Parental alienation’s origins begin in the 1980s with a rogue psychiatrist named Richard Gardner. Gardner had an unusual obsession with child sexual abuse. He believed that there were certain natural sexual inclinations between adults and children, and that modern societies were engaged in unnecessary hysterics over paedophillia. In order to prevent fathers from facing any consequences for child sexual abuse, he invented a concept called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) to be used in courtrooms. His goal was to prevent accusations by mothers of child abuse by fathers from being believed.
The power of PA is that it seems like a reasonable concept; you can imagine scenarios where one parent acts to exclude another. Yet PA has instead become a smokescreen, a tactic to obfuscate custody hearings and garner sympathy from judges and custody evaluators who may have an instinctive suspicion towards women. Its objective is to make abusive men the victims and protective mothers the perpetrators. Although PA proponents use gender-neutral language, empirical studies have demonstrated that its impact is gender-specific.
Although there is an obvious grift taking place, the PA industry’s growth has also been due to its main philosophical driver. This is the belief that children require equal access to both parents for a healthy upbringing, and that this should take precedence over any violent behaviour. Once the court submits itself to this idea, any action a mother takes to protect her children from an abusive father is deemed an act of “alienation”. Women’s expected obligations are now not to her children’s welfare, but to facilitating contact with a father, regardless of his behaviour.
This is making it almost impossible for women to protect their children from men who they know are dangerous.Including an amendment that would make PA a form of abuse itself will further entrench accusations of “alienation” as an instrument to manipulate the courts. The state will willingly allow itself to become a weapon that abusive men can use against their children and former partners. It will have fully submitted itself to this repugnant market.