To introduce a law that recognises Parental Alienation as a criminal offence.
Petition Link https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/249833
A petition was set up to recognise Parental Alienation as a criminal offence, which to me makes perfect sense. Why? Because it is a form of emotional abuse and not enough is being done about it currently. I won’t go into it as I have already written my reply to the Ministry of Justice.
This is the Ministry of Justices reply to the petition
The Government is aware of the difficulties that parents can face in continuing a relationship with their child following parental separation or divorce, sometimes because of the obstructive behaviour of the other parent. We recognise that such behaviour causes great harm to children, particularly in situations where children are already distressed by the break-up of their family.
“Parental alienation” describes a situation where a child’s resistance or hostility towards one parent is not justified and is the result of psychological manipulation by one of their parents in order to undermine or interfere with the relationship with the other parent.
The Government is confident that the family justice system can robustly address such behaviour when it is alleged in child arrangements cases and we are continuing to strengthen our work in this area.
The legal framework which governs family law cases is gender neutral. There is a statutory presumption that the involvement of either parent in the child’s life will further the child’s welfare, unless the contrary can be shown. In reaching decisions in cases about the child’s upbringing, the court must consider the child’s ascertainable wishes and feelings and how capable each of the parents are of meeting the child’s needs.
In making decisions about child arrangements, the family court may seek social work analysis and recommendations from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). Cafcass practitioners are aware of the potential for children to be influenced by parental views and are alive to this issue when it is raised in child arrangements cases. Any concerns of alienating behaviours by a parent will be reported to the court when assessing the children’s best interests, which includes assessing the level of parental influence on a child’s wishes and feelings. The focus is on the safety and welfare of the children in each case.
Cafcass is continuing to develop its work in addressing parental alienation when it arises in child arrangements cases. Cafcass launched the Child Impact Assessment Framework (CIAF) last year. The framework includes various tools and guidance that further support its practitioners in identifying how individual children are experiencing parental separation and helps assess the impact of different factors on a child, including alienating behaviour by a parent. Further information is available on the Cafcass website at www.Cafcass.Gov.UK.
Exceptionally, in cases of persistent parental alienation over time, the family court may decide that the child’s longer-term welfare is best served by a transfer of the child’s residence from one parent to the other. The alienating parent’s involvement can then be facilitated by the other parent. Such decisions are, however, profound for the child and are never taken lightly.
Today is International Parental Alienation Day, please show your support by changing your profile picture on your social media to show your support and help raising awareness please.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation is the process, and the result, of psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members. It is a distinctive form of psychological abuse and family violence, towards both the child and the rejected family members, that occurs almost exclusively in association with family separation or divorce, particularly where legal action is involved. The most common cause is one parent wishing to exclude the other parent from the life of their child, though family members or friends, as well as professionals involved with the family (including psychologists, lawyers and judges), may contribute to the process. Parental alienation often leads to the long-term, or even lifelong, estrangement of a child from one parent and other family members and, as a significant adverse childhood experience and form of childhood trauma, results in significantly increased lifetime risks of both mental and physical illness. #parentalalienation #pa #family #children #kids #timeforchange #TotalReform
So, after a month the public letter I wrote to Tom McCormack (Child Maintenance Group Director) has finally got a reply. Was the reply from Tom or one of his staff? Obviously it is one of his staff as Tom takes no personal responsibility for being the group director and can work with impunity. Never in the history of government organisations have I come across one that self-police’s such as CMS. All the so called independent bodies that regulate them are not so independent and this is what creates the chaos called CMS.
Profit is more important than families and children and with every reply I receive they make it clear that they can work above the law and independent bodies. An example, I lodged a data breach complaint with CMS and the ICO Information Commissioner’s Office who is supposed to be an independent body for data breaches. Not only have they still not replied to me but they actually spoke to CMS and told them to police and deal with it themselves! Yep a so called independent body not being so independent!
