About Us

Action Against Abduction

works to protect children from the threat of abduction.

Goals

Our goals are to ensure that:

  • The UK has the right policy and practice to prevent child abduction, and achieve the best outcomes when children are abducted.
  • Parents and professionals have the most effective strategies and resources to keep children safe.
  • We have a reliable and up-to-date understanding of the nature and scale of child abduction.

Everyone’s business

We can only achieve our goals by working with others. From national government and police agencies right through to local school teachers and parents – we aim to make it everyone’s business to keep children safe.

Safe, Not Scared

Our core value is that measures to tackle child abduction should promote a full and healthy childhood and should not create a climate of fear. We want children – and adults – to be confident and engaged in their communities, not isolated from them.

Child abduction can be committed by parents or other family members; by people known but not related to the child (such as neighbours, friends and acquaintances); and by strangers.

Beginnings

Action Against Abduction (formerly Parents and Abducted Children Together) was founded in 1999 by Lady (Catherine) Meyer, CBE. Catherine had herself suffered the tragedy of being forcibly separated from her two children (the story of her struggle to get her children back is vividly described in two books, Two Children Behind A Wall and They Are My Children Too). In 2012 Catherine was made a CBE by Her Majesty the Queen in her Jubilee Birthday Honours for “Services to Children and Families.”

Action Against Abduction has helped drive major changes to child protection policies in the UK and abroad. For example,

  • we successfully campaigned for the introduction into the UK of the Missing Kids Website
  • we played a key role in bringing the Child Rescue Alert to the UK.
  • we have published numerous research reports, bringing new data and a wealth of understanding to the issue of child abduction
  • we have produced two documentaries highlighting the significant problem of international parental child abduction

Last year police in the United Kingdom recorded over 1,000 child abductions and attempted abductions. Many more go unreported to the police.

Our People
Geoff Newiss

Chief Executive

Geoff joined Action Against Abduction in 2012 to produce a major study of child abduction in the UK (‘Taken’) in collaboration with (what is now) the National Crime Agency-CEOP Command. He was awarded a Police Commendation for the quality of this research. Geoff published ‘Beyond Stranger Danger’ in 2014 which has paved the way for the development of Safe, Not Scared – the charity’s new initiative to offer parents and teachers effective abduction prevention materials.
Geoff started his career as a researcher at the Home Office, working on the police investigation of serious crime and the police response to missing person enquiries. In 2007 he became Director of Policy and Research at Missing People, where he led a major programme of research on missing persons and the impact of going missing.
Geoff is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kingston in London, and is a Search Technician with Hampshire Search and Rescue.

Mark Bergman

Trustee

Attorney at law and Partner of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP since 1991. Mark is co-head of the Paul, Weiss Global Capital Markets Group and is resident in their London office. In the early 1990s, he was the resident U.S. corporate partner in the firm’s Paris office. Mark is a U.S. citizen, but as the son of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer grew up in Paris, Vienna, Kinshasa and Addis Ababa. Mark has a B.A. from Bowdoin College, an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from American University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. Mark joined Action Against Abduction’s board in 2008.

Ben Glazier

Trustee

Ben Glazier founded his branding and graphic design agency Glazier Design in 1998. The agency has its main studio in Great Portland Street and works for fashion, PR, law, finance, healthcare and charity sector clients.  Ben read law at university, but with a natural family inclination towards design and communication, the desire to make the world not just a better place, but a better looking place, was too much to resist.  Ben also acts as a brand consultant and board member to several finance and fashion companies. If Ben finds any time to escape work, he spends as much of it as possible with his wife Angie and his three young children.

Ivvet Modinou

Trustee

Head of Engagement at the British Science Association where she oversees their public-facing programmes, including the British Science Festival and British Science Week. Previously, she worked at the Natural History Museum, leading the development and implementation of the Museum’s science communication programme. Ivvet has an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London, and she has developed and delivered science communication training for researchers around the world. She has also been a reporter for the BBC World Service and a sub-editor at The Times. In her spare time, she has co-founded music discovery website richseam.com

Jacqueline Renton

Trustee

Jacqueline is a Family Law Practitioner specialised in cross-border disputes pertaining to international custody and abductions. She joined Four Papers Building in 2007. Jacqueline appears regularly in the High Court and has also appeared in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Prior to joining chambers, she worked for one year at the international Child Abduction and Contact Unit doing case management and legal research in international child abduction and Brussels II Revised cases. Jacqueline has been involved with Action Against Abduction for many years.

Nick Timothy

Trustee

Nick Timothy has almost fifteen years of experience working at the top of British politics and government.  As Theresa May’s special adviser between 2010 and 2015, he was responsible for developing government policy on police reform, criminal justice, immigration, extremism and national security.  In his previous role as Deputy Director of the Conservative Research Department (from 2008 to 2010), he managed a team of up to twenty policy advisers, contributing to the 2010 Conservative manifesto and editing the Party’s ‘Campaign Guide’.  Earlier in his career he worked in the insurance industry.

Lady Catherine Meyer

Founder and President

Lady Meyer founded Action Against Abduction (formerly known as PACT) in 1999 to raise awareness and understanding of child abduction in all its forms and to improve child protection policies and practices in the UK.  She is recognised internationally as a leading expert on parental child abduction across frontiers.  She gave evidence on several occasions to committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives and to the Belgian Senate.  She was a driving force behind the adoption by the UK police of the Missingkids website and the Child Rescue Alert.  Meyer was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by HM The Queen in her 2012 Jubilee Birthday Honours for “services to children and families”. Lady Meyer retired as CEO of the charity in 2016.

News

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Safe, Not Scared

Join our campaign to replace ‘Stranger Danger’

Action Against Abduction receives generous support from:

The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers

If you, your company or foundation would like to discuss opportunities to support Action Against Abduction please contact support@actionagainstabduction.org