Over 172 family law academics, domestic violence experts and children’s rights organisations around the world have written to the World Health Organisation (WHO) raising concerns about the health body’s decision to consider classifying parental alienation as a “Caregiver-child relationship problem”.
The classification is being considered as an entry to the WHO’s official guide on diseases.
The Memo of Concern, which features signatories from 10 different countries, asks the WHO to remove references to parental alienation and related concepts in a section of the agency’s formal guide on health conditions about diseases on the grounds that alienation allegations are used to mask domestic abuse and frustrates decisions intended to be made in the best interests of children.
The memo was published on 22nd April and includes a summary of individuals’ and organisations’ concerns over the classification:
“It has recently come to our collective attention that the World Health Organization is considering the addition of “parental alienation” (PA) as a “caregiver-child relationship problem” in ICD-11, the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision.
We are surprised by the lack of prior consultation in connection with gender equality issues associated with the concept and are deeply concerned about this proposal from a women’s safety and child development, health and safety point of view, as well as from research and science perspectives.
We are requesting removal of all references to “parental alienation” and related concepts in ICD-11 for the reasons set out in the attached document. Our research and experience in court has demonstrated that parental alienation, which lacks credibility, is frequently employed to divert attention from domestic violence and abuse and other evidence relevant to the best interests of the child.”
Many thanks to Teresa for sharing this development with Researching Reform.
It’s inequality as PAS is only frequently used for mothers not for fathers and if a child speaks in favour of father for instance they don’t have to worry about being seen as alienated parent. So only mothers are under threat of this. This allegation, specially if mothers are trying to protect their abused children or themselves from dv, is extremely mental health creating situation. Here innocent parent who is a victim too, feels trapped, ditched by justice system, being controlled by all professionals in support of perpetrator is further punished for speaking up.
These professionals will often ignore the needs of victims and place them in care of abusers or to deal with them forcefully . This is also a biggest issue because mental health, funding cut, no proper tackling of dv or crime are all interconnected. If the justice system is giving opportunities to perpetrators to abuse why they will not take advantage of it.
I believe, even a primary school child knows what is right and wrong but professionals need to learn this going back to nursery as they are incapable of judging it. Professional will assume that a child is being alienated just because he/she using strong and difficult vocabulary which can’t be used by a primary school child. They have forgotten about that they are dealing with computer generation and currently the level of education in uk has raised a lot in past 7-8 years. Before saying about children’s vocabulary I think professionals need to visit some good schools and see children’s work and leavel. I feel so angry hearing this word PAS. It’s ridiculous. If a child is intelligent to deal with professionals still the mothers are in trouble.
This is a big thing to consider.
Portia Barrett said:
The PAS theory then supports a remedy of placing the child with their alleged abuser and curtailing or severing completely their visitation contact with the former residency parent. In effect a Perverse Reversal of Child Custody (ProCC).
“The PAS theory then supports a remedy of placing the child with their alleged abuser”
You (and others) are conflating two different phenomena. Alleging abuse and alienating a child aren’t the same thing. It is therefore incorrect to use “alleged abuser” as though it was a synonym for “alienated parent”, which is what you have done.
Parental alienation is unjustified pressure on a child to reject a parent. This can happen with or without allegations of abuse. Allegations of abuse can be made with or without parental alienation. They can be used as a method of parental alienation.
Parental alienation itself is one particular type of domestic abuse, both of the child and the alienated parent. The Safe Lives questionnaire for recognising domestic abuse implicitly acknowledges this. An alienated parent is, legally speaking, one example of a victim of domestic violence perpetrated by a former intimate partner.
If a court doesn’t find that allegations of abuse against a parent who alleges parental alienation are untrue or insufficiently serious, it won’t find that there is parental alienation, which is unnecessary pressure. It therefore won’t find a problem that needs a “remedy” and it won’t interfere in the power relationship between the parents.
The conclusion that excluding the alienating parent temporarily works, is evidence-based. It is never the intention that this should be permanent. It is not intended to move the child from one parent to the other, but to procure that the child in future enjoys both parents, by empowering the more peaceable of the two,and subjugamtive the more controlling parent. The alienated parent is empowered to control the child’s contact with the abusive parent, the alienator, and advised to re-introduce the alienator only carefully and slowly, and once the relationship between the non-abusive parent and the child is strong. In one case, this reintroduction of the abuser was accomplished after only about 12 weeks.
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Joe Van Tonder said:
Several of said 172 so called “Concerned Family Law Academics, Family Violence Experts, Family Violence Research Institutes, Child Development and Child Abuse Experts, Children’s Rights Networks and Associations” persons, as listed on the document, are known “Whores of the Court” (referring to the book with the same name by Professor Margaret Hagen, Ph.D).
I also identified some of the “organisations” as copy-cat “organisations” operating the same way as was used successfully promoting the “Istanbul Convention”.
Seven of the names are similar to, or identical to the names of known alienating parties that were or are presently involved in family law litigation.
