Parental Alienation Syndrome*
Other World-Wide Divorced Parents site are
http://members.xoom.com/WWDD and http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/cecilian/630/
World-Wide Divorced Parents also gave credit to:
The effects of PAS on the child and Target Parent Dean Tong on his Abuse Excuse
The Father's Manifesto Forum (statistics)
National Shared Parenting Association's Press ReleasePAS Directory
Effects of Fatherless Studies
WWDD Citation: Thanks to the many law enforcement offices that were contacted by World-Wide Divorced Fathers for information.
|Which parent is the better
parent for the child? Believing
that children need to be nurtured, courts have traditionally given
mothers. But recently, fathers have been seeking custody rights.
parents can cooperate and devise parenting plans, all too often the
become involved. And all too often during these custody battles, one
alleges abuse by the other parent.
Before 1963 and 1993, reports of suspected child abuse grew from 160,000 to over 2.9 million cases reported annually.
Senator Walter Mondale's alleged child protection legislation has been the culprit! The Mondale Act of 1974 or the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was well intentioned: the CAPTA program matches monies to states which comply with the those of its provisions requiring states to set up programs to identify and prosecute child abusers. But instead CAPTA created an epidemic of false allegations of abuse.
According to Austin, the flaw stems (1) from CAPTA's definition of child abuse (the definition is vague and ambiguous and allows the subjective discretion of either the person who reports the abuse or the investigator), (2) from the failure of Child Protective Service (CPS) workers to be properly trained (the author, Austin, appears to be less concerned with the training of law-enforcement officers, who also investigate abuse reports), (3) from the CPS workers having the authority to deny a parent access to the children even if there is a court order which allows them to have visitation with the children, (4) from the CPS worker's fear of lack of employment, and (5) from the CPS worker's fear of punishment or even imprisonment if the evaluator does not report suspected abuse and the child goes back to an abusive situation.
~ NOTE ~
"In 1975, 35 percent of all child abuse reports were unsubstantiated, but by 1993, that percentage sky-rocketed to 66 percent. In divorce, when allegations are made and the police conduct investigations, 97 percent of these claims are unable to be substantiated. It is obvious that many allegations of abuse which are reported in divorce situations are false and 95 percent of those accusers are women."
All-too-often consumed by vengeance, divorcing parents all-too-often forget that the children need to love and be loved by both parents. "Children are being used as pawns to hurt or destroy the other parent. These false allegations of abuse, even if proven to be false, can ruin someone's life and have a devastating effect on the children."
Two syndromes have emerged into prominence during the last two decades. The first syndrome is the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). It is controversial: some say "PAS does not exist" and others say it is used both by "courts to take the children from their mothers" and by "fathers and attorneys as an aggressive defense for physical and sexual abuse."
The Reverend Austin has delineated three types of alienators:
1. the naïve alienator, someone who, on one hand, recognizes the importance of parent-child relationships and encourages them, but, on the other, occasionally says something that may alienate. Although the reverend doesn't say it, falseallegations.com suspects he means the alienating statement is said inadvertently, accidentally.
2. the active alienator, someone who alienates the children from the other parent by lashing out at the other parent in front of the children. The active alienator might, for instance, give the children the choice of visiting with the noncustodial parent even though the court has visitation to the noncustodial parent.
3. the obsessed alienator, someone who consistently acts to keep the children on the alienator's side and "campaigns to destroy their relationship with the targeted parent." Obsessed, the alienating parent, Austin wrote, is "bitter and angry" and tries to vilify the target parent. The goal is to "remove" the targeted parent from the children's lives and "to set [him- or herself] up as a victim/hero."
a. false allegations of domestic violence,
b. sexual or physical or emotional abuse of the child,
c. mental illness on the part of the target parent, or
d. alcoholism/drug abuse/homosexuality on the part of the target parent.
PAS is a form of parentectomy, or the removal or erasure of a parent from the child's life.
The second syndrome is Sexual Allegations In Divorce (SAID). "SAID is a false accusation against one parent, usually the father, for molesting the child," and according to Austin, is often used by women to and is used more often than an allegation of physical abuse, inasmuch as there is often no physical evidence.
As anticipated, Austin calls attention to the mass hysteria, the sensitivity or outrage, about child abuse and and bemoans the loss of the presumption of innocence when a sexual allegation is made: "Instead of being innocent until proven guilty, the accused child molester, especially fathers, are guilty until proven innocent." The immediate result of being deemed guilty is separation of child and father and the imposition of limited and supervised visitation. "Frank Zepezauer states that `in some jurisdictions, the accusation can send a man to prison for life. In others, it can incarcerated him for ten or twenty years or more and brand him, for the rest of his life as a sex offender. At the very least, it can immobilize him in custody proceedings by involving him in costly litigation.'"
According to Austin or
Zepezauer (it is
the accusing parent is motivated by:
a. fear of losing their parental identity,
b. loss of family structure,
d. rage, and
Austin claims that SAID has spread worldwide, but gives only scant statistics.
Austin also claims that the
coupled with leading questions or suggestive counseling result in
a. developing false memories,
b. being left fatherless,
c. becoming depressed,
d. becoming sometimes suicidal,
e. losing self-esteem, and
f. sometime turning against the alienator in adolescence when
they realize they have been "brainwashed" against the other
parent. [falseallegations.com is less convinced that this
Statistics of fatherless children. Attributing some statistics to a David Blankenhorn, whose affiliation and sources are not provided, Austin writes that "40 percent of American children will live apart from their fathers sometime before they are 18" . . . and attributes almost every teenage ill on the SAID phenomenon.
"`Children who are deprived of their natural fathers, compared to children in two-parent families, are more likely to go to prison by 8 times, to commit suicide by 5 times, to have behavioral problems by 20 times, to become rapists by 20 times, to run away by 32 times to abuse chemical substances by 10 times, to drop out of high school by 9 times, to be seriously abused by 33 times, to be fatally abused by 73 times and to have a 44 percent higher mortality rate.'"
falseallegations.com suggests that it would be helpful
to both sides of this controversy to have reliable statistics.
Statistics that alarm or that have no solid source and bases do a disservice to those who have been victimized by PAS and/or SAID.
It is unclear whom Austin is
it does appear that the words might have originated from some
as set out by Austin.
The grief of the target parent. In this section, Austin seems to be writing -- poignantly -- from personal experience. "In essence, their children have died," he wrote. He speaks of all the heinous repercussions on the targeted parent, emotional -- including suicide of fathers -- as well as financial repercussions from an often unending battle for one's children and for the return of one's good name.