Over the years, hundreds of women have contacted National Organization for Women chapters looking for assistance in their efforts to protect minor children in family court custody proceedings. Often these women have been accused of a phony psychiatric condition, termed Parental Alienation Disorder (PAD). The “disorder” has been proposed by so-called father’s rights (men’s custody) activists to be added to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostics and Statistics Manual – V to give it more legitimacy than it currently has — or should have — in court.
This accusation is made by abusive ex-husbands and is intended to cause the courts to disregard mothers’ claims of fathers’ physical or sexual abuse in an effort to gain the fathers’ full or joint custody. NOW Foundation is concerned that because of the alienation accusation known batterers and child abusers have been awarded custody; the numbers of cases involving dads in custody disputes abusing and murdering children is appalling. (See link below)
The notion of a parental alienation in custody disputes was advanced by the late Dr. Richard Gardner who committed suicide in 2003. The alienation accusation has been embraced by men’s custody activists as an effective weapon to undermine mothers’ bid for legal custody of minor children. Many advocates on behalf of mothers believe that batterers, child abusers and pedophiles populate these men’s custody networks. There have been numerous instances of documented batterers and child abusers being awarded custody by biased family court judges.
NOW Foundation has sent a letter recently to the American Psychiatric Association noting that publications by the American Bar Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges have concluded proposed “alienation disorder” is inadmissible in court and has been discredited by the scientific community. Accordingly, family court judges, lawyers and other court personnel should take action against the use of the alienation accusation in cases before them. Read NOW Foundation’s letter (PDF) and for more information on family court issues, go to the family law website.
More information on fathers and ex-partners involved in child custody or child support matters who have killed children, murdered mothers and/or committed suicide, please visit this website.
From the NOW Foundation
The next Supreme Court nominee should be a woman. Agree or disagree?
Agreed! And not just any woman — we need a justice who understands that women’s rights are human rights, and that our fundamental freedoms cannot legitimately be taken away by any legislature. While both men and women should have equal respect, women and men do not have the same bodies. We are different genders that need to be represented as such while respecting our human rights to be free to make our own decisions, live without a guardian, and more.
Out of 111 Supreme Court justices in history, only three have been women. Today, only two of the nine Supreme Court justices are women! In fact, women make up less than one-quarter of federal and well under one-third of state-level judgeships — despite the fact that nationally, women make up 48 percent of law school graduates.
At 17 percent of Congress, less than 20 percent of state governorships, and two out of nine Supreme Court justices, women are nowhere near to equal representation. How long will it take for women to see themselves represented in equitable proportion on our nation’s highest court?
We need equal for all women everywhere - in Congress, state governorships and legislatures and on the Supreme Court — where we belong. What we really need is to have government fully be equal by having one male and one female senator from each state and each district should have one man and one women as a representative. Only then can women have any chance of having their rights both represented and protected.
President Obama has advocated for women to have reservation in India so that women’s rights can be represented in Parliament there. What about representation for women here in the United States? Only two women on the Supreme Court does not represent that about half of the population of the United States are women. Contact President Obama and tell him that the United States has both men and women, and women need to be represented as such in judicial, legislative and executive positions.
The Dr. Phil Show worked with Kathleen Russell on behalf of the Center for Judicial Excellence to develop a compelling show that exposes the systemic breakdown of our nation’s family courts. The tragic story of a young mother named Katie Tagle sets the stage for a deeper conversation about the divorce courts’ routine failures to protect children. Kathleen Russell and Marin family law attorney Barbara Kauffman appear as experts in the 2nd half of the show.
The taping of this show represents an amazing turn of events in the media’s coverage of this growing national crisis. Don’t miss it!
Parental Alienation Awareness Day represents the epitome of disease mongering and propaganda. Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is the faux mental illness created by abuse denier and pedophile sympathizer Richard Gardner. The promoters of Parental Alienation Awareness Day might as well be promoting “Family Sex Day” as the pedophile communities love this fake mental illness for pathologizing and criminalizing anyone who dares to protect a child from any type of abuse. Claiming a child has Parental Alienation patholizes children for disclosing abuse implying that the victim is a mentally ill and/or a liar. The sexual abusers benefit the most as sexual abuse is so difficult to prove as there is frequently no physical evidence and it is embarrassing for the victims to disclose. The Australian Shared Parenting Debate has published an article listing known pedophile organizations who support Parental Alienation theories:
- Reform Sex Offender Laws Campaign
- SOhopeful International
From Australian Shared Parenting Law Debate – Thursday, April 8, 2010
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 workshops about, “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 use 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 are obvious 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 is a list of links from confirmed pedophile organisations that promote Parent Alienation:
From The Bangor Daily News: 3/6/10 Most often children die at hands of young men
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff
BANGOR, Maine — Fathers and father figures are most often the perpetrators of severe physical abuse of children, including cases that result in death, according to law enforcement and child abuse authorities in Maine.
