The felt sense of powerless experienced by parents extended beyond the sociolegal system. Parents expressed their helplessness in protecting their children from immediate and enduring mental ill health and difficulties with social relationships and functioning.
«I fear terribly for the psychological consequences to him when he does realise what has actually happened here.
I am very worried that his personal relationships will suffer because he’s been taught to hate women» [P1].
«I am so fearful of the long term mental health damage my children will have due to one moment they had a loving father, the next they are told he is a danger and they should hate him as their mother does» [P8].
«Knowing your own children have been so deeply emotionally abused and there is nothing you can do about it is extremely painful to live with» [P39]. «I blame myself for not being strong minded enough. I badly want to provide for him, be there for him, show him life skills, show him love of a Father and cre ate happiness for him» [P36]