I recently received a letter from the Minister of State for Justice. This being the result of an appointment at the office of my local MP earlier on in the year. My aim in approaching my local MP was to bring to her attention the injustice in battling parental alienation and seek her help and support.

“The next farcical comment was “it is unacceptable for either parent to breach a court order.”

The resulting letter from the Minister of Justice started with a misplaced attempt at reassurance by informing me “the government recognises that decisions about child arrangements following divorce or separation can be difficult and distressing”. The letter then went on to say “no parent should prevent a child from spending meaningful time with the other parent.” The next farcical comment was “it is unacceptable for either parent to breach a court order.” However, in terms of entertainment value my favourite sentence in the whole letter was “Cafcass practitioners are aware of the potential for children to be influenced by parental views and are alert to this possibility throughout the progress of a case.”

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The Minister of State for Justice clearly felt that he had not highlighted his ignorance of this issue enough. As such he then went on to point out the number of safeguards and measures currently in place and at the disposal of both the Courts and Cafcass. “You haven’t got a clue mate!” I thought to myself upon reading his letter.

“Approaching and requesting information from schools about ones own children is akin to getting blood out of a stone.”

It is also worth mentioning that I initially asked my local MP to write to the Children’s Minister, however my inquiry got passed over to the Minister of Justice. This is indicative of the fact that despite experts within the field of parental alienation arguing this is a child protection issue, the UK government does not see it this way.

This latest rebuff simply becomes yet another frustration in battling parental alienation; approaching and requesting information from schools about ones own children is akin to getting blood out of a stone. Having to quote government legislation and guidelines to Headteachers in order to exercise ones own parental responsibility is incredibly time consuming, unfair and unjust. The numerous ‘professionals’ that shy away from the term ‘parental alienation’ is astounding, on one occasion a frontline professional warned me that “we must be careful when we use the term parental alienation.” I am currently appealing the latest Cafcass report that informs me that my children are being emotionally abused but fails to provide any safeguards, interventions or protection from the abuse. During a recent telephone conversation with a senior manager from Cafcass regarding my appeal, he informed me that “it is difficult to know what to do when the damage has already been done!” An absolutely shocking comment from an organisation that claims to “make sure that children’s voices are heard and decisions are taken in their best interests.”

In his novel Ham on Rye, Charles Bukowski writes “I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.

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In the Oxford English dictionary, the word compassion is defined as ‘sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others’. The Middle English word is thought to have originated from Anglo-French and in turn from the Late Latin word compassio, meaning to sympathize, to bear, suffer. In numerous philosophies and almost all of the major religions, compassion is ranked as one of the greatest virtues.

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The ability to be able to identify with another individual is a key component of what makes us human. Mirrored behaviours start in early infancy, with the mimicking of facial expressions and body movements of parents and carers. Such behaviours are highly related to the concept of compassion.

“Narcissistic traits are what drive alienating behaviours, along with a nonsensical need for revenge and control.”

However the idea that a parent can alienate their own children against the other parent is difficult to understand and comprehend. To engage in such behaviours requires a complete lack of compassion on the part of the alienating parent. Divorce and separation is all too often painful and emotionally difficult and children invariably suffer to some degree. However as much as some parents are antagonistic towards one another, most if not all attempt to shield their children from the emotional and psychological fallout from the breakdown of a relationship. This is not the case for parents that alienate, narcissistic traits are what drive alienating behaviours, along with a nonsensical need for revenge and control.

Ironically I have never been the recipient of so much compassion from others. Such circumstances allow you to find out who your real friends are. Such scenarios can bring the alienated members of the family closer together, and an outpouring of compassion to one another occurs. Extraordinarily, it is with compassion that the victims of parental alienation at times examine the emotional make-up of the alienater, looking for answers, trying to understand why someone would behave in such a uncompassionate manner, with such devastating effects on those around them.

“We should embrace the love, support and compassion that is given by others.”