We had the same issues with the police and unfortunately it took a series of tragic events to enforce change. The same thing is happening with CMS and even though we have had a number of people going homeless or committing suicide they don’t care as long as you PAY if not you will be slapped with a liability order. No due process, no possibility to defend yourself in court, no right to a fair trial absolutely nothing.
I have said they numerous times if this was any other organisation the directors would have been called into the select committee and grilled. Then more than likely a police investigation would have been started, so why is it different for government organisations to break the law with no consequences for their actions! Only time will tell but remember one thing nothing is stronger than people power, never under estimate what people power can do.
Child Maintenance Service was founded in 2012 to provide a service for parents to use to keep financial payments up for their children. In theory, this sounded like a good idea but unfortunately, it was not a well thought out one. People have been abusing the system for decades as before it was CMS it was actually called Child Support Agency (CSA). People have been denied access to their children strictly for financial gain and CMS are happy to facilitate this by accepting those applications. Why does CMS do this because they can then themselves add fees on top to rack up ridiculous fees and yet no one in the government wants to address this problem and just bury their heads in the sand.
Why does MP’s not want a fairer CMS service for all involved? Well, this would not help rake in profits of approximately 1 million+ per month that is why! Unfortunately, this is left to the fathers to pick up the slack financially and more than likely will result in them having arrears and liability orders slapped on them. Which in turn does not allow them to pay for their own children they are not allowed to even see. You’re probably thinking that cannot be right it sounds counterproductive, you would be right it is. The problem is if you have a “service” that actually does not know what it is doing and clearly has not learnt a thing from its previous setup as CSA then clearly nothing will change.
This service has become a national disgrace more so than universal credit and needs to be heavily regulated.
So, I wrote an open letter to Tom McCormack (The Child Maintenance Group Director)
The myth of “In the Best Interest of the Child” #TotalReform
When you enter the realm of Family Court and Parental Alienation you will be met by a plethora of people and services using the phrase “In the Best Interest of the Child” which is a myth. Why is it a myth because nothing the court or associated services do is 2in the best interest of the child”. In my eyes it should be replaced with “in the best interest of an easy exit route” should be the new phrase.
Like many of us who have gone through the secret family court and let me tell you it is very secret! Don’t be under any illusion that justice will be served for you and your child as the non-resident parent. You’re probably sitting there thinking you have loads of evidence to prove why you should be in your child’s life and that once it has been produced to the court they will see what you have been through. Yes, that is how it should work but unfortunately, in reality, it does not work like that.
You will be lied to and will meet Social Services and CAFCASS on your journey to seeing your children (or not). Most, not all will be very polite and seem very supportive at the beginning which will give you a false sense of security. Then they will submit their reports to the court which you could say is a knife your back is at the entrance of the court. In order for them to get that report into the court, they need to go through you, with your back in the way. This is the polite way of my saying what will happen when you read your reports.
What I have experienced myself and what I have seen with other members/clients the term “In the Best Interest of the Child” is a myth and a smoke screen to provide you with false security. I wish people would be honest about their assessments and just say as much as we would like to help you. We would rather listen and believe the lies we are told in order to have an easy life and wrap these court proceedings up as quick as possible.
I might not like what I hear but at least they would get my respect and not use the term “In the Best Interest of the Child” to smokescreen me. Parental Alienation is a real probably which most Social Service workers and CAFCASS officers can’t identify. Even when identified they are scared to act upon it which leaves you the loving parent without any options to see your child.
Did you know that Parental Alienation is now recognised by the ICD – 11
The World Health Organisation has included “Parental Alienation” in its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) which was released on June 18, 2018.
The index entry of parental alienation and estrangement means that the ICD-11 recognises the reality of Parental Alienation for Irish children and families.
