St Albans dad speaks to Parliament about parent alienation
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A St Albans father has gone to Parliament as part of his bid to make ‘parental alienation’ a crime.
The man, who we are not naming to protect the identity of his ex-partner and son, was invited to the Houses of Parliament on August 29 to meet MPs as part of a task force formed to raise awareness and bringing about legislation around parental alienation - the process and result of psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent, relative or others.
The 36-year-old dad met Welsh Assembly member, Neil McAvoy, who is also campaigning against parental alienation after suffering the trauma himself.
Previously, agencies such as social services and Cafcass (Child and Family Court Advisory Support Service) have denied the existence of parental alienation, but in May it recognised as a health issue by the World Health Organisation, which considered it to be a form of child abuse. In Brazil and Mexico it has already been a criminal offence for several years.
Now parental alienation is receiving more attention and if it is criminalised, the hope is that it will stop many parents from carrying out this abuse.
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The St Albans said: "I am a father to a nine year-old boy. I spent seven years in the family court trying to fight for access to see him.
"Over 25 orders were made for contact but they were broken.
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"The courts were so concerned for his welfare that they ordered social services to conduct a report to see if parental alienation had taken place and if my son should be removed from his mother's care.
"In March of this year, I came to the realisation that parental alienation had become so entrenched with my son and that he was suffering such severe emotional and psychological harm that the only option was to stop all contact with him."
Since then, the dad-of-three has been supporting others affected by parental alienation through national charity Families Need Fathers, which also campaigning to raise awareness and has demonstrated at the Royal Courts of Justice and Downing Street.
"I was alienated from my father and I don't want history to repeat itself," added the dad.
For more information visit fnf.org.uk/