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1. Memory

In 15 of the 25 previously interviewed adult interviews (60%), the interviewee recalled the relevant dates differently from the first interview. The relevant dates, for this purpose, include the dates of the abduction, the return and court orders. There did not seem to be any connection between the status of the interviewee as either abductor or left-behind parent and those who recalled the dates in either the same way or differently. It is, perhaps, not completely surprising that these dates lose their sharpness over a period of time. At the time of the first interviews, however, the majority of returns (60%) had already occurred between 1-3 years earlier, the remainder having occurred from 4-7 years before.26 Some of those periods of time were therefore already quite substantial. It could be tempting to assume from this that the memory of the traumatic abduction events remains “live” for at least those periods and only fades at later times. However, for this to be true, it would firstly be necessary to accept that the interviewee gave the correct information at the time of the first

interview and, secondly,

that the difference

results from the amelioration of the effects rather than the simple passage of time. It

of is

in recollection the abduction, not possible to

reliably able to data.

make these two assumptions and we draw any safe conclusions from this,

are not therefore albeit interesting,

One event of the abduction which seemed memorably traumatic for those concerned, and which was raised many times in the second set of interviews, was the lack of contact for many parents with their children during the period that they were away. This was often because the left-behind parent did not know the child(ren)’s whereabouts. One residential parent did not know where her child was for 2 years. That child reports to his left-


Outcomes report, 8.

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