Recently listened to a really informative webinar on #parentalalienation hosted by @stiveschambers.

The link for the webinar is here:

Below is a THREAD of the salient points:
#familycourt
#children
What is #parentalalienation ?

According to Dr Joyanna Sillberg:
There is no universal definition. We need to parse the terms into all of its component parts:
- Do parents disparage children?
- What is the effect of parents going through divorce , who disparage children?
- Which children are most affected by that?
- HOW are they affected?
- What are the best treatments for children who are affected?
Sillberg says that as people were observing the phenomenon, they lumped lots of things together and that right now we are at a critical place with the concept of #ParentalAlienation and it is essential that we start to parse it. Too many definitions so can’t get good reliability.
First step:

We need to take a step back. Go back to DESCRIBING behaviours and looking at the actual data of what happened to children during divorce.
Dr Bob Geffner: This is a common term. If you ask anybody in the street, it sounds like one parent trying to turn the child against the other parent. Unfortunately, the definition of the term has been corrupted and that’s been the problem.
“ We all come up into cases where a parent tries - or sometimes attempts- to turn a child against the other parent in a very highly disputed divorce case with a lot of animosity.

That’s a different situation with what we face nowadays in many of the family court cases.
The term really deals with behaviours. Alienating behaviours. It’s not a verb, it’s not a label. It’s a description of various behaviours a parent may or may not do/carry out. That’s what we need to focus on .
What is problematic is suggesting there is research or some other type of common symptoms of a child.
Or that this happens frequently.
What DOES happen frequently is parents who are in a very contentious divorce case and are not too happy with their ex spouse and it would not be unusual for them to say bad things. “ Oh he’s at it again , there she goes” and the kids may overhear that.
That’s a different situation than an intentional attempt to turn a child against the other parent.

The common term for certain behaviours has been turned into a label - #parentalalienation . It’s used too often as a diagnosis or a condition. That’s where you run into problems.
That’s why the people who propose #ParentalAlienation as a diagnosis- an official one- have been turned down. But they haven’t stopped. Even though they’ve been told several times by neutral committees that it’s not a diagnosis, a label, a condition - it is a SET OF BEHAVIOURS.
When it occurs, you have to treat it as dysfunctional parenting behaviour. There is no common set of symptoms a child will show. Too often it becomes a circular argument in that we assume a child is giving you reason for not wanting to see a parent.
For example: I’m afraid of him/ she’s done that.
They don’t believe it. They assume it’s a false allegation and they assume that somebody is *programming* the child to make these types of disclosures.
When there are those types of behaviours, we treat them like we would any type of dysfunctional parenting.

We refer to counselling or a parenting prog and we would treat children as though they’ve been traumatised.

#trauma
#ParentalAlienation
But that’s a whole different situation to what is happening in family courts throughout the world.
What about evidence such as photographs of children going to the zoo, etc.?

Dr Adrienne Barnett: Children can often have very lovely and loving times with parents but a snapshot photograph doesn’t really say very much.
Children who’ve been in very abusive relationships with parents can still have happy family snapshots. “ As many judges have said to me, we really can’t run a case on photographs.”
Dr Adrienne Barnett: “ If you take a look at the case law. Judges take such different approaches to #ParentalAlienation in different courts in England and Wales and different courts in other jurisdictions.
Some courts adopted a child-focused approach- looking at signs and certain behaviours in the child, others looked at parents’ behaviours and it was the latter that seemed to predominate.
AND using parent behaviours seemed to conflate and widen the category of #ParentalAlienation so that just about ANY behaviours by a parent could be subsumed within the category of parental alienation.
Dr Joyanna Sillberg: I’ve been teaching clinical psychology for 40 years and I tell my students I’d you’re surprised, you haven’t finished your job.

Because your job, as a clinical psychologist doing an evaluation, is to find out WHY.
So if you’re saying it doesn’t make sense, your the evaluator- FIND OUT. Don’t be surprised.

