Include Parental Alienation in the domestic abuse bill

Parental alienation is the act of attempting to destroy a child’s innate attachment bond with one of their safe parents, post separation, causes them immense emotional harm.

In the confines of an alienating environment, the child effectively becomes a psychological hostage, unable to be their own authentic free and beautiful self. Unable to express and show their deep love for one of their own parents.

Fear of abandonment by their alienating parent, or other family member. Fear of their anger. Fear of withdrawal of their love. These children are unable to save themselves. They are children.

One in eight children in the UK now have at least one mental health disorder, according to the UK Children’s Commissioner latest research report. On current projections, it is likely to be one in five (20%) within the next two decades.

Utterly terrifying

The biggest adverse ‘life event’ the young respondents to this survey cited was ‘family separation’.

Yet we all know children can adapt well to a post separation landscape providing they are carefully supported and their parents and wider family continue to actively nurture, love and protect them.

Tragically, in the turmoil of relationship breakdown, some parent’s own emotional or psychological states blind them to their children’s needs. Their need for revenge or validation takes precedence to their child’s extreme long term detriment.

The psychological manipulation of a child by one parent (or primary care giver) which can ultimately lead to the ‘rejection’ of a previously warm loving relationship with their other parent, fractures a vital attachment bond and creates an emotional vortex many children never recover from.

Children who are denied love without justification. Children who are taught to fear one of their own parents. Children who are encouraged to reject and dismiss a formerly much-loved parent and wider family. Children indoctrinated with ‘hatred’.

What kind of society are we, when we stand back and allow this to happen?

According to Women’s Aid, “coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim It is a particularly insidious form of post-separation abuse”.

Here is why the behaviours identified by the relational phenomenon referred to as ‘Parental Alienation’ MUST be included in the new Domestic Abuse Bill.

In these cases, the abuser:

  • repeatedly denigrates, demeans and devalues the other parent in the presence of the child and others. They often insist a child stops calling their parent “mum” or “dad” or even prevents them talking about the other parent. They bad mouth the other parent, criticise their parenting and deny their value to their children.
  • isolates the other parent from friends and family. They act as a gatekeeper, preventing children from spending time with the other parent, from talking on the phone, or messaging. They break agreed arrangements and court orders. They may insist friends “choose” between them.
  • cause financial hardship by refusing to communicate or make arrangements other than through solicitors or the family court. They barter child-parenting time, offering to increase time, or threatening to reduce it, depending on money exchanged.
  • interfere with parental responsibility – failing to consult on medical or educational issues and relay important health and schooling information. They may unlawfully change a child’s name in an effort to eradicate a parent from the child’s life and identity.
  • make false allegations of abuse, fitness to parent, substance abuse or mental health difficulties – reporting these to the police or social services – in order to prevent a parent from being with their child. False allegations are also made to employers, friends and on social media to damage reputation and impact on financial stability and job security.
  • interfere with child-parent time by arranging appointments, events and activities. They may continually text or face-time your child or ask the police to make repeated welfare checks.
  • will destroy or dispose of gifts, mementos, photographs and letters given to children by a loving parent, fostering a belief that the other parent is not important or does not love a child.
  • burdens their child with their emotional outbursts – crying or appearing fearful, anxious or angry when a child spends time with the other parent. In this way, a child comes to feel responsible for their parent’s emotional regulation and stability.

Our Government needs to protect all victims of domestic abuse and, therefore, protect all children from harm.

This is not, nor ever has been, a ‘fathers rights’ or ‘mothers rights’ issue. Nor is it a gender issue. Apenating parents can be either mothers OR fathers and we can prove it.

Nor is it a custody issue, although that’s where it arises from.

It is a serious child protection issue.

Protecting children and loving safe normal range parents from abuse, cannot be ignored a moment longer.

Please support this petition

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