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