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Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation is a term used to describe someone who alienates a child against a parent. It is a form of brainwashing and is most commonly conducted by their other parent.

We believe any parent who deliberately harms a child’s relationship with either parent, without good reason, should be treated as being guilty of emotional and psychological abuse of the child. Furthermore, we call on the government and the authorities to recognise Parental Alienation as emotional abuse of the child.

Family courts turn a blind eye to parental alienation and usually accept there is nothing they can do about it. They allow contact to be disrupted or eliminated altogether.

Unfortunately, the court’s approach makes parental alienation a very effective strategy for one parent to employ against the other. It’s not just bad for the alienated parent, of course it’s very harmful to the child and is quite simply just extremely bad parenting.

One fundamental of good parenting is supporting the role of the other parent. Children need two parents, and they especially need two parents that work together. They need a consistent view of the world and their place in it to feel secure and confident.

Supporting the role of the other parent can be as simple as mum not telling Johny he can play outside ­– straight after dad’s told him he can’t – even if she thinks it’s OK herself. Or it’s as complex as dad telling him that mummy’s just out late and will be back soon – even if he really thinks she’s having an affair with his best friend.

Clearly we must be realistic, people are always going to argue or briefly undermine the other parent – we’re only human. All the same, for good parents this is the exception about which they feel guilty, rather than the rule.

It’s a simple matter of putting the welfare of the child before your own feelings. Even when it’s easier to just blame the other parent, we don’t.

Indeed, parents the world over support each other naturally, they understand it helps their children to feel loved and valued equally by them both.Unfortunately, relationships break down increasingly often in our society, and when this involves children it can be especially difficult.

Of course, in most cases, parents recognise that the children shouldn’t have to suffer just because they can’t get on. They make sensible arrangements to ensure their breakup has as little impact on their children as possible.

In a minority of cases one or both of the parents can’t or won’t agree how parenting of the children is to be arranged after breakup. These are the cases that end up in the courts.

If one parent is determined enough, they can keep the children all for themselves. It is usually the mother – as the system accepts and even helps a mother in the removal of a child’s father – and it can be done easily and without challenge. It is much less common for it to be the father, though it does happen.

We believe that removing a parent completely from a child’s life, without very good reason, is the ultimate in selfishness and bad parenting.

Of course, very rarely, there are good reasons for excluding one parent. However, our courts do not look for good reasons, they are happy with any reason, whether true or fabricated and – amazingly enough – they don’t much care which!

These children are damaged for life. You’d expect the family justice system to put the children first and help them keep both parents. But instead, they take the easy way out, shrug their shoulders, and say “What can we do?”.

Normal people naturally expect courts in this country to be places where truth and justice are at work. Nothing could be further from the truth.

No-one is pretending that situations were one parent alienates a child against the other are easy to deal with, of course, but by standing back and rubber-stamping parental alienation, the family justice system is badly letting these children down and doing little more than helping bad parents ruin their future lives.

Read the true story of Mike who’s daughter was alienated against him for years

One Comment »

  • liz said:

    Am afraid that my experience is of a contradictary nature to the content I ve so far read in your website – but I could sure use some support. My ex partner is violent, abusive & negligent: he is also a totally ruthless alcoholic in denial about having a problem with drink & top of that is a marvellous & monied liar. It s safe to say that were he a poorer man he would be in jail or in care of the social services. My story continues… when I became pregnant to him he pursued me – offering to be house husband so I could continue my career but his drinking habits remained so entrenchedly disgusting & all encompassing there was no way you could leave him with a baby for 5 minutes. He would have gone to the pub & left her at home. I will skip over too much detail: suffice to say tha t we did eventually attempt to make a go of things together when the child was 2 & moved into a cottage as a family, however this was a drink related disaster from day 1 & months later I was struggling to live & trying to get out. We made stabs at getting things right but always, no matter what resolution he made he would go from promising the earth to abusively consuming booze till the sun stopped shining. Of course I ended up drinking too much also as it was the only feasible way to attempt to deal with the situation. Again I will skip over the domestic details but eventually he threw me & the child out of the cottage we were cohabiting when he returned home drunken from a party & tried to rape me. We settled not too far away & his campaign of stalking, pursuit & sexual assault continued. He was able to make his pain a sympathetic issue with those others around us & thus gained support to the extent I felt I was losing my mind as he could appear so nice sweet & sensitive before turning into raging monster. Eventually I got him to agree & actually sign an agreement between us that declared while we would co parent & be friendly in this capacity there would be no sex of any kind between us. The next time he made a pass I brought out this signed document to show him & his response was “did I sign that?”. I took a boyfriend merely to try & give him the message to stay away, but with a reign of passionate terror one way or another he destroyed any other relationship I tried to have. Of course I was quite traumatised by this time anyway, & still am as the picture has grown wider & in respects worsened as the time goes on. During this period he never asked for shared custody – we both knew that having the child with him in his house was not feasible nor safe. He would have been absolutely capable of leaving her to go drinking – as was later proved. Instead he would pop round on us casually in the afternoon & see her then. I never objected though it did invade my privacy & was vague for the child but at least gave her contact. Time moved on, & an answer to my prayers came when he finally found another girlfriend. I was so thankful I was turning cartwheels & hoping they d work out. She seemed to adore him & from the very start of their relationship condoned his heavy drinking & smoking habits heartily. After 6 months she came to me in what seemed complete sincerity & said that now they were going steady they would like to have the child every second weekend, she was willing to be a responsible stepmother & had raised two girls of her own now in their 20s. This seemed perfectly fine to me – the little one had been asking about dad s girlfriend & as she saw her friend s going to stay with both parents wished to also. The very first time the arrangement was to begin was in January & they had not come to see her all over the festive season – by the time of the planned weekend I had assumed they were all partied out – it was a very definite arrangement. Either I was to drop her at his house at 11am or at the friends house they possibly would stay at. They weren t at his house, so when we got to the friends at 11.30 & his vehicle was outside I let the girl go to the door, & once I d seen her safely in I drove off. Luckily I went home, because an hour later the kid showed up, having walked the couple of miles back herself. Dad had been so fast asleep she couldn t rouse him. It turned out they d stayed up till 6 in the morning despite the arrangement for the next day & failed to wake. I knew then they were never going to be responsible as they were not even capable of making a plan to suit themselves. This was the start of an unhappy few years. I tried to get mediation – he wouldn t attend. Later, having gone through a period of demonstrating their unsuitability as “parents” (attempting to take little girls to grown up parties when it was their weekend, & other bad plans – lots of bribery of course, high heels, short skirts,”sexy lady” gear – all this for a girl not in double figures yet) they decided to make a hostile move into the next village from us, whereas they had previously been 20 miles away. His partner by this time was refusing to speak to me or either of them communicate in a manner normal in any way. Naturally, for the sake of the child, I wished to reconcile this situation & would have accepted them close if they d been decent but they metaphorically spat in my face at the idea of mediation or even the 3 of us being able to have a discussion regarding the child & pursued access through the Court. I wouldn t agree as I knew that they would be neglectful; so it s been interesting to read through this website as I am still angered by the Sheriff in condoning the neglect I informed him of which he dismissed as “lifestyle difference”. I was shocked to check with social services to find that it is indeed legal to leave your child alone. So, legalised abduction it was & I had to endure the next 2 years of my daughter going to the house of a woman I by now knew was well wrong in the head & a man so set on his alcoholism he has no other interest in his life. Even though they had her only once a fortnight & she was eventually beseeching them not to; every time she was there they would go to the pub. To cut a long story short the arrangement finally (& thankfully) ceased last October when they came home drunk at 1am & my ex s partner assaulted my daughter. Since then contact ceased & she hasn t seen him since because he hasnt bothered – he did drop in some Christmas presents but we weren t here at the time. Over the course of the contact she came to be stealing his booze in his absence – blah blah & I am now left with an angry teen who has been alienated from me both by the Courts & the undermining of the little authority I ever had with her. Maybe I was wrong to try & prevent the access but how can you let your child go to a situation you know to be harmful? & of course she misses her dad now, but he is so callous & never had regard to be a parent anyway. I have been alienated in my daughter s eyes by my attempts to protect her & now it is indeed entirely her choice not to go to his house. I would have always let him come to see her or take her out when it suited but fought the access they demanded as I knew it would not work & the girl was at risk with them. As I said at the start this is seemingly in contradiction to your usual philosophy but if you have comment to give me of a constructive nature I would welcome it. Poor child. But what am I supposed to do? In the face of it all she s growing up fast & with social networking on hand as another anti person anti family factor I do not really feel confident in what way am supposed to go & how best to overcome the unfortunate situation. Thank you.

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