BBC’s award-winning radio commentator, Jane Garvey, talked to Sarah Parsons, Principal Social Worker at Cafcass, and to Joanna Abrahams, a solicitor who specializes in cases of parental alienation. Regarding the recent Cafcass statement that parental alienation is child abuse, Garvey says, “It really seems pretty obvious.”
Pretty obvious to Garvey, but denied by some people. Many parental alienation deniers claim that accusations of parental alienating behaviors are exclusively or primarily lodged by abusive fathers against protective mothers. The proper remedy for such concerns is to investigate all plausible explanations for the child’s behavior; it is not to dismiss the possibility that a child’s rejection of a parent is unwarranted and not in the child’s best interests.
We would never deny the reality of physical and sexual abuse of children simply because some abuse allegations are false or fabricated. People who deny the reality, prevalence, and perniciousness of behaviors by one parent that drive a wedge between children and the other parent are reminiscent of those in past societies who turned a blind eye to child abuse.