I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Parental Alienation Awareness Day ~ April 25, 2009

Parental Alienation (PA)

What is it?

Lets keep it simple. It is a persistent series of behaviors by someone, usually a parent, to denigrate, bash, insult, reject and otherwise treat in a negative fashion a target, usually the other parent. Other extended family members can get involved to exacerbate and accelerate the process. This conduct is undertaken by both mothers and fathers and is most prevalent in a divorce or separation. Personal experience shows it occurring prior to separation if the home situation is acrimonious. Some spouses, in an attempt to gain allies, recruit their children prior to break-up and use them to get a "leg up" in divorce and custody battles.

The actions of the alienating parent can be subtle or overt. Some parents do not realize early on the impact of their actions on the child or children and others do it deliberately knowing full well the desired outcome. Dr. Richard Warshak, a leading expert on PA states, "alienated children relate to one parent, but not the other, in a consistently negative manner." The children will insult you continuously often using the very words the alienating parent stated to them to describe you. They will bad mouth you to friends, not want to be seen with you, particularly around their friends, and will tell you frequently what they do related to the home they occupy with the alienating parent is none of your business. This includes school, medical, dental, extra curricular activities and especially their social relationships with others. They are completely loyal to your former partner and the target is the enemy. In the worst of cases the child will lose all memory of your extended family and will even impact their recollection of older siblings who were the target's children with another wife even if there was a very close relationship beforehand. When the latter happens the child may well be suffering from what Dr. Richard Gardner and others since him have termed Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). This is a condition where the child has rejected the other parent completely without justification by the actions described above from the other parent.

It is not yet in the DSM -Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders and as a result some view PAS as junk science. These are mostly feminists or their sympathizers. It can take a long time for a particular disorder to go in the DSM. Tourettes Syndrome took decades upon decades. Homosexuality used to be in it as a disorder. It was removed. The following is the American Psychological Association (APA) http://www.apa.org/ official position on it at this writing.

The American Psychological Association (APA) believes that all mental health practitioners as well as law enforcement officials and the courts must take any reports of domestic violence in divorce and child custody cases seriously. An APA 1996 Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family noted the lack of data to support so-called "parental alienation syndrome", and raised concern about the term's use. However, we have no official position on the purported syndrome.

They do, however, have a good deal of information on PAS on their site and recommend some of Dr. Gardner's books in terms of trying to evaluate a patient.

You can get a lot of good information directly from http://www.paawareness.org/. The founder of this International group, Sarvy Emo, is a Canadian from the GTA and a most helpful, even handed person despite the emotional component of being alienated from your child or children. Therein lies the answer to those of us who have experienced this incredibly and excruciatingly agonizing form of both child and parent abuse. It is hatred toward a target parent using innocent children as a pawn. We know it exists and we have seen the symptoms first hand.

If you suspect you are being alienated do not be passive. It is your worst enemy. Giving your partner time to continue the alienation process will result in a harder job for you to recover your children's loving feelings. Read everything you can on the internet relating to PA, especially from those who have gone through it. There are many good books on it. One I've come to rely on is Dr. Warshak's "Divorce Poison." What he says in it is from practical experience in his practice and an alienated parent can identify easily with his case studies. He offers helpful suggestions on counter acting the problem.

This leads us to creating greater awareness of this heartbreaking form of child abuse. Every April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day. This year will be the 4th Annual PAA day. The official website can be accessed here. http://www.paawarenessday.org/. On this site it will explain to you how to volunteer in your community to help get a proclamation. On this page you can get a very good idea of how the movement toward creating greater awareness is growing world wide based on events on April 25, 2006-2008. http://www.paawareness.org/events.asp

The following is a direct quote from the web site.

"WHY HAVE AN AWARENESS DAY?

If more people knew about how Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive parenting works, and how damaging these behaviors are to children, then more people can help deal with the problem.

With awareness and education will come social change. Just as now one can't slap a child, or smoke while pregnant, without everyone knowing that is not acceptable behavior, when social change happens, parents behaving in parental alienation or hostile aggressive parenting behaviors will be recognized. These adults will understand how their behavior hurts their own children, and if they choose to do it regardless, they will not be able to get away with their behavior as easily as today.

There are many professionals such as judges, lawyers, psychiatrists, teachers, police officers, as well the general public that have no idea this problem exists, or if they do, don't realize the harm it does. The aim of the Awareness Day is to make everyone aware of these problems and encourage the alienating, hostile aggressive parents to seek help.

With awareness comes education, and with education, comes the power to stop the mental and emotional abuse of children.-Sarvy Emo"

A sample letter to send to your Mayor, MP, MLA, MPP, PM, Premier is as follows:

Dear (X)

April 25th is designated as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. Official proclamations have been made in many countries, states and cities around the world. The event is active within the following countries currently. Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. Within the U.S.A. 17 States have proclaimed this day. The International Organization behind the raising of awareness was founded by a Canadian woman and has grown steadily over the past 5 years.

