Little is known about the circumstances and judicial responses to battered mothers who flee with their children for safety across international borders. These mothers are often charged as perpetrators of child abduction under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions. Mothers who flee with their children to find a safe haven may not be child abductors, as the Hague Convention implies, but may be victims of their partner's violence. The purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of the experiences of battered mothers involved in Hague Convention cases in the US. We will undertake a multi-tiered qualitative study of mothers, the attorneys who defend or prosecute them and the judges who hear their cases under the Hague Convention. Information from this study will be used to improve the legal system response to battered mothers and their children who are charged under the Hague Convention.

National Institutes of Justice
January 2007 through December 2010
Other Names: 
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Edleson, Professor, University of Minnesota School of Social Work