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child’s experience therefore being largely unexplored and unknown. 10

The initial challenge of obtaining the research sample was encountered and met in the second stage of the project and detailed in “the outcomes report”.11 It was, indeed, a significant challenge and, although the resultant sample was relatively modest,12 it was sufficient to enable “helpful information to be obtained and useful conclusions to be drawn, particularly, as to our knowledge, no previous study of this type has been undertaken, which can perhaps be explained by the undoubted obstacles in obtaining a larger sample.” 13

Although, therefore, it would have been possible to obtain a new sample over a period of time, it was felt that the existing sample, gathered and used in “the outcomes” stage of the project, could provide extremely valuable additional data on the effects of abduction14 as well as some longitudinal data on the overall issues. It was also hoped that, as trusting links had been established in “the outcomes project” with the families concerned, to be able to include the child participation that had not previously been possible. Use of the existing sample would mean that the research into the effects of abduction could be undertaken far more quickly than if a new sample had to be obtained and the desired child participation could also be achieved without further delay.15 In the event, our hopes were realised in that several of the parents gave permission for their children to be involved and we have been able, for the first time, to gain an insight into the abduction experience from the abducted child’s perspective.

10 Greif, G.L. & Bowers, D. have recently undertaken research which provides an interesting insight into the experiences of non-abducted siblings of abducted children, The Legacy of a Sibling Being

Kidnapped, under review. (Legacy). 11At 5. .

12 22 cases.

13 “the outcomes report”, 10.

14 For longitudinal research in this area, see, e.g. Greif, “Parental Report”, fn 8 supra.

15 We are extremely grateful to the Department for Constitutional Affairs for the support provided and

offer special appreciation to Colin Pipe of the Department for Constitutional Affairs for his commitment to this project.

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