AS A FEMINIST, AN EQUALITIST, AND A MEMBER OF NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN, I am disgusted by NOW”s tactics to spread propaganda about Parental Alienation. They have blatantly and conveniently ignored the many women who have sought help through them as they experience PAS, and National Organization of Women continues to spread lies to their base.
If I was not aware of Parental Alienation I would have blindly accepted their false statements as truth. Let the truth be told and allow feminists to think for themselves and not follow like sheep. To my fellow feminists out there: I urge to you be objective.
Parental Alienation is Gender Neutral and affects Mothers, Fathers, and Children, and countless families and friends!
READ THE FOLLOWING FALSE STATEMENTS MADE BY NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN!!:
1) FALSE STATEMENT: Proponents of PAS, predominantly right-wing “fathers’ rights” groups, have been trying for years to force legitimacy upon this unfounded theory
TRUTH*** Women’s Groups and Father’s Groups are working towards the inclusion of Parental Alienation. It is gender-neutral.
2) FALSE STATEMENT: PAS is a tactical ploy used by attorneys whose clients (primarily fathers) are seeking custody of their children.
TRUTH*** Although PAS could, at any time, be used as a ploy by either parent. However, if Judges, Parental Coordinators, and Guardian Ad Litems, etc., are educated about Parental Alienation then this won’t be a concern (or at least any more of a concern than any other false accusation that either parent could make. By remaining ignorant to the issues that both Mothers and Fathers face, the court system is failing families. Gardner outlined the 8 manifestations of Parental Alienation, and many other researchers have backed up his theory. In cases of actual abuse, Parental Alienation can not be considered a factor!
3) FALSE STATEMENT: A protective parent who accuses her/his ex-spouse of harming their child(ren) is deemed mentally ill — solely by virtue of the accusation.
TRUTH*** Parental Alienation Syndrome, or Parental Alienation Disorder in no way suggests that the parent who accuses his/her ex-spouse of harming the children is deemed mentally ill-solely by virtue of the accusation. NOW would like you to believe this, but it is outright false. Parental Alienation is the act of the parent alienating the child, however PAS/PAS describes when the child has succumbed to the effects of Parental Alienation.
4) FALSE STATEMENT: Ludicrously, the PAS theory holds that the protective parent and child can only be “cured” of their “disease” by being totally separated.
TRUTH*** Again, NOW would like to have you believe this is the truth. The goal is to recognize that children need to have a relationship with both parents. CHILDREN NEED BOTH PARENTS.
5) FALSE STATEMENT: …Children may go through a phase of “splitting” their parents, lavishing love on one and anger toward the other. Responsible research has shown these phases to be temporary.
TRUTH*** In normal divorces, children may go through a temporary phase of uncertainty, however in cases where Parental Alienation exists the children’s alienation could potentially be lifelong. I’ve heard parents tell me their children were alienated anywhere from 5-45+ years.
6) FALSE STATEMENT: No valid, empirical evidence exists for such a mental disorder (PAS)
TRUTH*** As stated by Linda J. Gottlieb, LMFT: “IT IS JUNK SCIENCE TO STATE THAT THE PAS IS JUNK SCIENCE! To cite a mere few references which reject the PAS is to overlook the preponderance of scientific support and evidence from the practices world-wide of mental health and matrimonial practitioners. The support for the PAS is well-documented by (Baker, 2007; Barden, 2006; Gottlieb, 2012; Kopetski, 2006; Lorandos, 2006; Lowenstein, 2006; Sauber, 2006; Steinberger, 2006; Warshak, 2001, 2006, 2010; just to cite a fraction.)”
Read the entire article by the NOW Foundation below:
For decades now, many women involved in child custody battles have been victimized in court by the use of a phony syndrome labeled “parental alienation syndrome (PAS)” or “parental alienation disorder (PAD).” Proponents of PAS, predominantly right-wing “fathers’ rights” groups, have been trying for years to force legitimacy upon this unfounded theory by pushing for its inclusion in a reference volume used widely in the mental health field. As the deadline approaches for comments on revisions to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it now appears tat the American Psychiatric Association (APA) may bow to political pressure and include PAS/PAD, but under another name.