In a way I feel it’s us being lazy, as a field, if we’re willing to say it’s unreasonable/ surprising because the child DID react that way.
Dr Joyanna Sillberg: I find that when I do a careful evaluation, I’m not left surprised.
I’m left with all my hypotheses evaluated and I’m left with the one that fits all the data and doesn’t leave me surprised.
Let’s understand where the child’s coming from. Why DO they feel that way?
The tweets in the above thread were gleaned from this webinar:

Does Parental Alienation Really Exist in Family Law Cases?
Link:

continuing on:
#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
#children
#domesticabuse
#coercivecontrol
Dr Bob Geffner: We generally find that kids love both parents. Even in an abusive situation they love both parents.

They don’t like the BEHAVIOURS- but that’s separate from loving the parent.
Usually we can tell untrained people ( in #ParentalAlienation ) because they ASSUME that because a child runs and jumps on a parent’s lap and gives hugs that they weren’t abused.
We know from DECADES of research that that is not accurate.
Photographs are not a big deal . We can assume they had a loving relationship at one time or another. That’s not the key now.

The key is why are they saying this?
Dr Bob Geffner talks about the problem of not having enough resources to identify #ParentalAlienation and says he doesn’t agree that it is about this but that the problem is that too many make assumptions.
They assume that when a child says they don’t want to see a parent anymore, they don’t understand the reason because they are using adult logic and this doesn’t mean it’s the same logic as the children.

The children can have a variety of reasons BUT WE DON’T ASK THEM ENOUGH.
We assume that their ( the children’s) information is not correct. It doesn’t take a lot of resources to spend time with the children and to be asking them questions.
We find that many of the people- social workers, people in child protective systems and others around the world don’t have a lot of time - they have a large case load- BUT it doesn’t stop them from asking questions and believing that maybe ther IS something going on here.
Maybe there IS some type of inappropriate parenting or neglect, or the parent is not giving them enough attention or something has caused this reaction as opposed to ASSUMING that someone got them to say this.
We do have research, and we’ve had it for a long time- a variety of researchers around the world - that the idea of PROGRAMMING a child- which is essentially what you’re talking about-
- the idea that one parent is getting the child to make up these situations either about abusive behaviours inappropriate parenting and turning them against the other parent, so that the child relays what they’ve been told.
What we DO know from research is that it’s very hard to programme a child to say something really detailed or negative about another parent they really have a loving relationship with. Some studies show that when you try to do that, you get a reverse effect.
#ParentalAlienation
Professor Gail Goodman has done research showing how difficult it is - even in young kids aged from 3-6- to get them to say things they know are not true.
#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
#children
The key to finding out is in asking questions. No assumptions. So not believing that a child is making it up or that a parent isn’t doing anything.

#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
#children
You’d be surprised how many evaluations we review in the United States and other countries where they really don’t spend much time asking the questions: what goes on in mum’s house? What goes on in dad’s house? What do you like? What don’t you like etc
This doesn’t take a lot of resources. What it does take is the ability to be NEUTRAL, to NOT make ASSUMPTIONS and to ASK KEY QUESTIONS and spend a little bit of time with the child or children who are telling you these things.
#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
#children
Dr Adrienne Barnett: What is clear is that children living with domestic abuse aren’t bystanders/ witnesses. They are victims in their own right and EXPERIENCE it in a very active way.
Research by Professor Jane Callaghan et al shows that children are incredibly aware of what’s going on in their homes.

Even very young children.
And the children feel it ( the abuse) themselves - the experiences of #coercivecontrol for example.
Children can recover from the experiences of domestic abuse if they have the support of the non abusive parent but all the research shows that continuing contact with the abusive parent seriously impedes that recovery.
Continuing on with the THREAD of extracts from this webinar:

Does Parental Alienation Really Exist in Family Law Cases?

