inability demonstrated to see the situation from the other’s point of view.
Most parents (72%) believe that their child(ren) has been adversely affected by the abduction experience. 55
Many suffer from illnesses. One mother describes how, when her children were first returned, they had constant ailments, needing the biggest form of care for the most insignificant ailment. The children wanted the mother to “mummy” them as she had when they had been taken, a long time earlier, and she admits that, at that time, that was all that she wanted as well. Some children continue suffering from illnesses, long after return. Parents speak of headaches, stomach cramps and high temperatures which do not appear to have an organic cause and have been medically diagnosed as anxiety related. 56
One custodial mother describes how her child now rejects cuddling and closeness. She says that the child is “too busy, coping” for such intimacy which is “all too close, too personal, too near the spot”.
It does not appear from the data provided that issues such as the age of the child when abducted or the gender of either the parent or child, make any significant difference to the quality of the effects suffered.57 Children often do not choose to talk about the
issues for the
it is just
as likely to be
as a result of
abduction. Caution should be employed however
this as meaning that
55 See supra. Greif, “Parental Report” supra at 65 states that parents were asked to compare their child with peers by indicating whether they had more, less or the same difficulty in certain areas: “[t]he most clearly troublesome area revolved around intimate relationships”. He states at 70 that two-thirds of his sample said they believed the children were permanently scarred.
56 Greif, “Parental Report” supra at 69 states that children may be manifesting their problems physically as, in his sample, almost half of the parents perceived the children to have more physical ailments than peers.
57 Greif found that although, over time, significant problems continue for a minority of children, “the length of time the child had been missing prior to recovery and the amount of time elapsed since recovery were .. not related to problematic behaviour. The age of the children.. the number of children abducted in any one family, the gender of the parent, the gender of the child, the amount of education of the parent, or the amount of visitation with the abductor were not related, “parental report” supra at 67.