Hagued is for women who escaped from domestic violence with their children, and were then faced with the Hague Convention on international child abduction. The Hague Convention is an international law that aims to return children to their home country so custody can be sorted out. Unfortunately, it often fails the women it is supposed to protect.
Many women who have been accused of international child abduction have only fled to escape the violent fathers of their children. In fact, a 2011 study found that mothers were carrying out over two-thirds of all international child abductions. Another study found that over half of abducting mothers were escaping from family violence. Of the majority of children who were forced to return, almost half of these children and mothers were subjected to more violence.
This is because the Hague Convention doesn’t take into consideration why the mother fled. Escaping from family violence rarely works as a defence in Hague Convention cases.
This means fathers can use the Hague Convention to further abuse mothers. Fathers can go to court and insist they are the victims of an international child abduction. And the courts force the mothers and children to return.
For the mothers and children, this is what it means to be hagued.
The word ‘hagued’ means to be steamrollered by an international law that doesn’t care about the rights of women and children to live in safety and not be subjected to violence. To be hagued means to be forced back by a law that doesn’t take into consideration why you ran. You have been hagued when you are forced to return to a country where you’re not eligible for welfare payments or housing. You have been hagued when you and your children are forced back to the country where you are in danger.
There are hundreds of ways to be hagued. So, when you feel comfortable, tell us your experiences.
The aim of Hagued is to contribute to the debate around the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention needs to be amended. Let’s work together to show why.
A few rules:
- Please don’t use real names. Instead use ‘the father’, ‘my child’ or ‘my ex-partner’. We don’t want to get into any trouble with courts;
- For the same reason, please don’t name your home town or any other easily identifiable things;
- Posts and comments will be moderated if necessary.