Dr Adrienne Barnett: The victim and children may escape the abusive relationship but if that abuse is continuing, it’s difficult for the victim to heal, it’s difficult for the children to heal AND difficult for the victim to support the child.
[ My note: This is why I’m against coparenting when there IS child contact agreed by both parties but history of abuse. There needs to be for PARALLEL PARENTING to minimise both conflict and the continuing need for the abusive parent to provoke/get under the skin of the other.]
There is a DIFFERENCE between intentional and unintentional *alienation* of a child but when it is intentional, is that domestic abuse?
Dr Adrienne Barnett cites 2013 study by Professor Liz Trinder, another study in 2015 and a study by #Cafcass in 2017 which all consistently found that cases of what were then called ‘ implacable hostility’, unjustified denials of contact, turning children against the other parent
were very very small - about 4%- 5% of total cases.
The difficulty is that many cases are being misread. Researchers found many cases being misread AS #ParentalAlienation and implacable hostility so that the idea that it is widespread and prevalent has been conflated into situations which were not wither alienation or hostility.
Dr Adrienne Barnett: I wouldn’t use the term #ParentalAlienation because it does get so misused but there is a situation where a perpetrator of #domesticabuse is using #coercivecontrol .
One of the key tactics found by numerous studies is the perpetrator disparaging the relationship between the parent and child to try and disrupt that relationship.
BUT you can see the difference between that in the context of #domesticabuse and somebody who makes an allegation that their child is being alienated from them without the context of wider domestic abuse.

This is KEY to understanding the different situations.
Dr Barnett is contacted frequently by, mostly, mothers who say they have been *alienated* from their child and then go on to give a whole description of a HIGHLY abusive relationship with the *alienation* as part of the abuse.

#postseparationabuse
#familycourt
It’s VERY different from a parent who says their child has been alienated from them for no good reason but there is no context of domestic abuse.
#ParentalAlienation
And often the person SAYING they’ve been *alienated* is the abusive parent.

#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
Now Dr Joyanna Sillberg talks about her own research: We looked at what we call ‘ Turned Around Cases’. Cases in which- before the age of 18- a child was sent to live with someone who was later designated an abuser to that child.
The average amount of time that the child spent with the parent who was later labelled ( either by different court or the same court) as being the abusive parent was approximately 4 years.
#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
#childcustody
For clarity these are cases where there have been TWO changes in residency:

First time: Allegations of abuse were made which the judge ignored and transferred residency to the abuser.

Second time: Before the child is 18, the same or another judge TURNS AROUND THE FINDING >>
Or it’s done by appeal or a child makes their own application.

The child is then returned to live with the parent they were originally living with.

Dr Sillberg looked at what happened. What was going on between the first and the second court hearing.
The judge has misidentified the abuser and put the child with someone later termed the abuser.

The way this is uncovered is through the continuing abuse to the child.
Dr Sillberg talks about a case in her sample of child coming home from visiting mother and father takes a knife and stabs the stuffed animal mother has given to child. Probably not against the law but clearly abusive to the child.
Father later puts hot poker on child’s chest to get child to go to bed.
The type of person who will do this is the kind of personality who will carry out the malignant form of abuse by proxy which people want to call *alienation* but is so different to the
allegations where there is no concrete behavioural sign.
Question on historic abuse:

Something that comes up a lot with social workers- a scenario where a child doesn’t want to see the non-resident parent and the resident parent says there was abuse 5 or more years ago.
Social workers, Cafcass and the courts will say it took place a long time ago , it’s historical, it no longer matters.
Question then is ascertaining whether or not it is justifiable estrangement.
Dr Bob Geffner: Need to look at the use of power and control in the family. When talking about abuse, neglect etc the KEY in these cases is the INAPPROPRIATE USE OF POWER AND CONTROL - where one person is getting their own needs met AT THE EXPENSE OF ANOTHER.
These are the issues we DO NOT SEE people asking about or looking at in more detail.

We have very specific definitions of intimate partner violence #IPV and over 40 years of research on domestic abuse in the home, child abuse and neglect.
Dr Bob Geffner: The term #ParentalAlienation is trying to be, by those who promote it, woven into #DomesticViolence #domesticabuse #childabuse.

Certain behaviours may be but it is a catch-word phrase.
What we’re finding is that in dealing with child custody evaluators, mental health professionals, judges, attorneys, social workers, child protective services, law enforcement- especially in child custody cases- there is an ASSUMPTION that there IS #ParentalAlienation
and that when you have allegations of either #DomesticAbuse or #childabuse they’re false.

