Anyone that is aware of parental alienation will know, there are an incalculable number of alienated parents, grand-parents, step-parents etc. out there. As alienated individuals we are to some degree either victims or survivors of parental alienation.
However the real victims are not us. It is tragically the alienated children out there. Across the globe there are children that are denied a loving relationship with their loved ones.
Parental alienation is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. How else should we label a set behaviours whereby one parent deliberately damages, and in some cases destroys the previously healthy loving relationship between the child and the child’s other parent?
Parental alienation is emotional abuse, which in turn is rightly recognised as illegal, as is the case with other forms of abuse.
However, as is the case with so many aspects of our so-called modern societies, many of the laws that we as citizens of our respective governments that are legally obliged to abide by, are outdated and not fit for purpose.
And to make matters worse, these laws at times are completely incongruent with the moral code of many aspects of any given society. Furthermore these laws and the systems and institutions they are invariably connected with have another aspect that makes ethically based reform difficult; financial incentives to remain unchanged.
For example, as we are discussing parental alienation lets look at the family court, it’s associated services and the legal regulations that underpin and reinforce this system.
Some might say that the current family court system, particularly in the context of parental alienation is flawed, corrupt and unethical. Anyone that has ever attempted to navigate their way through this flawed system will no doubt agree with this perspective. And as alienated parents etc., all we are asking for is a fundamental right of our children; for our children to have a loving relationship with both parents.
However, conspiracies aside, this system is arguably most certainly fit for purpose for those that financially profit from the unchallenged abuse that is parental alienation. The current family court system encourages an adversarial approach from the separating parents. On both sides, any legal advice or representation costs money. And we all know it’s not cheap. The system also encourages continuous returns to court. Who benefits from this, the legal profession or the children stuck in the middle.
As for the so-called professionals, front-line staff from Cafcass/CPS take very few risks and the legal system allows them to have minimal responsibility and accountability placed on their shoulders. And in turn judges within the family court are ‘guided’ by the ‘findings’ of Cafcass/CPS and in most cases will take the same approach as Cafcass/CPS. How many times has a targeted parent, fighting a severely alienating parent been told “you two need to work together!”
This term you two need to work together, has come to me to define how the family court and its associated services work. You two need to work together is a blanket term that appears on the surface to be a well intended piece of advice to the uninitiated. However this term is simply a call to action for all those within this flawed and corrupt system to attribute equal blame on the shoulders of both the targeted and alienating and abusive parent. By doing this the system is then not accountable for the abuse that they are all too aware of. And as such they are not responsible or accountable for an abusive set of behaviours (parental alienation) that they so clearly do not understand.
However, I personally believe times are changing regarding the challenging of this flawed system.
Type ‘parental alienation‘ in to Google and one will be presented with 1,170,000 results. #PAS on Twitter reaches an audience of 2,107,036 twitter accounts.
Amongst the online anti-parental alienation community there are a number of established and up and coming campaign groups advocating and fighting for a children focused reform of this flawed system regarding parental alienation.
Here are just a few amongst many:
Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) is a human rights group that advocates equality for all members of society. They rightly state that inequality can affect anybody and should be everyone’s concern.
Erasing Family, a U.S based organisation. The producers of the 2014 Argentinian documentary Erasing Dad. They are planning on releasing their follow up documentary in 2019.
Families Need Fathers, is currently the UK’s leading charity supporting mothers, fathers and grandparents to have meaningful relationships with their children following parental separation.
The Voice of the Child, is a UK based team of researchers and associated members. This group frankly and rightly states that they will continue to challenge Cafcass; an organisation that is supposed to safeguard and protect children within the UK family law system.
Come mothers and fathers, throughout the land
And don’t criticise, what you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters, are beyond your command
Your old road is, rapidly agin’.
(Bob Dylan, 1963)
Author’s Note: It is not the author’s intention to purposely exclude certain campaign groups or individual campaigners. The above groups are simply a small snapshot of the incalculable number of individual campaigners and groups out there. There is no financial gain or vested interest for me in promoting the above groups. The aim is simply to inform the reader that there are many voices out there that are challenging this flawed system.
I am an alienated parent of three. Part-time psychiatric nurse, part-time writer. I am also an online activist against parental alienation. I use my knowledge of mental health and lived experience of parental alienation to promote awareness of parental alienation.