On Feb. 23, Damien Christopher Lynn became the first Maine child to die this year as the result of severe abuse. He is the 12th child under age 18 to die as the result of homicide in the state since 2005.
According to authorities, Damien Lynn suffered injuries including brain trauma, a broken arm and broken ribs.
The man police have accused of killing the boy, Edgard Anziani, was the boyfriend of Damien’s mother. He lived on and off with the mother and child for four months before the homicide, according to court records. Anziani, who is from Lawrence, Mass., was arrested by federal authorities Monday in Bladensburg, Md. He waived extradition and is expected to appear in a Bangor court next week.
Statistics maintained by the Maine Department of Public Safety show that 12 children have died as the result of homicide or manslaughter over the past five years. The numbers show that the youngest, the most vulnerable, are most at risk. Eight victims were under age 3, and most of the children died at the hands of a parent, stepparent or the partner of a parent, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Click here to see a list of Maine homicide victims under age 18 from 2005 to present.
“We average about 24 homicides over the course of a year, and in a typical year, we usually have at least a couple that are children,” McCausland said.
The exception was in 2008, McCausland said, when five children were murdered in Maine.
“The vast majority are children who died at the hands of a young man, usually the father or the mother’s boyfriend,” he said.
Dr. Lawrence Ricci of Portland, the state’s only child abuse pediatrician and an expert often consulted by law enforcement officials and others for his 22 years of experience in the field, agrees.
“That’s certainly the case in Maine, and it’s certainly the case nationally,” Ricci said Friday in a telephone interview.
In Maine and in the United States, the perpetrators of serious physical child abuse or homicide are most likely fathers, next are nonbiological father figures such as stepfathers or mothers’ boyfriends, and then sitters, Ricci said.
Mothers are the fourth-most-likely perpetrators and “well down on the list,” he said.
The dozen children who died as the result of severe physical abuse “are just the tip of the iceberg,” Ricci said Friday. Ten times as many Maine children end up in the hospital because of severe physical abuse, and 10 times more are injured but never taken to the hospital, he said.
Common risk factors for child abuse include parents who have been victims themselves; parents who have been in the child welfare system, such as foster care; parental drug and alcohol abuse; criminal history and prior child protective history, Ricci said.
Maternal depression and socioeconomic stressors also are factors, he said.
“Those are some of the big ones,” he said, adding that poverty plays a large role in the problem.
“My colleagues around the country and I have seen almost a doubling in the last two years of significant abuse of babies, we think because of the economic downturn, both because of the economic stress it puts on families directly and because of the loss of available support services,” Ricci said.
“When you can’t provide the basic support services for families, the babies suffer,” he said, adding that the state has had difficulty providing those services.
To that end, Ricci and other child advocates in Maine are hoping that the recently launched “Period of Purple Crying” program, which now operates largely through donations and volunteers, will have an impact.
The educational campaign seeks to teach new parents that prolonged, intense crying often is normal and that parents and caregivers need to give themselves a break when the stress that results from the crying threatens to overwhelm their self-control.
A similar program introduced in upstate New York a few years ago brought about a 50 percent reduction in the number of serious injuries from shaken baby syndrome, Ricci said.
Though the “Period of Purple Crying” program has been available at hospitals in many parts of Maine for more than a year, Ricci said it is still too early to say how effective it has been.
One service that Ricci said he would like to see one day in Maine is long-term home visitation that would specifically target high-risk families. Ideally, the service would be provided until the child reaches school age before development problems from abuse and neglect have a chance to set in.
“Once they do, they are almost impossible to reverse,” he said.
Though it likely wouldn’t have saved Damien Lynn, state law requires a long list of professionals to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect or when a suspicious child death occurs.
The list includes law enforcement officials, clergy, municipal and state officials, school staff and bus drivers and bus attendants, medical and emergency medical professionals, social service workers, mental health providers, child care workers, summer camp personnel, domestic violence counselors, sexual assault counselors, film and photographic print processors, court-appointed guardians or advocates and any other person who is responsible for the care or custody of a child.
Those who are legally required to report suspicions of abuse also must make a reasonable attempt to take color photographs of any areas of trauma that are visible on a child, the law states.
To report child abuse or neglect, call the Maine Child and Family Services hot line, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free number is 800-452-1999, and the TTY line for the deaf and hard of hearing is 800-963-9490.
UPDATE: The Bangor Daily News has clarified its article to note that it referred to fathers as more likely to kill children from head trauma. Note however, that although in sheer numbers more children are killed by mothers, because as a group so many more women women care for children, and so many more children are in the care of women, from a risk standpoint, fathers are far more likely to perpetrate physical child abuse. See the statistical analysis.