My British husband and I decided to move with our two young daughters from the UK to Canada. We dreamed of owning a farm and said we’d try it for two years. Unfortunately within months our marriage broke down and my husband became abusive. I had no one to turn to as we lived in a remote rural area. I took my girls back to the UK, but then I was charged with child abduction. I spent £30,000 on court fees but was sent back to Canada with nothing. I feel I am being held hostage, with no money or home. Soon my visa will run out. Then what?
My daughter and young grandson were put through this awful law nine years ago and were sent back to Australia to live in homelessness and poverty. They’d only been living there for four and a half months but the relationship broke down. Her partner met someone else and wanted to stay, so she returned home with their child. He had her done for ‘child abduction’! We couldn’t believe it – they were all English. We put our trust in the law and believed they’d never be sent back. She’d lived in England for 35 years and her son was born here, they’d spent 19 weeks of their lives in Australia! As a family we couldn’t believe the verdict. My grandson was being ordered back and if my daughter didn’t agree to go with him he would be taken from her and taken back to Australia by the authorities. Her hands were tied, she had to go with him or lose him to the father forever. She went back but had nowhere to live, she was a temporary resident and the government would give her no financial help. People she met were offering her a bed for the night and a church charity provided her with food. I felt totally helpless; I couldn’t protect either of them. This law affected our whole family. We’d never ever heard of it, she’d never have moved to Australia in the first place if she had.
Serious changes need to be made to this law in many areas. ”