Perhaps you are asking yourself what this thing called Parental Alienation is. Clearly that is why we are wanting to raise awareness as it is not very well understood and so we are eliciting your help.

Parental Alienation (PA) is a form of child abuse that involves the systematic persuasion and manipulation of children both overtly, and with subtle behaviors that results in the destruction of a loving relationship they once shared with a parent.

The child can suffer "collateral" damage through simple exposure to the conflict or if used as a weapon against the other parent.

PA is a case of rage over reason, and inevitably scars all involved-children, "target" spouse, and perpetrator. For the child, such damage can last well into adulthood, a lifetime in some cases, and be the cause of tragic consequences.

Most people do not know about PA until they experience it.

Parental Alienation Awareness Day has been organized for the benefit of both:

-- the children who may suffer Parental Alienation;

-- the adults on whom these children depend for emotional stability - their parents.

I am asking you to give consideration to proclaiming, within your area of jurisdiction, April 25, 2009 and each successive year following. The websites for more information are here http://www.paawarenessday.org/ and here http://www.paawareness.org/.

Thank you

Yours truly,

Mike Murphy Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Just add your own name to the salutation.

Later this month a major International conference on PA is being held in Toronto. Some of our colleagues in F4J Canada and the equal parenting movement are presenters.

March 27 - 29, 2009

http://www.cspas.ca

The Canadian Symposium For Parental Alienation Syndrome (CS-PAS), is an educational conference for Canadian and international mental health professionals, family law attorney's and other professionals dedicated to the prevention and treatment of Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome.

CS-PAS has generously offered our GOLD members a $100.00 rebate to this event. To upgrade or become a GOLD member for only $10, click here.

In order to qualify for your rebate, you will have to put the letters 'PAAO' after your last name when registering.

Parental Alienation - Canadian Court Rulings

Updated August 6, 2008

All Canadian laws, including provincial, territorial and federal laws, and many court decisions can be viewed for free on the website of the Canadian Legal Information Institute at: Link opens in a NEW browser window www.CANLII.org

The reference to Carswell: Carswell is a legal information publisher.

Alberta

  • Elliott v. Elliott, A.J. No. 74 DRS 96-05285 Action No. 4806-10272 Alberta Crt of Queen's Bench, Jud. Dist. of Lethbridge/Macleod, Jan 25, 1996.
    • Elliott v. Elliott, 1996 Carswell Alta 95, 193 A.R. 177, 135 W.A.C. 177, 27 R.F.L. (4th) 23 Alberta Court of Appeals. Nov 7, 1996 (Affirmed--Appeal Dismissed)
  • Johnson v. Johnson, No. 4806-11508a, Jud Dist. of Lethbridge/Macleod, Oct. 09, 1997

British Columbia

New Brunswick

  • S.O. v. S.C.O, N.B.J. No. 326, Proceeding No. FDSJ-400-98. New Brunswick Crt of Queen's Bench, Family Division-Jud. Dist. of St. John. Jul 28, 1999.
  • Jefferson v. Jefferson, New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench Docket: FDSJ-6408.95. 2000 CarswellNB 15. Jan 18, 2000.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Toope v. Toope, 2000 Carswell Nfld 185, 8 R.F.L. (5th) 446, 193 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 313, 582 A.P.R. 313. Newfoundland Unified Family Court June 15, 2000.

Nova Scotia

  • Badakhshan v. Moradi, Nova Scotia Fam Court. 1993 CarswellNS 423;120 N.S.R.(2d) 405; 332 A.P.R. 405. Mar 2, 1993.

Ontario (Updated with the Turnbull and McWatt decisions March 2/09 as well as the search link on CanLii.org)

  • Rothwell v. Kisko, 1991 CarswellOnt 1326. Ontario Crt of Just. (Gen'l Div.) Docket# 36429/89, Mar 21, 1991.
  • Davy v. Davy, Ontario Court of Justice (Gen'l Div)Docket 92-gd-21948. 1993 Carswell Ont 1630;1993 W.D.F.L 1535. Oct 7, 1993.
  • Fortin v. Major, O.J. No. 3805 DRS 97-01672, Court File No. 49729/94 Ontario Crt of Justice (Gen'l Div: Ottawa), Oct 25, 1996.
  • Demers v. Demers, Ontario Superior Court, Docket: Kingston 54253/96. 1999 Carswell Ont 2621. June 8, 1999.
  • Orsak v Orsak, Ontario Superior Court of Justice Docket: 97-FP-234664. 2000 Carswell Ont 1574. May 5, 2000. http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2000/2000canlii22529/2000canlii22529.html PDF Click here
  • Her Majesty the Queen vs. K.C. Superior Court of Justice, Ontario, County of Durham, Central-East Region, Court File No. 9520/01. August, 9, 2002. (Mohan Test)
  • Rogerson v. Tessaro, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Docket: C44199, May 9, 2006. [mentions alienating conduct but not "syndrome."] http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onca/doc/2006/2006canlii15126/2006canlii15126.html PDF Click here
  • Petternuzzo-Deschene v. Deschene, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Docket: 22661. 2007 WL 22984642007 (Ont. S.C.J.), Carswell Ont 5095. August 8, 2007. [specifically mentions PAS and cites a description of alienating behavior as abuse]
  • S.P. and P.B.D., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No. 22661. August 10, 2007. http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2007/2007canlii31787/2007canlii31787.html PDF Click here
  • J.K.L. v. N.C.S., 2008 CanLII 30289 (ON S.C.) — 2008-04-22, Ontario — Superior Court of Justice, child — severe PAS — parent — father — time cited by 3 cases , Turnbull decision transferring custody to Mother, 13 year old son sent to therapy, Dr. Richard Warshak Expert Witness. PDF Click here
  • A.G.L. v. K.B.D., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No.: 99-FP-246860FIS, Date: 20090116, J. Mcwatt decision changing custody of 3 daughters to father after 10 years of PA. Severe PAS, Dr. Richard Warshak Expert Witness. Mother to be restrained from seeing children for a time. PDF Click here
  • S.G.B. v. S.J.L., 2009 CanLII 4523 (ON S.C.) — 2009-02-06, Ontario — Superior Court of Justice , arbitrator — father — children's best interests — parental alienation — apprehension of bias. PDF Click here