And it’s not a small percentage- it is a HUGE percentage- and they don’t understand the research that says this isn’t a common occurrence.
Unintentional saying something negative about another in a disputed custody case is not unusual. An intentional act of repeating over and over how bad the other parent is doesn’t occur as frequently as people keep assuming and NOWHERE NEAR as much as #childabuse or #DomesticAbuse
Dr Bob Geffner: The bias is the problem.
We have cases where the child says something. They don’t want to see a parent and- if you listen- will tell you why:

- I’m afraid of them
- They touch me
- They don’t pay attention to me
- I have to do everything that person wants
Whatever it is, they’re giving reasons but we don’t believe them.
I don’t want to say we want to believe everything a child says. We go back to finding out more.

What happens is we go the opposite way in these cases, by assuming this behaviour has occurred and it’s a condition
We say it’s an alienated child or a targeted parent and the solutions to this are absurd and doesn’t meet anything we know in #trauma #psychology, family psychology, #childdevelopment or any of these areas because the solution - once you decide #ParentalAlienation has occurred-
is not what we would do with any inappropriate # parenting behaviour which is :
- Teach appropriate parenting
- Provide counselling
- Provide some type of therapy so they can understand what is happening to the child or what they’re doing is hurting their child.
With #ParentalAlienation we take the child away from their primary caretaker and place them with the person they say they don’t want to see.

And they do it suddenly - send them to these programmes or camp to essentially * deprogramme* them.
This is so dangerous. It’s like going to the last resort first and producing so much trauma that it’s incredible.
#ParentalAlienation
#reunification
#trauma
Dr Bob Geffner: Has criticisms of Amy Baker’s research which he considers flawed. There are no common symptoms that she’s found. She had a very biased small sample and has written more about that than the number of subjects she had.
So people assume there are * clusters*
There has been 30 years since this approach has been promoted in #FamilyCourt from when Richard Gardner started this.
There has been no system research in any country, anywhere in the world, that has really documented a condition or an obvious set of symptoms or an obvious profile or even showed what the prevalence is.

It’s all based on assumptions and a few poor studies.

#FamilyCourt
And that’s why all the official organisations have not accepted #ParentalAlienation as a diagnosis rather condition.

According to Dr Bob Geffner it’s a serious issue.
Question: Is it right that child living with resident parent- may live in a smaller house, less money etc and so blame the other parent, may become protective of the resident parent and, as a consequence of that, in their own mind take a dislike or are angry towards NRP?
NRP= Non Resident Parent.

Dr Joyanna Sillberg: That is incredibly common. That is bread and butter and happens in almost every case I see after divorce.
As a child psychologist, I treat it all the time.
Very successfully with reasonable parents who have some anger- helping them understand the impact it’s having on their children.
This is a common occurrence as Dr Judith Wallerstein found out when she did her research on children, but to elevate it to criminal behaviour, to the point where mums and dads are losing their children, is adding a dimension of #trauma that is unnecessary.
#ParentalAlienation
Majority of families work things through for benefit of children. Only a minority end up in #familycourt where they have this escalating inability to negotiate.

What the studies show, over & over again is those are the families where there is some component of #coercivecontrol
Or domestic violence, emotional abuse between the parents. Those are the ones where the resolution can not happen with the variety of tools available.
Dr Sillberg says we shouldn’t generalise from this minority to say this is what’s happening with all these other families.
It costs a penny to give a diagnosis of #ParentalAlienation but it costs a million dollars, metaphorically, to parse it out and see what’s going wrong.

Let’s NOT jump for the easy solution- let’s REALLY figure it out.
Dr Joyanna Sillberg: It doesn’t take extreme measures, it doesn’t take a camp where they’re forced, it doesn’t take coercion. It just takes listening to each person’s point of view, working it out- having the mother or father describe what makes it unpleasant for the child.
The cases where it doesn’t work is where there is abuse or violence.

Question: Judge advised by psychologist that a transfer of residence is needed and the former resident parent shouldn’t see the child for 3 months or so.

Or there is a bridging placement in foster care.
Dr Bob Geffner: That’s like the last resort being done first and it is what was promoted in the late 1990’s is that it was supposed to be for the most extreme cases , where everything else was tried .

BUT

in the cases we see, it’s the first choice.

#ParentalAlienation
The case we’re working in now- it started as one month, then it went to 3 months, the. It went to 9 months . It’s now been a year and a half.

BECAUSE THE CHILD IS NOT REFUSING TO BACK OFF THEIR INITIAL ALLEGATION.

