Surviving Parental Alienation: Healing at Home
Moderator: Dr. Noelle Hunter
iStand Board Member Scott Berne is a parental abduction survivor of an infamous case which
received national and international media and legal attention. Scott's story was the test case for
the first federal legislation to address international parental kidnapping. Today, Scott shares his
experiences to help promote a true understanding of the relevance of parental abduction in our
society, as well as the harmful effects on the children. Scott's motto is Awareness + Education =
Upon the separation of his parents, Scott Berne’s entire world turned upside-down. When an ugly
custody battle ensued, Scott became an innocent pawn in his mother’s attempt to destroy his father. As the mental health of Scott’s mother deteriorated, her behavior turned increasingly erratic – burning down their family home, hiring a hit man to kill Scott’s father, and finally, abducting Scott and his younger brother on their first unsupervised visitation after their father received full and permanent custody.
Scott was taken to five countries and thirteen residences by his mother over a period of two years, instilling life-long instability, trust issues, anxiety and panic issues as well as exposure to life-threatening abuse and circumstances. Scott was miraculously recovered thanks to a babysitter who called the police after seeing Scott’s face in a missing child ad printed in the August 1981 edition of Ladies’ Home Journal. Scott’s mother was dramatically captured, and the case gripped national and international coverage as the
State of Texas, where they were found, fought to recognize the custody of Scott’s father in New York. During this time, Scott and his younger brother spent several weeks in juvenile hall, due to the non-existence of proper protocol for caring for recovered kidnapped children.
Today, Scott is a member of iStand Parent Network Board of Directors and a children’s rights advocate who has retold his experiences to many audiences and through his book, “Extraordinary Circumstances,” currently being sold all over the world. He has appeared on “Oprah” and throughout the talk-show circuit to spread the word that the results of parental abduction on the children are life-long, and that education is the only remedy. He most recently appeared on the Inspiring Lives with Dr. Shellie show on the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, an hour-long television talk show that focuses on individuals who strive to make a difference in our
Scott is an active board member and spokesperson for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. He speaks regarding his experiences at events to help show just how real the issue of parental abduction is and the effects on the children. Scott works on his own and with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children with the goals of education, prevention and stronger laws to protect children.