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it as “an absolute torture that you never get over”. A mother discussed the fear of re-abduction, many years after the initial event, so that she worries during the school day that she may not

see the children again consistent concern and

at the end echoed by

of the many

day. This was a parents. They also

describe the lack of trust that they feel now, resentment, especially towards the opposite sex.

and anger and Several parents

discussed

their

unwillingness

to

form

new

relationships

because

of this happen

lack of again if

trust36 and the fear that the same more children were born to the new

thing could relationship.

Even where that it is not

new relationships based on real trust

have been formed, parents insist and that “the barriers remain up”.

The experience Several parents

has say

become part that they are

of who these parents now are. now different people to those

that and

they used to be. They have been unnerved by the experience have become suspicious as a result. One parent admits to

hurting relationship partners to pay them done when the child was taken from her by one mother explained, “you think you have some way, you go under”.

back for what was the other parent. As got through it but, in

Depression seems to be a frequent effect suffered by both the abductors and the left-behind parents and often this appears to be related to the guilt felt at putting the child(ren) through such traumatic times. One mother linked her depression to being unable to stop the conflict in her child(ren)’s life, explaining that

at least she has a past which conflict is all her child(ren) negatively of their experiences

was free knows.

from conflict but that Many parents speak

with the social workers, lawyers

and legal system encountered, and feel let down by authority” with whom they had dealings during the process.

“those in abduction

36 The unwillingness or inability to form adult personal relationships may not be limited to the parents

or the abducted child. Greif and Bowers, Legacy, supra, state that some participants in their study of siblings of abducted children found it difficult to form love relationships with significant others.

32

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