[ Bloody hell, beyond cruel]

#trauma
There are some key terms that get confused:

There is a difference between:
- a parent intentionally attempting to turn child against other parent
- a child who rejects a parent for one reason or another
- a child who is estranged from a parent
- or who aligns with a parent
The key issues are:
1. The relationship
2. The dynamics that led to the situation
3. What is the attachment relationship?
A strong relationship attachment is DIFFERENT from loving a parent.

And attachment really has a specific meaning - not just throwing out the words- and that is key.
Labels don’t get us anywhere.
Focus on the behaviours - no matter what the behaviour is.
#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
#children
Cases with no observable evidence and the evaluator or social worker even says ‘ well, there’s no evidence I can find of alienating behaviours BUT ‘

and that BUT is key.

“But we know it’s happening because the child is not believable, therefore #ParentalAlienation must exist”
Question: There seems to be 3 scenarios where there is evidence:
1) What you sometimes see in Social Work /Cafcass reports- where often only met with child once or twice - is that the child is using adult language so the presumption is the resident parent has said something.
2) I know grandparent/ parent doesn’t like NRP and has called him/her an XYZ

3) I hate everything about NRP

and those seem to be the evidence.
Dr Bob Geffner: We have those cases too. Find out what is the first thing that’s started this? What we find is that often other things were said but they weren’t believed, or nothing happened.
What tends to happen if children aren’t believed is that they stay quiet and don’t say anything or they exaggerate to get you to start paying attention to what is being said.

Out of the blue rarely happens.
Often something made child uncomfortable or afraid.
Don’t assume.
Look at what’s going on.
Doesn’t take huge amount of resources.
It takes spending some time with the child.

Ideally we DO want to build a relationships with both parents and may need to work with both parents.
#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
#domesticabuse
Dr Adrienne Barnett: Strong assumption made by courts, that if #domesticabuse that hasn’t taken place in last few weeks/months it’s historic/irrelevant- let’s move on, we need to be future- focused.
A strong misunderstanding of how abuse can continue to have a terrorising effect on victims and also very much taking an incident- led approach and failing to see that it is a pattern

[ Limiting incidents in Scott schedule makes it difficult to see a pattern]
Dr Barnett gives an example where father, in his own terms had, *been a bit of a hellraiser* and had been incredibly violent towards the mother- putting her in hospital for months with severe life-threatening injuries from which she was physically and emotionally affected.
Eight to ten years later he wants contact. Said he was a reformed character, recognised what he did but mother was still very scared of him and children resistant to seeing him and the minute parental alienation was raised, it was all seen through that lens of
*there’s no good reason why these children should be resistant to contact, they’re much too young to be aware of it at the time*

* the mother’s got to get over it*

It misunderstands what’s happening on so many different levels:
1 not a one-off incident
2 trauma of victim
All of this led to threat to woman of having children’s residency removed to father unless she agreed to contact.

[ Bloody hell, again]
How can we get contact going?
If we can’t get it going, change residence.

The phrase *parental alienation * is seen as a silver bullet & gets seized on by parent who likes that idea.

What happens in the grey area between disputed breakdown that goes on & becomes more than that?
Dr Adrienne Barnett: The term parental alienation brings in such polarisation.

In most cases parents aren’t behaving in ways that are in the child’s interest because parents aren’t perfect but somehow this term polarises and drives people into completely opposing camps.
Dr Bob Geffner: One of the things we do in every case, is create a timeline. We go back to the beginning:
-what has happened over time with the family?
-what has happened with allegations?
-what has happened with petitions to the court and court filing?

That tells you a lot.
One of the things we find is that this whole idea of parental alienation- when it occurs from an accusation standpoint- what we find in most cases is that there was some allegation BY THE CHILD to SOMEBODY about some kind of uncomfortable or abusive behaviour.
Or that the one parent talked about abuse first and then the allegation of parental alienation surfaced.

We don’t see too many cases where, all of a sudden, we have allegations of parental alienation, where none of these other things surfaced first.
In many of the cases we review or work on, that label is used AFTER there has been some other type of allegation.