When an alienated parent, grandparent etc, is at their lowest ebb, they can become isolative and the magnitude of what is ahead becomes almost too much to bear and all-consuming. Someone once challenged me about this mind-set. They put it to me that when we find ourselves beginning to hide ourselves away as a maladaptive way of coping, in turn we are arguably shutting those very people out that are doing their upmost to be there for us. This individual also went on to remind me that such an inner circle of friends, the ones we trust and rely on the most, their love and support is ultimately underpinned by their compassion for others. And ultimately it is one’s own love, appreciation and compassion towards such people that should be capitalised upon to ensure we do not shut them out. In essence we should embrace the love, support and compassion that is given by others.

In my humble opinion, I feel it is virtues such as love and compassion for and from others that drive us to continue in the most difficult of situations.

You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions” Dalai Lama.

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Yet another well written and well-informed post from Karen here on the current increasing awareness of Parental Alienation. But also highlights the problems that lay ahead in the continuing fight to not only get PA recognised but to effectively treat it.

Karen Woodall

Parental Alienation has become such a hot topic in the UK that everywhere one looks a petition is being launched, an article on the issue is in the media, even Woman’s Hour covered the topic recently. Meanwhile the head of CAFCASS (GAL service for our stateside readers), has confirmed that parental alienation is child abuse, although not quite as those of us who work with the issue know it.

Watching the way in which the subject, which only five years ago was readily dismissed by family court professionals, is now being rehabilitated, I am aware of the dangers ahead for parents  who think that now that the subject is being openly aired, all will be well and the problem eradicated.  I wish I could agree but I can’t. The sense of foreboding that comes with the cosy chats around the kitchen table approach to this problem is immense, it heralds…

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I am an avid music fan. I listen to it, I read about it and I play it. I like music to surround me like a soundtrack. I find music such a powerful medium. Music comforts me, it lifts me up, in essence, like many other people it evokes powerful emotions in me.

This last week has been without doubt, the most difficult week of my life so far. I am currently off work with depression, Cafcass are on the brink of ‘giving up’ on my two oldest children and I am on the brink of running out of money for legal fees. I simply miss my children who I have now not seen for 8 and a half months.   The constant battle to see my children is all consuming, it dominates my life. This last week I have been physically and mentally exhausted.

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So what’s this got to do with music? Well, today I have been revisiting U2’s 1993 album Zooropa. Track 7 ‘Some Days are Better Than Others‘ has resonated with me the most today as I have reflected back on the week just gone.

Some days take less, but most days take more, some slip through your fingers and onto the floor.”

The song starts with a thumping bass line from Adam Clayton and builds to a typical U2 chorus. The Edge’s distinctive guitar style carries the song along, while being underpinned by Larry Mullen Jr’s unique drumming style. As much as Bono is viewed by many as divisive, in my humble opinion he is a skilled lyricist.

Some days take less, but most days take more, some slip through your fingers and onto the floor,’ Bono sings, as I reflect back on a week where some days I have found it difficult to get out of bed and cope with the magnitude of what I am currently faced with.

Some days you hear a voice, taking you to another place…,’ I have considered giving up. That is not an option.

Some days are sulky, some days have a grin, and some days have bouncers and won’t let you in…‘ At times during the last week a glimmer of hope fades away as quickly as it appears. I have simply found it difficult to cope with some days. At times the constant uphill struggle has hit me like a sledgehammer.

“To be able to love and be loved is an amazing feeling. It is a privilege not to be wasted.”

This song also prompted me to reminisce about going with friends to see U2 at the former Wembley stadium in 1993. This positive memory reminding me of how amazing and precious life is. To share your life with those around you is an amazing thing. This in turn evoked in me the feeling of how amazing life can be. To be able to love and be loved is an amazing feeling. It is a privilege not to be wasted.

For as long as I am prevented from seeing my children I will continue to miss them more than words can describe. However I am just one of thousands of alienated parents out there. Some in much worse scenarios than mine. Some parents are out there struggling alone.

