Each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 100,000 American children experience the trauma of abduction by a parent, a family member or other persons known to the victim. Some children are abducted back and forth repeatedly, others disappear forever. Existing state and federal laws have proven to be inadequate to deal with the problem, as the staggering numbers attest. In all cases, the harm to the child victim is so severe that the best strategy is to prevent the abduction from taking place in the first place. Senate Bill 1041, Aaron's Law, passed by the Oregon legislature in 2005, is designed to achieve two goals: (1) discourage child abduction through financial sanctions against the perpetrators and requiring them to attend counseling sessions to better understand the harm they are inflicting; and, (2) provide relief to the victims with court-appointed mental health and legal professionals assigned to protect the child(ren). Aaron's Law enables all abduction victims, child and adult, to sue the perpetrators for damages, including emotional and punitive. Senate Bill 1041 creates a civil cause of action for the crime of child abduction, applying both to stranger abductions and kidnappings where the perpetrator(s) is/are known to the victims. Oregon is the only state in the nation with such a law on its books. See www.aaronslaw.blogspot.com
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