Andrew John Teague, co-founder of D.A.D.S, and parents from across the UK are to march on No 10 and the Houses of Parliament this week in a protest aimed at forcing a change in the UK towards parental alienation.
The walkers, mainly dads, some who haven’t seen their children for years, have been practising hard for the marathon and many are expected to walk more than 200 miles in just a few days.
But Andrew estimates he will have walked more than 500 miles by the end of his march.
Last week he walked the twenty miles between court houses in Swansea and Bridgend to raise money to have an educational DVD on parental alienation made for schools, local authorities and courts across the country.
However, the London march is the culmination of a year-long campaign by the 20,000 members of D.A.D.S and other groups in the UK – and across the world – to get the syndrome recognised as a criminal offence.
Still nursing the blisters from his Welsh walk, Andrew said: “Changing laws doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and sadly its our children who suffer.
We need to educate people and we need to push for reform. It boils down to our rights as parents and the rights of our children to be in a loving relationship with both the people who brought them into the world.”
Just over a year ago Andrew, his partner Sophie David and a group of people who had lost contact with their children, got together and began fighting back, fighting the parents who alienated them, fighting the Social workers who stack the odds against them, fighting the courts which are guided by the social workers and fighting the indifference their plight is met with by society.
The first thing they did was set up the Facebook page, D.A.D.S (dads against double standards) and their social media quest to tell the world had begun. Many other groups across the UK and the world are making their own protests
Members of D.A.D.S have been carrying out major campaigns including The Shirt off My Back where campaigners gather outside their local court house and leave a shirt festooned with the names of parents who have lost contact with their child as a protest.
Dozens of court houses across the UK have become focal points for these peaceful protests.
And on September 5 their biggest protest is about to take place.
Andrew said: “This week I will finally set off for London – and many others have said they will also set off walking from other parts of the country at the same time. The idea is we all converge on the capital and peacefully make our point.
“Because of various restrictions I have to head up through The Valleys, back down through Ross-on-Wye and then into Oxford. I’ll be averaging 40 miles a day – and judging by the blisters I got walking from Swansea to Bridgend, it could be agony.
“But I won’t give up, we are marching for our children, for parents, for grandparents, for families and for those we call Anon, who took their own lives because of the stress of and unfairness of parental alienation.
“I will arrive in London on September 5 come hell or high water and hundreds of us will gather for the last leg when we march on No 10 and Parliament. This is a walk for our children future. Money raised will be to help our children through educating schools and contact centres.”
Parental alienation happens when a child, usually one whose parents are in a high-octane separation or divorce, allies himself with one parent and rejects the other without justification.
The real tragedy is that parental alienation can damage the mental health of children who can be riddled with guilt, sadness, low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence.
The new DVD will focus on the damage parental alienation has on the minds of children.
Andrew said: We have got some of the UK’s leading experts in parental alienation on board and they are helping us in many ways but one of the main focuses at the moment is to get this educational video made so we can tell those in power in their own homes and their offices exactly what this awful syndrome does to our children.
Key points along the route:
Main meeting point Sawley Road, Shepherd Bush, at 11am, Kensington Park, Marble Arch, the American Embassy, Mayfair, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Canadian Embassy, the Mall, Downing Street, Parliament Square, Westminster and Trafalgar Square.
For more details: