Almost a year to the day of launching a website dedicated to fighting for parents and children who have been alienated from each other, one of Britain’s leading campaigners has revealed that he has finally won proper contact with his daughter.
Andrew John Teague, from Swansea, revealed how a two-year battle after he became alienated from his young daughter, finally came to an end when a family court hearing threw out any doubts about his parenting abilities and gave him more access than he – or his barrister – had expected.
“I was vindicated of the things I had been accused of – things that no caring parent should ever have said about them … it has been so hard over the last three months – and for a year and a half before that … it’s been the biggest roller-coaster ride in my life,” he said.
In many cases it would be understandable for a parent to walk away from a site like D.A.D.S. (Dads against double standards) which has gathered more than 20,000 members in the last twelve months. But Andrew has pledged to continue the fight to get members back with their children.
He wants to continue high-lighting the trauma of being separated unfairly from a child across the world with regular updates on the consumerwatchfoundation.com
Sadly, though he has revealed that he and others on the site have regularly had to deal with members who had come to the end of their tether and were self-medicating with alcohol.
Others have revealed they have actually contemplated suicide.
He said: “I am living proof that standing up and fighting will ultimately get you to where you want to be. I had been feeling like a blind deaf monkey on Mars – it was if I was just up there, looking down from millions of miles away and I felt there was so little I could do. All I had left was the fight inside me.
“I panicked when I went to court this time … I feared my ex would disagree with everything that was put to the court and I expected the worst.
“Social workers have threatened me over the D.A.D.S site, saying it could be damaging to my daughter – they have used everything they can think of to discredit me, just like other people involved in this turgid case. I have had threats that ‘they’ would stop my contact completely.
“It is my human right to have a voice on social media or anywhere in this society – I am not a pariah just because a relationship didn’t work out!
“I don’t take kindly to being threatened … but today it actually changed. I was in shock, agencies, court and everything went 100pc my way today… the whole argument against me fell down … I cannot feel happier for my daughter who will now have at least some consistency in her relationship with her parents.
“This has happened because change is starting to happen, the courts and the agencies are starting to see what we are saying is right.
“So, to everyone of you out there let me just say have loving arms waiting for your children to come home. I’ve been knocked down countless times and we have to carry on fighting.”
Andrew’s case is not an isolated one – go to http://www.consumerwatchfoundation.com/category/parental-alienation/ and read all the awful, tragic but often up-lifting real-life stories, parents and children, who have become victims of a syndrome which even many in power want to become a crime.
Authorities are beginning to agree
Even the boss of a controversial child protection service recently said publicly that Parental Alienation is just as powerful a health issue as smoking or drinking.
Anthony Douglas, chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), also said that divorced parents who “brainwash” their children against ex-partners are guilty of “abuse”.
He said the deliberate manipulation of a child by one parent against the other has become so common in family breakdowns that it should be dealt with like any other form of neglect or child abuse.
But he also had this to say: “It’s undoubtedly a form of neglect or child abuse in terms of the impact it can have,” said Mr Douglas. “I think the way you treat your children after a relationship has broken up is just as powerful a public health issue as smoking or drinking.”
Andrew said: “Over the last year I have watched so many people go through so much. And it is heartbreaking.
“Parents, grandparents and extended families are fighting relentlessly to be in their children’s lives. These children own our hearts.
“But we are stopped from seeing them by exes, by new partners and by the families of our exes. Absolutely disgusting behaviour from one human to another.”
And the Shared Parenting Bill which was introduced in 2013 has failed thousands of parents in the UK, Andrew said.
Many estranged parents who believed the new laws would give them equal custody rights over their children have seen very little improvement in the last four years according to D.A.D.S.
Andrew said: “This Bill was supposed to make it better for people, allowing joint custody which would make contact with your child far more satisfying and comfortable for all concerned. But it didn’t make provision for the kind accusations parents can make against each in the midst of a break-up.
“We took a straw poll of our members and it was like one voice … shared parenting is a fairytale for most people.”