• Return US Home, Inc.

Will They Ever be Safe? Reuniting a child with a previously abusive parent

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

Return US Home (RUSH) is guided by the principle that all children have a right to safe

access to both parents. In cases of Parental Child Abduction (PCA), the child victim(s) is often considered “safe” because s/he is with a parent. RUSH asserts that child abduction in all forms (regardless of any biological relationship to the abductor) is child abuse. In every form of abduction the child victim may be exposed to physical, mental, verbal, or emotional abuse. We are intentionally leaving the topic of sexual abuse out of this conversation, as it poses additional considerations for both therapeutic and legal protections that extend beyond the intention of this interview. Given this pretext, we’d like to explore the broader question of how to secure a child’s safe access to an abusive parent, with an eye on the specific abuse of PCA. The interview will explore how child abuse is defined, warning signs of abuse, and steps a protecting parent can take to ensure safe access to a parent who has been abusive.


To help us, RUSH has invited Mrs. Heather Bryan, licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist who specializes in child trauma therapy and Melissa Kucinski, family law attorney, child legal advocate and mediation specialist. Both are recognized experts in their individual fields and have extensive experience working with families and child victims of PCA.


** Due to some audio issues we've chosen to break the interview up into the main questions with response and answer to facilitate our listeners' focus on the insightful information our subject experts have provided.

Part 1 of 5

Part 2 of 5

Part 3 of 5

Part 4 of 5


Part 5 of 5


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