I respond to this article on www. singlemum.com.au and on Linkedin in the context of parental alienation as a form of emotional and psychological child abuse and family violence. False allegations of abuse and parental alienation leave our children at risk and degrade the integrity of people and children who make appropriate claims.
I regret to say that both #alienatingfathers and #alienatingmothers are at least anecdotally equally predisposed to use whatever tactic they can to deliberately abuse their children by rupturing a loving relationship between the child and the other parent. The use of allegations of abuse and sexual abuse in particular, seems to be an all-time favourite in an environment where family law is required to prioritise children’s safety and where many men feel that there is an automatic presumption of guilt.
And just how false are these allegations? A visiting specialist from the USA on a recent speaking tour sponsored by the Australian Psychological Society reported that biological fathers only commit about 5% of all sexual abuse and that only one in 300 7-year-old girls has been sexually abused by their biological father.
Unsubstantiated means exactly that. There is no evidence to support the allegation or are we now no longer presuming innocence?
I regret to say that the field of family violence and abuse risks being undermined by allegations that are either false or simply cannot be substantiated and by articles such as this that attempt to conflate allegations of abuse as the sole province of men, especially when, as this article states the evidence suggests that women make almost an equal proportion of false allegations of abuse
In the context of parental alienation there is no gender and attempts to make the use of false allegations of abuse the unique domain of men against women do not reflect the reality. It would be interesting to see the outcome of more balanced investigations into allegations of abuse.
For example, a 2012 study of family law applications (Bala. N) revealed that claims of parental alienation were roughly divided equally between mothers and fathers. What is the correlation between allegations of parental alienation and allegations of abuse? That would be an interesting hypothesis to investigate by research.
The article says, “Child sex offenders are masters of manipulation”. So indeed are alienating parents who use an allegation of abuse to “trip the family law safety fuse” and/or then make an allegation that it is the other parent who is alienating their children from them!
Yes, “abusers threaten the child into silence, groom the child and groom all those responsible for the child safety”. This is exactly what alienating parent do! Children can give evidence about the events that they firmly believe happened to them but never have. Unfortunately, the presumption that children always tell the truth all of the time when it comes to abuse is simply not correct where there is a possibility of alienation. This is because alienation of a child leads them to develop a false reality that they firmly believe is true. (the independent thinker phenomena).
Is it also possible that if a father is applying for residence of their children then they have a very compelling case that their children have been abused whilst in the care of the other parent? It would be interested to hear if anyone knows of a case where residence has been changed on the basis of an unsubstantiated allegation of abuse. In the work that I do I have not known of residence to be changed without very compelling and substantiated reasons why the child is being emotionally and psychologically disadvantaged or even abused in the care of the residential parent whether it is a mother or father. Indeed, it is more likely for both mothers and fathers that the child will remain in the residence of the accusing parent, even when the accusation of abuse does not lead to a conviction.
At the end of the day, we are all on the same page here. None of us want our children abused; none of us want a child’s loving relationship with a parent ruptured. Perhaps we can best achieve this is by putting integrity back into the way allegations of abuse and parental alienation are dealt with. At the end of the day these are one and the same thing. The false allegation of parental alienation is abuse as is the use of a false allegation of abuse to alienate children.