PAS is a tactical ploy used by attorneys whose clients (primarily fathers) are seeking custody of their children. Often these fathers face allegations of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse of their children, and their use of PAS is an extension of years of controlling behavior. It works like this: A protective parent who accuses her/his ex-spouse of harming their child(ren) is deemed mentally ill — solely by virtue of the accusation. If the child fears the accused parent, the child is said to also suffer the same mental illness of PAS. Ludicrously, the PAS theory holds that the protective parent and child can only be “cured” of their “disease” by being totally separated, with the child placed in the exclusive custody of the feared parent. Only in centuries past could this be thought to improve the mental health of protective parents or their children.
It is true that high-conflict divorce and child custody cases can engender intense emotional responses. Many divorcing couples go through a phase of feeling deeply wronged and completely innocent, and they want everyone they know — including their child(ren) — to choose their side. For their part, children may go through a phase of “splitting” their parents, lavishing love on one and anger toward the other. Responsible research has shown these phases to be temporary. Describing such behavior as a mental disorder is unjustified.
NOW chapters across the country have heard from hundreds of women who have been harmed by PAS accusations in custody cases. Many mothers have lost custody of their children to abusive ex-spouses due to PAS. The APA should not legitimize this theory, which is not used to improve mental health outcomes but merely to discount a child’s fear of a hostile or abusive parent, discredit and legally punish the protective parent, cover up abuse and other bad behavior, escape child support payments, and “win” possession of the child.
Even though APA reviewers have indicated that they will not be adopting the terms PAS or PAD, women’s rights advocates believe they may give credibility to this supposed disorder in another way. Dr. Darrel A. Regier of the DSM-5 Task Force informed NOW Foundation recently that the current recommendation is to have a “Parent-Child Problem designation.” Regier did not clarify whether this meant that PAS/PAD could be included under a different name within the “Parent-Child Problem” category. Until this is spelled out, the possibility remains that this discredited syndrome will be legitimized through its inclusion in the DSM-5. Regier declined to share further information or draft language for the “Parent-Child Problem” section. The controversial and highly politicized nature of PAS seems to have resulted in a lack of transparency in the process. It is also worth noting that the DSM has been criticized previously for including mental disorders for which there is insufficient or biased evidence.
Inclusion in the DSM-5 of any designation similar to PAS will invite judges and other court personnel — who may not understand that no valid, empirical evidence exists for such a mental disorder — to dismiss women’s claims of abuse at the hands of their spouses. Children of a violent or sexually abusive parent could be placed at further risk.
NOW Foundation opposes the inclusion of the so-called PAS/PAD in the DSM-5 under any name or category. The American Psychiatric Association is soliciting final comments on the revisions to the DSM-5 by June 15. We encourage you to send messages to the APA via their interactive website. Tell the APA that you oppose the inclusion of the so-called parental alienation syndrome in DSM-5 in ANY FORM. Please make sure to emphasize the fact that the American Bar Association has determined PAS to be inadmissible in court because it does not meet evidentiary standards. Accusations of PAS protect real abusers at the expense of women and children who have already been victimized.
NOW Foundation’s law intern contirbuted to this story.
NOW Foundation Letter to the American Psychiatric Association opposing recognition in the DSM-V of the so-called Parental Alienation Disorder/Syndrome
“Parental Alienation Syndrome and Alienated Children — getting it wrong in child custody cases” – Carol S. Bruch, UC Davis School of Law
“A Historical Perspective on Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation,” Joan Meier, 6 Journal of Child Custody 232-257 (2009)
“The Misuse of Parental Alienation Syndrome in Custody Suites,” Joan Meier, in The Family Context, p. 147-164 (volume 2 of Violence Against Women in Families and Relationships) Edited by Evan Stark and Eve S. Buzawa, Santa Barbara: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2009