Parental alienation is already being misused in our family courts to the extent that victims of domestic abuse are afraid to disclose abuse for fear of being accused of alienation.
In America, more than fifty thousand children each year are forced by courts into unsupervised contact with an abusive parent. More than 70% of domestic abuse perpetrators gain custody of children. More than 770 children have been murdered by a divorcing or separating parent since 2008. For children in America, bravely speaking out about abuse is no guarantee of escaping it. The courts often overlook and dismiss allegations of domestic and sexual abuse. In many cases they do so because of the aggressive misuse of a concept called parental alienation (PA).
Despite there being no scientific evidence for it, parental alienation has become a dominant force in American courts as the standard defence against domestic abuse allegations.
If we take protecting children in the UK seriously, then we must look to the experience of the US with parental alienation. It shows us quite how dangerous this concept is, and why it has no place in UK law or our legal system.