missing since Friday.  It’s pretty serious, can you please pretend like you’re checking me into a room please and get the cops on the phone and get them here?’ ”

-Danielle Jacobsen on her encounter with kidnapping victim, Virginia Paris [1B]

Despite an Order of Protection, Paris had been kidnapped by her former boyfriend, Joseph Hetzel.  Jacobsen managed to contact Security inconspicuously.  Paris was taken to a room for safety, and Hetzel later arrested.

Orders of Protection

An Order of Protection from Abuse (also, known as a Restraining Order) limits or forbids the subject’s interaction with a particular person.  Such orders commonly arise from allegations of domestic violence, harassment, and/or stalking.

Statistics on Protective Orders have not been publicly available.  But there are thought to be over 1 million in effect in the United States on any given day [2].

Experts disagree on the effectiveness of Protective Orders.  A 2010 analysis in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law concluded that they do serve a role in managing threats of violence [3].

However, an earlier analysis had determined that Protective Orders were violated an average of 40% of the time.  Some women maintain they were beaten for having obtained a Protective Order. Continue reading


Filed under Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Law, Religion, Violence Against Women

Happy Ending

This will be the first Christmas in over a decade that Julian Hernandez and his mother get to spend together. The 18 y.o. was kidnapped at the age of five by his father. The young man only learned of his abduction when he found his Social Security number invalid, on applying to college [1].

The Hernandez case illustrates the lengths to which parents will go in custody disputes. Nearly one in ten missing children have been kidnapped by a family member [2]. Frequently, the intention in these cases is to prevent contact by the other parent or permanently alter custodial arrangements, rather than cause physical harm to the child.

Over 200,000 children are kidnapped by family members each year [3]. The figure may actually be higher. It is estimated 40% of family abductions are never reported to police. Younger children are at greater risk of such abductions than older ones.

The situation is complicated when children are taken across state and national borders.

The larger context for family abductions is the dysfunctional family setting. The Hernandez case had a happy ending. Not all abductions do.

[1] Complex – Pop Culture, “Teen Finds Out He’s Been Missing for 13 Years When He Applies to College” by Debbie Encalda, 11/5/15, http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/11/missing-teen-discovers-he-was-abducted-13-years-ago-when-applying-for-college.

[2] Polly Klaas Foundation, “National Child Kidnapping Facts”, http://www.pollyklaas.org/about/national-child-kidnapping.html.

[3] US Department of Justice, National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children (NISMART II), “Children Abducted by Family Members: National Estimates and Characteristics” by Heather Hammer, David Finkelhor, and Andrea Sedlak, October 2002.



Leave a comment

Filed under Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women


A monster pled guilty to his despicable acts in open court this week.

To avoid the death penalty, Ariel Castro – the man who held three young women in Cleveland captive for 10 years, who brutally beat, raped, and starved them, killing one of his children in the womb – pled guilty to 977 counts.  Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1000 years.  The plea deal spares the women from testifying at trial.

Castro attempted to lay the blame for a decade of voluntary, heinous acts on supposed sexual abuse in his own past and an addiction to pornography.  This was nothing less than slander against the many child abuse survivors who would give their lives rather than harm a child.

According to Childhelp[i], about 30% of child abuse and neglect victims abuse or neglect their children.  This tragic figure tends to mask the fact that 70% of victims do not abuse or neglect their children.

Evil is, in other words, a result of choice.

The Abel study of non-incarcerated sex offenders (those offending against both child and adult victims) found individuals from every walk of life, and all levels of education; 80% between the ages 20 – 49; 53% married, formerly married, or at some point in a partner relationship; and the majority employed[ii].  In some 59% of cases, intense interest in sex with a non-consenting person (child or adult) began in adolescence[iii]  apparently without a trigger.

In studies of juvenile sex offenders, Johnson and Schreir reported prior physical or sexual abuse by 66%; Longo reported prior abuse by 47%[iv].  To the extent these figures are accurate, they suggest 34% – 53% of juvenile sex offenders were never themselves abused.

Admittedly, many factors influence our choices.  But the choices remain in our control.  Monsters make themselves.

[i] Childhelp, National Child Abuse Statistics, http://www.childhelp-usa.com/pages/statistics.

[ii] The Future of Children, Judith V. Becker, PhD, Princeton University http://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/docs/04_02_09.pdf.

[iii] As above.

[iv] As above.


1 Comment

Filed under Child Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women