Either in divorce case or even before divorce was filed- so there were allegations of #DomesticAbuse or #childabuse

So the timing is really important
Dr Bob Geffner: No more instances or allegations of domestic violence in a divorce case than in a non divorce case.
We also know that when a report is done, the substantiation rates of #DomesticViolence is no different in a divorce/custody case to a non divorce/custody cases.
We have that research but that is not what people assume. People assume that if it’s a child custody case, the allegations are false- at rates of 75% or more, when the research shows it’s not even close to that.

Again: forget labels, focus on behaviours and act accordingly.
But not send child to a de-programming camp. That is dangerous and traumatising.
Need to look at behaviours and help family become functional again.
Question: What we know about domestic abuse is that it’s very rare to have evidence and often seen as * he said /she said* .

Dr Bob Geffner : That’s why it’s called the family secret. But there are witnesses to that- if you ask the children. They’re growing up in this home.
If you ask them the right way- what’s their experience in the home/what scares them/what makes them uncomfortable? Ask neutral questions and spend time with the children- you often find that they start reporting some of the corroboration which often led to initial disclosures.
Question: There’s a problem with that. Social workers/magistrates/judges often have not read the papers. They’re not familiar with the essays and research. It’s very rare that you have a social worker who has any understanding of parental alienation or child experience.
The time with the child is one visit, at school, 40 minutes and with covid-19 most of the visits have been in parent’s home via Zoom. Far more time is spent with the parent than the children.
“ It’s asking those neutral questions to prompt primary information that allows you to find out what’s going on rather than what one parent says and what the other one denies.”
Dr Bob Geffner: It goes back to current mentality:

- we don’t have resources
- we don’t have time
- we can’t spend 2 hours with the children
How much is it costing you to deal with these cases for 5 years?

How much is it costing society to deal with violence that is escalating?

Where do you think these kids end up?
What’s going to happen down the road?

Goes back to the expression- pay me now or pay me later.
The amount of money we’re paying out in court costs and social programmes and lack of educational achievement, medical costs - we can trace back to adverse childhood experiences.
So if we don’t spend the extra hour talking to the kids- the cost of that extra hour or two versus what it’s going to be later on - there’s no comparison.

But we don’t think that way. We don’t think about long term. We think about short term.
It makes sense to change the mentality- instead of saying can’t, figure out a way TO do it.
How to spend more time with the kids- even if it’s by spending less time with the parents because the kids are the key. That’s why we’re all here.

What is in the interest of the children?
We have people in the United States going around training other professionals on not to interview kids because that’s going to traumatise them, but sending them to this camp ( reunification) is ok.
#ParentalAlienation
#familycourt
#children
#trauma
Dr Joyanna Sillberg: Re: children using adult language. I want to debunk that. There are many children who use adult language- they like interesting words. We shouldn’t be so simplistic we dismiss what a child says because of the language used. Need to be more nuanced than that.
Something that makes children irate is a parent lying. If they’ve been told they always have to tell the truth and they find out their parent is lying- children often find that unforgivable.

When there is extreme rejection, go to that and ask if both parents tell the truth.
It’s ironic but the process of court makes the parents more extreme, more likely to lie because they’re afraid of being judged.

The process of court makes the children seemingly more unreasonable in their rejection- because the parents have become more extreme.
One of the things a child finds unforgivable is when they realise one parent is trying to prevent them from seeing other parent, are filing things to keep them from their parent- that makes them extraordinarily angry.

Respect the integrity of the child and what they’re feeling.
Question: What more needs to be done?