At times life is difficult, but I am fortunate that I have amazing support from amazing people. And to them I am eternally grateful. Thank you. Xx.

Simply put ‘some days are better than others‘.

btg dad


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The Peace Not Pas Team

The following is a letter written by alienated parent Brenda Stephens in response to the governments response to the recent petition that whizzed its way around the internet requesting that parental alienation be criminalised.

Brenda Stephens’ blog can be found here www.johnsmam.tumblr.com

Please do visit to show your support for yet another alienated parent.

btg dad


Please Note: We will gladly refer readers to true professionals who add value, deliver results and operate in line with our core principles. 

We are also more than happy to feature quality content by writers; any wish to remain anonymous will be respected.

So if you align with our vision and ethos, have someone to recommend, are someone we would recommend or have something to say on the subject of shared parenting and parent equality in either a personal or professional capacity and would like a platform to have your say or contribute in some way to our cause, please contact us.

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The Peace Not Pas Team

Erasing Dad is an Argentinian documentary released in 2014, focusing on fathers fighting to see their children. As an alienated father myself I found the film difficult to watch at times, but compelling.

“Numerous organisations and professionals tried to have it banned, and delayed its release date.”

The documentary follows numerous fathers as they fight an outdated and corrupt judicial system. Although the documentary focuses on the Argentinian judicial system, there are clear parallels for alienated parents across the western world. All the fathers that are featured are victims of parental alienation. The film also features interviews with various professionals that admit with astonishing pride that they prevent fathers from seeing their children, even when there is no proof that any visits will harm the children. It is perhaps the inclusion of such candid admissions that made the documentary so controversial upon its release. Numerous organisations and professionals tried to have it banned, and delayed its release date. However such controversy created more publicity for the documentary.

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In an example of empathy for his alienated child an alienated father asks the question “how can you imagine your mother is going to lie to you?” Another alienated father recounts how he was told by his ex “you leave home and I’ll do anything I can to prevent you from seeing the girls. I’m gonna cross you off as a dad.”

A Criminal and Family Lawyer then highlights the biased legal system “it’s not that he [the father] can’t see him [the child]. But with the protection of the legal system, the application of the laws makes the child an orphan of a living father, it’s unacceptable.”

The issue of gender stereotypes was explored in more detail with Erin Pizzey, the founder of the first shelter in the UK for female victims of domestic violence. Talking of her setting up of her refuge approximately 40 years ago she states “as I took the women in, I looked at the first 100 women that had come in with their children. And of the first 100, 62 could be described as violent as the partners they had left. So it never has been a gender issue. These lies, false figures and statistics have been disseminated internationally through the western world. And men have been deemed as perpetrators, not because they happen to be violent, but because they happen to be men.”

“A lot of people make a lot of money out of high conflict separations.”

In an attempt to challenge such stereotypes the film returns to the aforementioned Criminal and Family Lawyer who makes the point “we need to not seek explanations for people’s behaviour based on their gender, because that’s a violation of basic human existence rules.” In highlighting a corrupt, outdated and unjust system the same Lawyer goes on to state “a lot of people make a lot of money out of this [high conflict separations]… So the prolongation of the conflict, leads to a huge amount of people living off many unresolved cases. The delay in solving these cases is always to the detriment of the children.”

Towards the end of the documentary an alienated father exclaims “it makes you very angry, so much injustice, so much suffering in vain.”

Following the release of the documentary and the subsequent controversy and public outrage it generated, Argentina passed a joint custody law and several other countries passed legislation against parental alienation.

Unfortunately at the present time parental alienation continues to not be recognised by any government authority in the UK. For me, this brings to mind the quote by Benjamin Franklin “justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

Despite attempts from opponents of the filmmakers to have the documentary removed from YouTube, it is still free to view:

The makers of Erasing Dad are currently seeking support to make a follow-up documentary called Erasing Family. This story will be told from the point of view of children and show that fathers, mothers, and entire families, are erased by family courts. Show your support by visiting their website at www.erasingfamily.org.

