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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

Eva Marie Fiedler is now 32 years old, but she's never lived what you'd call a normal life.  For example, she's never had a Social Security Number, driver's license or passport; she and her mother changed addresses often; they changed their names at least once during all that time. So when Eva Marie Fiedler, who was then going by the name of Melissa Reed, decided to get married, there was a problem - how could she get a marriage license given the fact that she was essentially a woman without an identity?  Sure enough, it turned out that she couldn't.  When she applied, Nevada authorities conducted several background checks including one for missing and abducted children, and there she was.  Twenty-five years ago, during a custody dispute between her mother and father, her mother grabbed the girl and ran leaving everything behind. Now the mother, Nancy Fiedler, has been arrested in Nevada on kidnapping charges and is being returned to New Jersey where the whole story began.  Fiedler claims abuse by husband Greg to have been the reason for the kidnapping.  But, this article tells us that New Jersey detectives say that Greg Fiedler had custody of his daughter at the time (CBS, 10/7/10).  So what will Nancy's evidence be for her claims against him?  What will be the actual facts that she claims justified her action?  My guess is that there were none at the time and certainly none now.  Anti-father advocates are wont to tell us that courts routinely give child custody to abusive fathers (never to abusive mothers apparently), but their efforts to produce actual examples of the practice always seem to come up short.  Time and again they name mothers whose claims in fact were exhaustively investigated by family courts and found to be baseless.  That doesn't keep them from repeating their claims, though. Of course, given the fact that there are some 1 million divorces finalized in this country every year, many of which involve child custody issues, it would be virtually impossible for judges never to grant custody to a father who later proved to unworthy of it.  I assume that happens on occasion.  But what I don't have to assume is that mothers get primary custody far more than do fathers and they also commit far more abuse and neglect of children than do fathers.  Indeed, according to the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, 'mother only' abuse and neglect has never accounted for less than twice the 'father only' kind.  It's always struck me as odd that those who make the unsupportable claim that courts in some way favor not only fathers, but abusive ones at that, never seem to notice that in fact that happens all too often on the distaff side. And speaking of abuse, that's exactly what Nancy Fiedler did when she snatched her little daughter out of the only home she'd ever known and condemned her to an unnatural life as a fugitive. I've linked to this piece before, but it's particularly apt here.  It's by psychologist Nancy Faulkner and entitled "Parental Child Abduction is Child Abuse."  It's a paper that Faulkner presented to the United Nations Convention on Child Rights, and it shows in some unsettling detail both the profile of the parental abductor and the effects of abduction on the child. 
"Abducted children suffer emotionally and sometimes physically at the hands of abductor-parents. Many children are told the other parent is dead or no longer loves them. Uprooted from family and friends, abducted children often are given new names by their abductor-parents and instructed not to reveal their real names or where they lived before."
It is that isolation that so gravely threatens the child's wellbeing.  Because of that isolation, the child finds he/she has but one person on whom to rely for everything and that person is the abducting parent.  Not only is the other parent not available, but none of the child's extended family is either.  Into the bargain, teachers, police, friends and neighbors are all suspect because they might blow the parent's cover. And, psychologically, that turns out to be just the way the abducting parent wants it.  As researchers at the Rand Corporation have documented,
[A]n abducting parent views the child's needs as secondary to the parental agenda which is to provoke, agitate, control, attack or psychologically torture the other parent.
In short, the child becomes the tool of the abducting parent and, like all tools, is meant to serve, not to be served and certainly not to have a mind of its own. This process of constantly having to cater to the needs of the parent means that,
"The needs of the troubled parent override the developmental needs of the child, with the result that the child becomes psychologically depleted and their own emotional and social progress is crippled."
That tends to result in certain psychological and social detriments that include, 1.   Depression;   2.   Loss of community;   3.   Loss of stability, security, and trust;   4.   Excessive fearfulness, even of ordinary occurrences;   5.   Loneliness;   6.   Anger;   7.   Helplessness;   8.   Disruption in identity formation; and   9.   Fear of abandonment.   Are those things true of Eva Marie Fiedler?  Who knows?  But I do find it strange that a 32-year-old woman would find nothing amiss about never having acquired a driver's license, SSN, passport, etc.  That suggests a mindset that's well out of the mainstream at best. I recommend that you read the paper by Nancy Faulkner.  It gives a very good idea of what Nancy Fiedler did to her daughter when she abducted her 25 years ago.

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