Why are alienated and unduly influenced children the poor relations?
As a nation we still seem to have a collective blind spot around the severance of parent child relationships. Since forming NAAP we have seen many people turn a blind eye to it or belittle it’s impact. In private law we see how the courts, particularly the lower courts, minimise the seriousness and harm of relationship severance on a daily basis. Collectively, we are often outraged when these relationships are severed in adoption cases that hit the headlines: but because of the secrecy involved most of us never even get to hear of situations when these relationships are severed in private law cases. Fear that speaking out will make any future attempt to rescue cut relationships absolutely futile effectively ensures parental silence, compliance and an easy ride for the courts and it’s inhabitants. The new president of the family division spoke of the huge differences in the way that severence is regarded in publc and private law during his recent speech at the Nalgro conference.
The differences in the scrutiny and application of ‘justice’ in public law, where the state uses excellent legal teams to fight their corner, compared with equivalent situations in private law, where inexperienced and bewildered litigants in person are literally thrown under buses for sport, could not be more stark and blatantly unfair. When parent / child relationships are severed quickly, by a parent, through child abduction the state and the media spring into action. The Rebecca Minnock case is a good example of this happening. It also provides an example of how transparency helps to remove suspicion and raise public awareness. It’s a very serious thing for a parent to take a child away from another parent when the relationship is severed quickly. There are organisations to help you, emergency court procedures, specialist lawyers, specialist judges, all port warnings, measures to stop passports being issued and international conventions that cut across domestic legal systems to return abducted children quickly. When children are abducted there are plenty of resources to help and the public understand what is being talked about.
But what of the alienation cases or the cases involving undue parental influence where the child / parent relationship is severed slowly, abusively and unilaterally by a parent? Do we see more than a mere hint of media interest and public outrage for the scores of parents and child victims of possibly the worst and most damaging form of coercion imaginable? Was the omission of the coercive use of child contact from the 2015 Serious Crimes Act an oversight or a product of lobbying by the domestic abuse and legal industries?
I mean, how many people who have never been directly affected by PA would even recognise alienation if it bit them on the backside?
Answer = very few.
Are there any state funded charities that can assist parents facing having their relationship with their children severed slowly?
Answer = No.
Do we have specific primary legislation, secondary legislation, practice directions or codes of practice in place to deal with this?
Answer = No, It is nothing like abduction.
Have there been calls for research into the problem?
Answer = Yes. There have been many, including calls from senior judges and MP’s.
Why does not anyone seem to be listening?
Answer = Slowly, more people are.
But, we have perverse situations where government funded organisations – claiming to protect children and mothers – actually argue against the existance of the court proven phenomenon of parental alienation This situation is madder still because roughly 25% of alienated parents are mothers!
Research for the various bodies who advise the courts and government on family law is monopolised by a tiny cabal of researchers and academics who are ‘commissioned’ to do research and carry out studies. Openness and competition for this highly lucrative work would be a vast improvement upon the incestuous arrangements that currently exist.
What can I do?
- Get your MP to support initiatives like the ‘Early Intervention Program’ being sponsored by Andrew Bridgen MP.
- Circulate the NAAP report.
- Write to your MP’s.
- Get involved politically.
- Keep your eye upon the ball and do not be side tracked by silly arguments.
- Stay focussed and stick with EVIDENCE.
We will be giving out more information shortly upon ways to challenge government on these issues and more. Frankly, the people representing us have had an easy ride having NEVER been effectively challenged by those claiming to represent our interests.
Let’s all do something differently.