Nowhere in the memo are any mention of the opinions of at least 1,970 recovering “adult P.A.S. children” presently known to be receiving therapy. The opinions of PASG members ( http://www.pasg.info )are also ignored.
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@JoeVantonder did you only read the list of authors names? Maybe if those authors were known for their use of misogynistic and degrogatory language such as ‘whores’ you’d be more ammenable to their findings? Did you read the entire 20 pages? Because it clearly says that any symptoms currenly attributed to PAS are already covered and explainable under the remit of other existing conditions. As for copycat organisations…. look at how ones like FNF have spawned similar copycat ones…. all crying PA PA PA.woe is me PA PA PA! Talk about denial…..talk about red herrings, talk about self justifciation.. ‘but yer honour it was little old 6st, 5ft 1”, weakling me who was abused by her’, Talk about how many men a week are killed by their partner or ex partners? How many was that? Speak up, I didn’t quite hear you…
What a relief
And here are men telling it like it REALLY is afrer their father murdered their mother and sister. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/our-nice-guy-father-murdered-our-mother-and-sister-yet-the-media-focused-on-his-suicide-38058754.html?fbclid=IwAR1335hk6XYoVf1Uk8aP5WQlkr0NxVfbwX2lk-kRZS0t4Esm_Ng94abnDwE
“telling it like it REALLY is”
What is the “it” to which you are referring?
‘It’ being the reality of what life is like living with abusers who abuse, even to death, their partners and their children both pre and POST seperation. Happy now? If not, it’s not my problem…..
Wes Helmuth said:
Women kill men too. https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-s-woman-jailed-for-killing-husband-with-eye-drops-1.4771718
However, murder has nothing to do with negative co-parenting behaviours. Negative co-parenting behaviours are a form of child abuse that teach children to hate. Longitudinal research studies have proven that negative co-parenting behaviours cause life-long psychological problems with children.
Vincent McGovern said:
It is long overdue that vulnerable children were adequately protected from parental emotional abuse by any parent. The welfare principle applies to the children, not to the wishes of an alienating parent the majority but not all of which are mothers who in my opinion have personality disorders. Parental alienation occurs when a primary parent is determined that the child can love only one parent.
As for the oft expressed and much abused view that the dads represent a greater risk to the children, in the UK more children are killed and harmed by the mothers than by the fathers. Please check coroners reports and serious case reviews for the past decade if in doubt.
On the thorny subject of domestic abuse and the virtual hijacking of it by Duluth model groups, all this is doing is portraying women as perpetual weaklings without agency or independent will. Ironically, this is also the view of some hard line Muslim clerics. Extremes so often have the same view!
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Lorrie, LLG Tactical Coaching said:
Reblogged this on LLG Tactical Coaching and commented:
#StandingUpAndSpeakingOut #ParentalAlienation is #JunkScience
Anyone in support of condemning the WHO for the acknowledgement of this epidemic is more than likely an alienated or narcissist, themselves and by publicly supporting such a condemnation are only exposing their true colors. #IMHO
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*alienator not alienated
I suspect that there’s some phoney-war dialectics afoot here. One of the usual suspects, the United Nations Organisation (through its WHO subsidiary), is suddenly suggesting that the long-understood, well-documented, cruel and sinful misbehaviour we’re only just learning all to call “parental alienation”, often observed on the part of wicked and selfish but mentally-well parents and sick parents alike – the latter sick in all sorts of different ways, should be labeled as a newly discovered *disease* in its own right, which (it follows) only doctors can diagnose, kicking it into the long grass in any court case not funded enough to hire a rare expert trained in delivering the new diagnosis.
My initial reaction is that this WHO move would do more harm than good. The feminists and others rightly oppose it, even if for wrong reasons. Sensible people ought to hope and pray that the WHO drop the whole idea, but that the feminists and other mischief-makers don’t gloat that, because parental alienation isn’t a disease after all (as the WHO has conceded under their pressure), it follows that “so-called parental alienation doesn’t exist”, a slogan I fear they might crow, if they win.
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Harj Soprano said:
Parental alienation is an ideological tool to ensure contact happens – this does not project victims of abuse and if DVA and the impact on the children and resident parent is not fully considered. If protecting is alienation then better of two evils. The reality is let’s look at narcissism in abusers which damages children before accusing good parents of PA for protecting the children. Where is the WHO research on narcissism and impact on child and victim before this useless term of PA is even given a looking.
I’m afraid I don’t see how what you wrote in reply to my comment had anything to do with the content of my comment.
Kenneth Gottfried said:
Is it me, or is there not a signature of who put this together?
I am always very suspicious when a letter comes in without saying who it is from.
Ayla Hofler said:
PAS is real, it is becoming epidemic due to the alarming rate of children born out of wedlock, born by baby mamas and baby daddies,along with the gangster songs that praise this behavior. Alienating a child against the other parent is child abuse, period. It causes life long damage, often mis diagnosed and treated. We need formal recognition and qualified therapists for this condition. We need children who are suffering from this to be removed from the alienating parent immediately until recovered. The parents are doing this to guarantee the child support checks keep coming. It has nothing to do with domestic violence. There is so much abuse of restraining orders and now stalking orders, anything to keep a child to themselves. We need clear and convincing evidence that abuse is happening, not a courtroom full of false allegations by alienating parents lawyers making profit off hearsay and collusion. DHS/CPS are also promoting one parent having the child as it earns money for their departments, via child support. There are many fit parents suffering at the hands of the courts. WHO put this diagnosis in the books and help the children now.
