I am thankful to the University of Adelaide, Australia and SAHMRI for hosting the parental alienation symposium in September 2017.
In the video, I am presenting to a group of approximately 100 alienated parents, extended family members, legal and affiliated professionals and practitioners who have a stake (personal and professional) in parental alienation.
This was followed by a panel discussion with parental alienation specialists, legal practitioners and parent representatives. The discussion was lively, informative and collaborative. It became apparent that extended family members (grandparents, aunties, uncles) who have also been rejected remain unheard by our socio-legal institutions.
Practitioners of various persuasions were also frustrated at being unable to adequately respond to what they experienced as a flood of allegations of violence and abuse. These allegations,occurring in the context of alienation, often cannot be substantiated yet are required to be considered and are influential in terms of the family law mandate about child safety.
It seems that a large gap was identified between the legal expectations that our family law systems responds to presentations such as parental alienation and the lived experience of the alienated parents and extended family in whose experience adverse decisions are made against them. Parental alienation is poorly understood as a form of abuse.
Significantly, there appears to be a large gap between the functional description of parental alienation as a form of family violence (Section 4AB of the Family Law Act, 1975) and kits implications for formulating a case based upon parental alienation.