Crisis In The Family Courts

Parental Alienation Awareness Day–More like "Abusers Awareness Day"

Excellent post from the Australian Shared Parenting Law Debate blog. And commentary from dastardlydads

If a group of pedophiles and abusers named their cause, "Abusers Awareness Day", no one would help champion their goals.

There needs to be a little bit of propaganda to blanket their true goals.

Richard Gardner gave them that blanket by promoting ideas that society should punish those to speak against abuse as, "sick" and "requiring therapy". He coined the term, "Parental Alienation Syndrome". Appalled by the pro-pedophile material that was circulated on a large scale, researchers on child abuse and family violence worked even harder to debunk this content and for many years it has been frequently rejected by the American Psychology Association as a Syndrome. Regardless of the theory being discredited, it has still been used on court cases all over the world including a case where it was a defense for a brutal murder of a mother. Some backyard psychologists have even held workshopsabout, "Maternal Gate-keeping" and others have promoted theories such as, "Malicious Mother Syndrome".

Whilst in most debates, we all amicably prefer to keep things gender neutral apart from where one gender is being targeted in a way no different to the apartheid in Africa, the slavery towards African Americans and of course the stolen generation of aboriginal children. Whilst the use of parental alienation syndrome appears to be one of those gender neutral terms, the literature and statistics of court cases where the reversal of custody cases involving abuse allegations suggests that the number one target is the mother. Enmeshed with child abuse cases are often intimate partner terrorism, mostly perpetrated by fathers and a deep lack of community support towards mothers who try against many odds to protect their children from further abuse and exposure to violence. The superficial surface of parent alienation suggests that their goal is to stop "false accusers" despite statistics stating over and over again that false accusers are a minority of cases and in fact most of the false allegations are used by fathers. Empirical research has defined this as part of a series of behaviors that follow the intervention of a intimate partner terrorism relationship. This is where the real problem lies, with little support thanks to the erosion of domestic violence and child protection services, mothers experiencing false accusations towards them have drifted unknowingly towards the movement that is solely there to continue these abuses against her and the children.

Supporters of this theory have even gone as far as promoting it as a form of child abuse and sadly many court cases involving child abuse and intimate partner terrorism with evidence are treated as alienation resulting with the child being transferred to the abuser. The influence of this theory has been so great that other aspects of the system where the perpetrator could be convicted are thwarted.

Whilst Parental Alienation attracts pedophile lobbyists, batterers and abusers, they also attract mistaken victims. These victims are in turn used to become the front of the organisations eliminating the promotion of any true need for children and victims of violence and appear as though they are gender inclusive. The laws, case statistics and culture of the courts are a true reflection of the backyard psych therapists and abuse excuser’s causes. Some organisations areobvious in their agenda, whilst others confuse the situation.

Given the clusters of abusers that are attracted to the cause, it is important to encourage police abuse units to investigate the members of these groups as they do with pedophile rings. This could help stop abuse occurring. Other things that can be done is reporting professionals who use the theory as a form of diagnosis to psychologist registers, law bars and social worker accreditation organisations. The use of junk science destroys the credibility of professionals who do not practice backyard therapies and such reports are welcomed to peak bodies. By alerting other parents of the dangers of these organisations, parents can then become aware of the potential risks they could expose the children to by engaging with potential abusers activities and prevent abuse from occurring.

Here are a list of confirmed pedophile organisations that promote Parent Alienation:


bllbk1 said…

Parental Alienation is term that characterizes a suite of behaviors which contribute to the unreasonable rejection of a parent by a child. This behavior surfaces following many high conflict divorces, or separations. The term Parental Alienation cannot be applied when there is actual physical or sexual abuse, and this would include actual domestic violence. This would exclude the reasonable rejection by a child based on an actual injustice done to that child by the targeted parent. The term Parental Alienation only applies to those circumstances where there is no other reasonable explanation for the rejection of a parent by the child.

April 9, 2010 12:50 PM

silverside said…

Well, that’s how the formal theory is presented in public. But it’s not the real theory. And that’s not how it works in practice.

I found this out by experience. My abusive ex was very em
otionally manipulative, and tried to turn my then 4-year-old daughter against me. He tried to churn up a lot of hysteria. He even tape recorded a pickup where my daughter was coached to start screaming. The custody evaluator dutifully noted all this, then gave the father custody anyway.

A few years later, the custody evaluator is giving a presentation for the local fathers rights group on "maternal gatekeeping." I decided to go out of curiosity. Suddenly it dawned on me. For PAS peddlers, it only counts when MOM is accused. They don’t care if fathers badmouth or emotionally abuse. They don’t care that the father was guilty of rampant child neglect either, and that it took me years to get her out of that abusive home that was covered in animal feces and garbage with no food. Especially as the ex continued to deteriorate mentally.

The PAS peddlers only target Moms. This was clear with Gardner from the beginning, though there have been attempts (halfheartedly) to backtrack in order to look more legitimate and less gender biased. I’m not impressed.

PAS peddlers doesn’t care about domestic violence. They talk vaguely of Moms who have "negative" feelings–conscious or unconscious. But they don’t talk about concrete, deliberate efforts to destroy a maternal-child relationship within a context of domestic violence. Such a phenemonon is more properly analyzed as domestic violence by proxy, so that those links are made explicit.

Fundamentally, PAS is just a sloppy diagnostic label. Sort of like "hysteria" in the 19th century. It tells you everything and nothing. I’ve seen the PAS label applied to all the following: Moms who badmouth the ex where the kids repeat her opinions, but don’t believe them; Moms who have negative opinions of the ex, as do the kids, because dad was abusive to both; Moms who complain about the ex in a minor way, and the kids don’t repeat or believe it especially; Moms who give out "negative" vibes or might give out negative vibes, so she has to be kept away from the kids; Moms who express any concerns about the safety of their children even with EVIDENCE (which PAS peddlers ignore and encourage the court to ignore), Moms who are utterly silent about their ex’s or say positive things, but the kids still express fear or dislike of the father because of abuse or other issues.

One of the symptoms of "hysteria" was a bloated abdomen. In reality, a bloated abdomen can be caused by bad sushi–or by ovarian cancer. Those are very different causes with two very different results. Would you want an ignorant diagnosis like "hysteria" used for both?

So it’s time to ban the PAS label. Find out what’s really going on. Is it minor grousing? Then let it go, and stop being stupid. Is it an abuser trying to destroy a relationship? Then look at the abuse situation holistically, and don’t fixate just on the alienation piece. Is PAS a phony excuse for deflecting attention from real sexual or physical abuse? Then look investigate the abuse, and don’t get sidetracked by a stupid label.

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