Parental Alienation is characterised as occurring “when a child/ren allies himself or herself strongly with the caregiver (the alienating or aligned party) and rejects the relationship with the other parent or parents (the targeted or alienated parent or parents) without legitimate justification despite a previous warm and loving relationship. The primary behavioural symptom is the child’s refusal to have contact with the targeted parent or parents”
Parental alienation and estrangement is described as substantial and sustained dissatisfaction within a caregiver-child relationship associated with significant disturbance in functioning.
The literature suggests that parental alienation disproportionately affects young people whose parents are experiencing high conflict relationship breakdowns and predominantly children in state care or adoption. The effects and outcomes usually have a lifelong negative effect on the child. This is manifested in psychological and physical co-morbidities, including, but not limited to, addiction, crimes and suicide.
Neuroplasticity in children can occur with ongoing negative aspects when the child is taught to adopt a dichotomous (black and white thinking) thought process of one parent good one parent bad programming. The neurological effects can have consequences including psychological and cognitive deficits.
Systemic Family Psychotherapist, Brian O Sullivan agrees that Parental Alienation has been a significant psychological and emotional challenge for young people in Ireland affecting them across their life span and on into their families of creation in future generations for some time now, the inclusion of parental alienation in the ICD – 11 is the next appropriate step.
Parental Alienation Support Worker, Andries van Tonder of APS has said that he welcomed the inclusion in the DSM 5 under different terminology, but is now rejoicing in the knowledge that parental alienation has been officially included in the ICD -11 under the code QE52.
There are thousands of Irish families experiencing parental alienation and asking for help. Formal recognition of parental alienation by the ICD – 11 will encourage further research and resources being committed to combating the problem.
Several other conditions that can be associated with parental alienation are listed in ICD-11. Hereunder are some other applicable codes:
QD5Y Other specified problems associated with finances. (Situation caused by exorbitant legal, court reports and therapeutic fees the parent have to pay)
QD71 Problems associated with housing. (Situation after separation or otherwise caused)
QD82 Problem associated with threat of job loss. (Court attendances, stress related illnesses)
QE03 Social exclusion or rejection. (by community or family)
QE60 Absence of family member. (child or parent)
QE61 Disappearance or death of family member (child or parent)
QE62 Uncomplicated bereavement (due to loss of child or parent)
Why do people alienate? (just a few examples)
Clawar (2014) suggests that the following are some of the most common reasons why parents engage in alienation –
• Fear of losing the child
• Proprietary perspective (ownership)
• Child support
• Loss of identity
• Out of sight, out of mind
• Maintaining the marital/adult relationship through conflict
• Power, influence, control, and domination
• Learned Behaviour
• Personality disorder (borderline, narcissistic, paranoid, obsessive-compulsive)
• Parental omnipotence and malleability of the child
• The Asch and Milgram studies
So, the World Health Organisation can recognise it but the people you rely on in court can’t! I know it’s a really bizarre situation but it is the truth most people don’t want to recognise it as it will add to their workloads and ultimately could end up with the removal of a child/ren due to emotional abuse.
My advice is to keep it consistent when talking to the court and associated services and don’t back down as they will try to tell you that your ex-partner is just being difficult and not PA. You can request in court for a psychological evaluation when allegations of mental illness or personality disorder need to be investigated.
The other key phrases you might also come across is “high conflict” and “complex” which will be used a lot when someone does not know what to do or scared to make a real decision.
IMPORTANT NEWS PEOPLE
We have been approached by a documentary film maker. We have been whizzing emails back and forth to him. We are now at the stage of asking if people would be interested in being interviewed in front of a camera that would make up this documentary. We are only asking those within the CCA community/family. We would love a broad spectrum of stories, circumstances etc. The film maker comes across as very compassionate about what we are all going through. Attached is a form. If you are interested please complete the form and it will give us an idea of everyone’s location, so we can start thinking about the logistics of getting a camera crew and us together. Any questions please do ask, either openly or via PM. Completing the form, is not a commitment to be involved. The forms are simply to help us plan the logistics. Unfortunately this is at the present moment only open to UK residents.