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Not relevant – none of the scientists and authors in the Parental Alienation Study Group, nor dr Warshak, nor dr Childress… have signed it. It was the same with child sexual abuse once.
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There is a certain sort of pseudoscience nowadays, used to back what are essentially political maneuvres, whereby real science, which consists of experiments to test hypotheses, is replaced with surveys of the opinions of a particular sample of scientists. We see this in Warmism, where those who say that “the science” proves their assertions about climate change, when challenged, clarify that what they meant wasn’t that this or that experiment proved them right, but that there was this or that document expressing an opinion, which certain scientists – the most relevant scientists, they say – had signed.
I think we may be witnessing some of that sort of pseudoscience going in here. That’s why the number 172 is quoted in the first sentence, I suggest.
It is said that there is sometimes parental alienation, i.e. unjustified pressure on the part of one parent to induce a child to reject the other parent. It is said that the courts are failing to make findings of fact that this is so, Any change that makes it easier for the courts to make the right decisions, and harder to make the wrong decisions is to be welcomed.
It isn’t easy to predict how inventing an illness that corresponds with a well-known and easily-explained form of child abuse that isn’t (it is said) recognised as often as it exists, will help the courts make fewer mistakes in future. Nor can I see how to predict the benefits and ill-effects of the abandonment of that process of inventing a new illness.
Parental Alienation Blog Radio said:
Domestic Violence can be used as a tool against someone innocent yet we still name it to tame it. Parental alienation can be used as a tool or identified appropriately.
Lawyers should have no say whatsoever as they profit from high conflicts!
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Sylvester Witter said:
Parental alienation is child abuse. Period. Guilty lawyers and malicious child care abusers.
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Ted Wrinch said:
False accusations of ‘parental alienation’, the coalition between a narcissistic parent and the child against the other parent leading to an emotional cutoff, are made by abusers; parental alienation also exists. False accusations can be distinguished, by getting the accusing parent to take a parental competence test (http://www.drcachildress.org/asp/admin/getFile.asp?RID=142&TID=6&FN=pdf), from genuine alienation, where the child will show a characteristic symptomology (http://www.drcachildress.org/asp/admin/getFile.asp?RID=108&TID=6&FN=pdf). The claim by the signatories that it doesn’t exist is a narcissistic gaslight, designed to hide their endorsement of abuse under the guise of and to get narcissistic supply from seeming to protect women and children. In reality, both women and men are losing their children to alienation. By trying to deny it exists, such as by saying it is a solely a ploy by male abusers to take children from protective mothers, the signatories are leaving the women and children affected by it defenceless.
Furthermore the signatories claim that men are abusers and women victims, that violence is perpetrated by men on women. This is sexist but also untrue. The reality is that domestic violence is another form of narcissistic abuse, designed to control its target, and is inflicted by both men and women almost equally on their partners. Male narcissistic abuse tends to the physical and sexual, female narcissistic abuse to psychological and emotional. Both kinds of abuse are damaging to partners and children and should be assessed for and diagnosed, prevented, and treated. Saying that only men are abusers leaves female abusers free to abuse without hinderance.
It should be noted that the signatories are hypocritical: they accept that emotional-psychological abuse damages children when it’s from male abusers (page 9) but deny it exists from females (only male on female abuse is discussed; all the evidence is from feminist-female DV sources, none from fathers rights-male) and that when it’s shown to exist in alienation, such as from Amy Baker’s book, they deny that it’s a problem (page 7).
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[Name Withheld] said:
Our research and experience in court has demonstrated that parental alienation, which lacks credibility, is frequently employed to divert attention from domestic violence and abuse and other evidence relevant to the best interests of the child.”
With regards to the above statement, you obviously haven’t researched my court case, Parental alienation is an illness I suffer with due to a mother who doesn’t want anyone to know what really went on in the marriage. She was a domestic abuser, who violently threatened me, emotionally and psychologically abused me. Get in contact with me if you wish and explain it all.
Dwayne Huston said:
We must return mental health to ONLY use science to protect ALL children from ALL forms of child abuse, including the MOST prevalent and MOST harmful, V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.
Here is the science, which will protect ALL children…
Parental Alienation is a desease I’m proof of that along with thousands of other parents. The people trying to stop this are the ones aiding the abusers.
Needless parental alienation is a reality and a form of child abuse. I know that because I have observed it. Whether it serves any useful purpose to classify the phenomenon as a disease is quite another question. What children at risk need is for courts to become less reluctant to make a finding of fact that parental alienation is being inflicted upon a child, not to give them another excuse not to do this, on the grounds that there aren’t enough experts to diagnose the so-called “disease” in even a fraction of the cases.