FNF: Common form of child abuse goes unrecognised
Thursday, 19 Apr 2007 13:50
Parental Alienation, a common form of Child Abuse, has it’s International Awareness Day on 25th April
Families Need Fathers’ members present their personal experiences of Parental Alienation to the media on this day
25th April 2007 marks the first anniversary of International Parental Alienation Awareness Day, initiated to increase public understanding of this common form of emotional child abuse which is insufficiently recognised and acted upon in the eyes of the law and the general public in the UK.
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) occurs post family breakdown, where one parent ‘brainwashes’ the child against the other (usually the parent the child lives with) often leading to the other parent’s complete removal from their child’s life.
PAS is not acknowledged in UK courts and is only referred to as ‘implacable hostility’ on the part of the parent subjecting the child(ren) to this form of emotional abuse, which can have devastating life-long effects for all parties, both children and parents alike.
Families Need Fathers hear from thousands of individuals who have experienced the trauma of PAS, several of whom are willing to present their stories to the media in order that the courts and medical profession will acknowledge this very real form of child abuse.
A member’s son lives with his mother, and has been obviously subjected to PA since 2003 when he was 3 years old. This has caused severe disruption to paternal contact. The CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) Legal Officer and the High Court Judge blamed the breakdown of the father-child relationship on the maternal family, yet the mother was able to continue preventing the existence of a relationship, even banning the father from the child’s school. The result of this parental alienation was no contact between the child and any members of the paternal family.
A mother has sole legal residence of the children (they live with her), yet she is subject to the effects of parental alienation by the children’s’ father, as diagnosed by a forensic evaluation. She has recordings of father and son aggressively discussing their campaign against her, yet no-one involved (Judge, family therapist, parent co-ordinator) gives the severity of the situation the acknowledgement or treatment it deserves.
A member underwent a 10 year battle to stop the alienation of his children against him and to have their right to parenting time with him upheld. This involved 40 hearings, 12 different judges, a succession of CAFCASS Officers and a psychiatrist’s involvement, all of whom found him to be entirely focused on the best interests of his children. However, in 2004, the father was forced to withdraw his application. He said, “The mother’s alienation is so engrained that I can see no further practical way forward.”
A member’s ex-wife absconded with their children to Wales, gave false addresses and made false allegations of abuse, was untruthful in Court and won a full residence order in her favour. The father was granted no contact with the children, the schools or doctors. He has not seen or spoken to his 2 children for 2 years.
Any parent, irrespective of gender, can be subject to this devastating experience.
Jon Davies, FNF CEO, says “The denial of Parental Alienation can lead to the unnecessary tragedy of life-long separation between a child and their parent. This is a pattern which needs to change, and raising awareness is part of that process.”
If you would like to speak to one of our members about their experiences of Parental Alienation, hear more case studies in advance of the Awareness Day, or to find out more about PA, please contact us using the details given below.
You can also view the section of our website dedicated to Parental Alienation Syndrome at http://www.fnf.org.uk/law/pas.htm
Note for editors: Families Need Fathers (FNF) is a registered charity providing information and support on shared parenting issues arising from family breakdown, and support to divorced and separated parents, irrespective of gender or marital status. Our primary concern is the maintenance of the child’s relationship with both parents. Founded in 1975, FNF helps thousands of parents every year.
Please see Families Need Fathers ‘programme for change’ Father’s Day Manifesto at