"For the purposes of NISMART-2, family abduction was defined as the taking or keeping of a child by a family member in violation of a custody order, a decree, or other legitimate custodial rights, where the taking or keeping involved some element of concealment, flight, or intent to deprive a lawful custodian indefinitely of custodial privileges."
- Taking: Child was taken by a family member in violation of a custody order or decree or other legitimate custodial right.
- Keeping: Child was not returned or given over by a family member in violation of a custody order or decree or other legitimate custodial right.
- Concealment: Family member attempted to conceal the taking or whereabouts of the child with the intent to prevent return, contact or visitation.
- Flight: Family member transported or had the intent to transport the child from the State for the purpose of making recovery more difficult.
- Intent to deprive indefinitely: Family member indicated intent to prevent contact with the child on an indefinite basis or to affect custodial privileges indefinitely.
"It is possible for a child to have been unlawfully removed from custody by a family member, but for that child's whereabouts to be fully known. Thus, a child can be abducted but not necessarily missing."
"Although the family abductions described in this study typically had certain disturbing elements such as attempts to prevent contact or alter custodial arrangements permanently, they did not generally involve the most serious sorts of features associated with the types of family abductions likely to be reported in the news. Actual concealment of the child occurred in a minority of episodes. Use of force, threats to harm the child and flight from the State were uncommon. In contrast to the image created by the word 'abduction,' most of the children abducted by a family member were already in the lawful custody of the perpetrator when the episode started. In addition, nearly half of the family abducted children were returned in 1 week or less."