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Please Note: We will gladly refer readers to true professionals who add value, deliver results and operate in line with our core principles. 

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So if you align with our vision and ethos, have someone to recommend, are someone we would recommend or have something to say on the subject of shared parenting and parent equality in either a personal or professional capacity and would like a platform to have your say or contribute in some way to our cause, please contact us.

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The Peace Not Pas Team

Apart from one hour spent with my youngest child at a Contact Centre six weeks ago, my ex-partner continues to prevent me from seeing my three children. I last had contact with all three of my children just over 8 months ago. The amount of money spent by both my ex-partner and myself is probably now nearing £10,000. I have also overcome unfounded safeguarding concerns against me. My ex-partner’s intention is to keep my children away from me and my intention is to co-parent.

Numerous interventions and contact sessions were ordered by a recent Court Order. My ex-partner shrewdly attended each session/intervention with the children in attendance. However she refused to enter the premises of each location on every occasion, and on each occasion ‘blamed’ the children for their ‘refusal to see me.’ My ex-partner has now breached most of these Court Orders with no legal consequences currently being placed on her.  All planned interventions have since been halted to minimise the stress being placed on my children.

“The alienating parent uses the child to fill his or her unhealthy emotional needs at the expense of the other parent.”

Parental alienation is no joke. Plain and simple it is a form of child abuse. Original research found women to be the perpetrators of this abusive behaviour in 90% of reported cases. However more recent research indicates that this is no longer an accurate figure. It is difficult to know for sure the exact figures because of under-reporting, false accusations and the positive bias toward mothers that is all too common in most family courts.It is the unresolved emotional issues of the alienating parent that drives their behaviour. The alienating parent uses the child to fill his or her unhealthy emotional needs at the expense of the other parent. Such individuals that have no issue with using their children to hurt their ex-partner seem to fit the profile of the emotionally abusive disorder types such as  Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder. The alienating parent will normally ‘play’ the victim as they emotionally bully anyone who confronts, challenges or criticises them. The alienating parent does not recognise appropriate boundaries, will not accept personal responsibility for their actions. In actual fact the alienating parent blames the alienated parent for the abhorrent behaviours they exhibit and the alienating parent will always have an excuse to justify their indefensible behaviours.

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Being an alienated parent is a full-time job. Coping with the relentless behaviours of an alienating parent is a constant uphill struggle. Maintaining ones sanity when your children ‘reject’ all attempts at contact is tough work. Keeping up the motivation to regularly attend Family Court is difficult.

When an alienated parent first realises he/she is going to lose contact with their children their feelings go from disbelief and despair through to anger, confusion and sometimes and all too often depression. Above and beyond this there is an overwhelming sense of injustice. Inconsistencies in the law are all too obvious. For example a Court will refuse to put forward any legal consequences for an alienating parent that refuses to allow contact and yet can potentially send the same individual to prison for refusing to pay a parking ticket or TV licence.

To conclude, I am no longer ashamed of the false allegations against me. During times of darkness when I feel like a failure because I am simply not being allowed to parent, I force myself to remember what a great Dad I actually am.

Simply put I must carry on. I am incredibly grateful for the people around me. I am incredibly grateful for the love, compassion and overall support they give me. I am grateful for the things that are in my control and I try not to ponder too much on the things that are out of my control.

Though I can’t be with my beautiful children, I have done and will continue to do everything in my power to be a part of their lives.

btg dad


Please Note: We will gladly refer readers to true professionals who add value, deliver results and operate in line with our core principles. 

We are also more than happy to feature quality content by writers; any wish to remain anonymous will be respected.

So if you align with our vision and ethos, have someone to recommend, are someone we would recommend or have something to say on the subject of shared parenting and parent equality in either a personal or professional capacity and would like a platform to have your say or contribute in some way to our cause, please contact us.

Thanks

The Peace Not Pas Team