Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy PAS Easter

Happy Easter all, especially those who are illegitimately prevented from spending it with their children.

Blogwonks and MND has an item on the role false accusations of domestic violence have in the production of Parental Alienation Syndrome.

In the comments, David Usher points out that you don't need anything so blatant as DV accusations to set the ball rolling, it can be done much more subtly than that. But few seem to realize that the first step along that road is the simple reduction of one parent to non-custodial status. It renders (usually) him a second class parent and encourages (usually) her to believe that she has total power over the children's relationship with their father. Combined with a criminally naive idea that the mother can do no wrong, it is a short walk from there to obstruction of visitation, slow manipulation of the children to think ill of their father and finally complete disruption of the relationship when they yield to the relentless pressure and say they don't want to see him any more. (Sometimes fathers do this to mothers, but the statistics of custody assignment mean that the other way around dominates.)

What can he do? Nothing much - failure to comply with visitation orders is nothing worse than contempt of court and rarely carries any punishment at all. Whispers against him behind closed doors can only be countered by the children seeing for themselves that their daddy still loves them and the usual 15% visitation "award" unlikely to be sufficient, never mind its erosion by the mother's interference. Finally, when a court hears a child say they don't want to see their father, their mother mother behind them innocently shrugging her shoulders saying "what can I do?", what is the court to do? No-one will ask what she has done.

A less subtly manipulative mother can fall back on whatever accusations she feels like. Hearsay is evidence enough in this case. ANCPR mirrors the article and one particularly heart-rending comment summarises a case where false charges of domestic violence have been levelled seven times and when the father, initially given significant visitation including weekends, finally worked his way back to five hours unsupervised visitation a week, the mother dropped the nuke and accused him of abusing the child. Of course, there is no evidence, but this miraculously resilient father now has no contact with his daughter and doesn't even know where she is. The agencies and courts don't even return his calls or letters.

How many fathers and mothers will today watch the neighborhood children hunt for Easter eggs while knowing that the delight of watching their own children do this is cruelly denied them for no reason other than the very un-Easter-like hatred of their ex and the ignorance of a blind and stupid legal system? Until the laws properly reflect the duties of both parents towards the children and eachother, and the court's language is changed to remove derogatory concepts of a parent's value to their children, this will go on. Until interference with visitation is treated with the same heavy-handedness as is failure to pay child support, this will go on. Until false accusations of violence and abuse are recognized themselves to be as damaging as the claimed crimes would be, this will go on. Parents will continue to be involunatrily emotionally and physically ejected from their children's lives for no reason except hatred.

PAS is child abuse and a hate crime. Treat it as such. Stop it now.

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