Quebec

  • Stuart-Mills, P. v. Cher, A.J.., Sup. Ct. Quebec, Dist. of Montreal, No. 500-12-184613-895 (1991).
  • V. (L.) C. H. (E.), 1992 CarswellQue 169; 45 Q.A.C. 100; 1992 R.J.Q. 855; 1992 R.D.F. 316 Cour d'appel du Quebec, Feb 26, 1992.
  • R.M c. B.R, [1994] A.Q. no 947. DRS 95-09809 No 200-09-000440-948 (200-12-042928-904 C.S.Q.) (Quebec, decision in French only) Oct. 28, 1994
  • R.F. v. S.P., [2000] Q.J. Np. 3412 No. 500-12-250739-004 Quebec Superior Court (Montreal) Oct. 13, 2000.

Saskatchewan

To get up-to-date information on your province go to http://www.canlii.org/en/index.php, click on your geographic preference to the left, type Parental Alienation into full text, type in decision date on left, 2008 (or year you want) and then type 2009 on the right or leave blank. Click on search.

A short list of Books I recommend on the subject of PA and the need for dads in the lives of their children.:

Divorce Poison (takes you to Dr. Warshaks Divorce Poison control Centre), Dr. Richard Warshak ( I recommend this highly, very up-to-date with helpful remedies.) Check your library for availability.

A Kidnapped Mind, Pamela Richardson, with Jane Broweleit, A tragic Canadian Story of PAS, Pamela is a speaker at the PAA conference in Toronto in the Saturday March 28, 2009 session.

Children Held Hostage, Link takes you to F.A.C.T. website for a review. Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children, S. Clawer PHD, Brynne V. Rivlin, M.S.S., Section of Family Law, American Bar Association

Cheated, Ron & Ariel Smith. A story of a father who would not give up on his alienated children. Ron founded “Children Need both Parents, Inc.

Between Fathers & Daughters, Enriching and Rebuilding Your Adult Relationship, Dr. Linda Nielsen

Save the Males, Why men matter - Why women should care, Kathleen Parker. Kathleen was raised by a single dad. She is an inspiration for fathers. The link is to a blog discussing her work and the book.

A Promise to Ourselves, A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce, Alec Baldwin. Set aside politics and read the book. Conservative MRA’s call Baldwin names due to his Liberal politics. but his experience has no politics. It is, for many of us, despite different political outlooks the same terrible experience of alienation and court injustice. The link is to the NY Times review of the book.

Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind , Dr. Amy Baker, A speaker at the PAA conference in Toronto in the Friday evening session March 27, 2009 session at 8:00 PM. A book signing follows at 10:00.PM. She researched adult children who were subjected to PA and discusses the impacts on their lives. Her web site was not working at this writing. http://www.amyjlbaker.com/

Excerpts from the book.

Characteristics of Adult Victims of Parental Alienation*

Parents are divorced 75%

They are divorced 58%

Suffered from depression 70%

Problems with drugs or alcohol 35%

Estranged from their own children 50%

Recent News on PAS

The most recent news from the Family Courts with respect to the recognition of PAS was the McWatt decision in January, 2009. The following is excerpted from the National Post. Click on the link below to read the rest. If it is not complete or you want more go to my blogs for other articles on this decision.. Select articles from this page here: http://www.google.ca/cse?cx=partner-pub-0316852357338142%3Avdf5or7sybb&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=McWatt&sa=Search

The PDF of this decision can be download in the case law section above as can the Turnbull decision of 2008. Both are near the bottom of the list under Ontario.

Parental Alienation Videos

Three Keys to Healing PA. Note when this video finishes others will appear at the bottom. Click on anyone to view.

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