The Great Parent Alienation Hoax


Our Voices

The Great Parent Alienation Hoax

Laura was happy to separate amicably from her husband and agreed to liberal access until the custody could be decided through the divorce. No matter what she thought of her husband, he was the children’s father and she would do everything to make the new living arrangements as normal as possible. They did not own their home and so there was no claim to property rights but it was agreed that Laura would stay on with the children as her flexible part-time working hours allowed for maintaining some routine for the children in their community. Community is important to Laura as she had become estranged from her own family. In fact as the separation became difficult to navigate it seemed she was more and more alone in her family situation. Her husband became a close confidant to Laura’s mother and in time Laura’s  mother would turn her back on her completely taking the side of her ex husband and asking her to stop all this nonsense. 

The children came home from time away in their father’s care and un-ashamedly told their mother what had been done to their bodies by the person caring for them.  What they were telling constituted ritualistic sexual abuse and seemed to be so extraordinary that Laura went looking for help on how to deal appropriately with the dire circumstances her children reported to be in. As her nightmare unfolded she thought more about instances from the past and she realised  there was a pattern of incidents and behaviour which the children’s disclosures were a part of. Naturally Laura’s only concern was to find out what was happening to her children and protect them from further abuse. Laura spoke to professional social workers and brought her children to a specialist assessment facility.

The next mind bending experience for Laura on the journey to protect her children came after she had reported her children’s disclosures to the Gardai. The Gardai said the forensic evidence would need to be taken in a Sexual Assault Trauma Unit and availability for children is limited. Laura went to court to have access stopped while she took her children to be forensically examined. The courts did not agree and the Gardai didn’t come to court to give evidence that an investigation was in progress. The courts did not stop access and the collection of forensic evidence was no longer possible. The hurdles Laura faced to getting  evidence,  necessary to protect her children from further abuse became the evidence that one of the perpetrators sexually abusing her children would use to give their personal diagnosis of the situation to the court. Laura’s actions to go to any lengths to protect her children would be turned on her in the family court and used to claim she was psychologically and emotionally abusing her children by focusing on trying to protect her children from sexual assault. The perpetrator tied up her time with endless court applications and affidavits focusing on destroying her credibility in the courts eyes. Laura would never have believed something like this could ever happen in a modern western country. Laura has learned that similar cases occur all the time in western countries where families turn to the courts seeking justice and protection. 

Then came the unthinkable response from the court appointed expert in the family law proceedings which would isolate her completely from her only remaining family, her children, and attempt to sever the bond created at birth. Laura had promised her children that everything would be okay if they told the professionals what they had told her. Laura promised to keep them safe and protect them from harm just as she had done the day each of them arrived into the world carrying with them their unique wonder and immense responsibility.

Today through the court system Laura’s  children have been removed and placed in the custody of someone Laura believes and her children disclosed to be a  ritualistic sexual predator. Her children have been removed from their community and Laura has had to fight to have her access to her children reinstated, then to have the supervision she had to pay for removed and to be allowed to love and care for her children once again. The court appointed expert declared that if her children ever disclose abuse in the future or as adults; then those memories were planted in the minds of the children by their mother in order to alienate them from their father. The therapeutic intervention model used by the court appointed expert was to force reunification with the person the children had accused of abusing them.

Laura has received no answers and has been offered no support from state services. Each time she tried to speak up about her children’s abuse and to protest at how her ex husband so easily groomed esteemed professionals, she has been silenced and her children punished. Today Laura has been forced to accept that if she is to be allowed to have a relationship with her children and be allowed to care for them by the state then she may not pursue protection on behalf of her children and is to be grateful for her children being allowed to see her at all.

It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the effects of this separation on her or her children. Laura believes today that if state responses, policy and procedures operated from a perspective of protection, then her children would be safe from sexual violence today and the facts of what happened in her case would be under review in the public interest. Instead the courts fixation on maintaining contact at all cost with a sexual predator who makes counter claims against domestic abuse of parental alienation has led to her children being removed from her care. Laura has been told by some  that she is now the alienated parent or that the children have been alienated. However Laura left a coercively controlling man and her punishment was the destruction of the children, she turned to the Irish state for help and her and children’s voices were discredited and buried, sound familiar?