Dr Adrienne Barnett: Let’s look at what the research says that children say- and there’s some excellent research out there. Professor Jane Fortin interviewed young people who had experienced their parent’s separation or divorce as children.
They had their own very good reasons for why relationships with both parents did or didn’t work after their parents separated- and very understandable reasons. For example, my mum/dad didn’t spend much time with me, always on their phone etc.
Secondly, bearing in mind that so many cases raise allegations of #domesticabuse let’s just follow PD12J. The biggest problem, and it has always been since 2008, when it was first implemented, and going back to Re L is that it’s not applied properly or understood.
Thirdly, the implementation plan of the Ministry of Justice report should, if implemented, make a tremendous difference. It’s looking at piloting a system that moves away from adversarial into a more inquisitorial approach where the gathering of evidence will be more court-led.
Taking a more trauma-led approach right into proceedings and also training. I’m aware that there is ongoing training by the Judicial College for the judiciary but it needs to be more substantial and focused. Professor Peter Jaffe has developed a really good training model.
For social workers and Cafcass the proposal is that for anyone doing reports for court should have accredited domestic abuse training.
Dr Adrienne Barnett: It is extraordinary that for those of us, and I say us, because of when I was still at the Bar, who work so closely with victims of domestic abuse don’t have any training. There’s no compulsory training in domestic abuse for lawyers and it’s really important.
Dr Adrienne Barnett: We work with people, we have an effect on people who could be going through PTSD, who could be very traumatised, and we need to know what we’re doing
Once again, here is the link to the webinar which was the source for this thread.
#ParentalAlienation
#coercivecontrol
#children

Here is the MoJ report:

Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases- Final Report

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…
Here is the Domestic Abuse and Private Law Children Cases Literature Review by Dr Adrienne Barnett:

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…
Here is a thread on the background to #ParentalAlienation and the person who originally proposed it- Richard Gardner

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Dr Jennifer Freyd is the academic known for her theories of betrayal trauma, DARVO, institutional betrayal, and institutional courage.
In the 1990’s, she coined the term DARVO.
It stands for: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim And Offender.
Read 17 tweets
Jul 18
Today @BotSentinel publish a report on how organized attacks on Amber Heard and other women thrive on Twitter. It illustrates how AH and her supporters were subjected to rampant abuse and targeted harassment. 

botsentinel.com/newsroom/repor…
627 Twitter accounts focused predominantly on tweeting negatively about AH and her female supporters.
3,288 accounts tweeted and 19% of those accounts were dedicated to spamming abusive hashtags.
Read 7 tweets
Jul 18
There is so much #domesticviolence
#coercivecontrol in songs.

A 🧵
Every Breath You Take- Police

Every breath you take And every move you make Every bond you break, every step you take I’ll be watching you Every single day And every word you say Every game you play, every night you stay I’ll be watching you Oh, can’t you see You belong to me?
Run for your Life - The Beatles

Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl Or you won’t know where I am
You better run for your life if you can.
Read 20 tweets
May 18
“Researchers found that the strongest predictor of online hate was psychopathy — a personality trait defined by egocentricity, immoral behavior, and a lack of empathy.”

The psychology of hate

🧵⬇️
A study published in Frontiers in Psychology explored the psychological profile of people who posted hate comments online during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The researchers found that hate commenters demonstrated high levels of one specific Dark Triad trait — psychopathy.
Social media is a place where people can share ideas and express opinions with the potential to reach enormous audiences.

But growth of these platforms comes with a rise in online hate behaviour.
Read 17 tweets
May 17
It can be difficult to recognise emotional cruelty.

Let’s talk
- Ghosting 👻
- Cutting Off ✂️
- The Silent Treatment 🌬
- Stonewalling 🧱
- Withholding ❤️‍🩹
- Destabilisation 🎢

as emotional and psychological abuse.

#coercivecontrol

🧵
An abuser enforces power and control in a number of ways,to dominate and force their victim into submission.

They often do it by deliberately WITHDRAWING their love and affection if their victim doesn’t comply with their *rules* or conform to what is expected of them.
This deliberate rejection causes confusion and panic in the victim as, often, they don’t understand what they did to be ignored in this way.

It is passive violence that can profoundly damage the person on the receiving end.
Read 22 tweets
May 16
I can’t think of a single rapist, paedophile, serial killer, mass-murderer, child abductor, abuser found guilty (or not) of non-fatal strangulation, using the *sex gone wrong * excuse, familicide that has been more vilified than Amber Heard.

Even Ted Bundy has his fans.
For example serial killer Levi Bellfield was introduced to his fiancée by the *Yorkshire Ripper*. He saw her picture in Peter Sutcliffe's cell and asked for consent to write to her
Levi Bellfield's fiancée maintains Bellfied is 'not a monster' and has 'changed' in prison.
This is a serial killer, sex offender, rapist, kidnapper and burglar who was found guilty of the murders of Marsha McDonnell, Amélie Delagrange and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.
Read 5 tweets

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