Does bearing your chest over parental alienation brand you a football yob?


Part of an international fight to change attitudes over parental alienation has been described as thuggish and likened to football hooliganism.

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Part of an international fight to change attitudes over parental alienation has been described as thuggish and likened to football hooliganism.

A leading group three years ago came up with a dramatic but non-aggressive action to tell family courts about the true hell of PA.

It involves stripping off a shirt with hundreds of names hand-written on it outside  courts across the UK to say starkly “You taken everything from me – now you can have the shirt of my back’.

Andrew John Teague, co-founder of D.A.D.s and NAAP, has been carrying out the protest for almost three years but after the Hull Live news site republished a picture of him, people took to social media condemning the action.

Andrew and a colleague were described as appearing to be menacing and looking like  yobs.

The man who started the debate,Gary Bartlett, said on Facebook: “Topless men wearing jeans and looking unapproachable is a scene long associated with football hooligans, yobs on holiday abroad, August bank Holiday piss-ups in seaside towns and so on…. 
“The public will ask, ‘who are they?’ They’ll be told…. ‘we’re victims of parental alienation and we’re fighting to see our children’.
“But I can imagine what their thoughts might be… ‘why are you all men’? ‘You look quite menacing’ …I’m not surprised, looking like that!”
NAAP  and D.A.D.s  are set to march from Grimsby to Hull and then to the city’s court centre on Lowgate, where the Family Court is located, to hand-deliver a report on parental alienation put, together by NAAP, featuring expert opinions and information on parental alienation.

Led by founding member Andrew Teague, who said the teams also want to raise awareness over the number of suicides happening during family court proceedings.

But Gary said: “The image of hard looking topless men is the polar opposite of what you should be looking like.
“Dress up as one half of a well known double act… Holding an 18″ x 18″ photo of the other half of the act…. It could be Bo Peep with a photo of her sheep. It could be batman with a photo of Robin or it could be a big cheese with a photo of a cracker, a  dad looking like a warm, nice dad…. fully dressed, holding a bicycle…. Who when asked by passers-by “what’s the bike all about”? Dad can tell them about the child who’s never ridden the bike because mum hasn’t let your child see you for 3 months, 12months, 3 years…”
Campaigner Mick Ogden, said: “You do have a point about the image looking like a drunken football fan.”

Another said:The problem with this is the alienated parent doesn’t look good to the system. All alienated parents probably feel like doing this but in my view it’s not the right way.

“It plays into the hands of the alienating parent. This is where PA is not recognised or properly understood and I feel so sorry for these parents who demonstrate (and with just cause) but it’s playing into the narcissist parents hands.”

The comments prompted the to ask what do ordinary parents actually dress like? Middle-class business people, track suits, baseball caps?

Editor Leigh G Banks said: “I do find the descriptions of the two men brave enough to strip to the waist a bit insulting, football thugs? Really?

“I get the idea about soft and cuddly images of alienated parents – but isn’t PA about grit and determination?

“ The SOMB campaign is only a very small part of what is going on.”

Andrew John Teague said: “People should do what thy want to do to highlight the problems and real horrors surrounding parental alienation and family courts.

“But baring your chest hasn’t anything to do with thuggery, it is to do with making a point in a strong way.”

MP Andrew Brigden has said he is interested in attending a Shirt off My Back protest in the near future.

CWF news

Leigh G Banks is a former Fleet Street journalist, now a writer and broadcaster with

12 thoughts on “Does bearing your chest over parental alienation brand you a football yob?

  1. Sue Evans Davies It isn’t sending out a message of a dignified protest from adults with a genuine grievance….fighting for their rights. It is tacky and attracting the wrong response.
    LikeShow More Reactions · Reply · 2d

  2. ausar Ramzan Boils down to interpretation: bearing your chest like in that scenario to me means ready for war against Parental Alienation and where more likely us alienated feel the pain in our chest to the point where we can not breathe and in our hearts where are constantly injured and wounded all the time. Typical Media interpretation of rubbish

  3. Andrea Marie Walker My point has always been that wearing batman suits on roofs or superman outfits outside Downing Street has done nothing to raise any more awareness on parental alienation than Andrew baring his chest with his fellow dads .. it’s the media who hold the power and the term parental alienation isn’t the hashtag they want to promote and so instead of good press it is seen as thuggery and men being aggressive and no wonder they lost contact … because it doesn’t fit the scenario that there are good loving dads out there! To really raise awareness we need to show it happens to both mums and dads but to grab media attention it needs a new approach that fits the times … ask anyone joe public wise have they seen men dressed in costumes to protest and most would agree they know of them .. ask for the group they are part of or their true cause and they then get hazy … the media need to be brought on board and something hard hitting and vital needs to grab attention for all parrents affected by this!
    LikeShow More Reactions · Reply · 2d

  4. Andrew John Teague It’s a wonder for most who do nothing they poke and prod. The fact that the shirt is covered with all family members names and locations and it symbolises what parents dads or mums and grandparents go through left with nothing but the shirt on their back
    Job loss
    Drained funds
    Savings gone
    Homes gone
    Personal possessions gone
    Some even families gone
    Lives gone
    Even kids gone
    We should not blame the media for what they see most groups out there still believe it’s only men
    We have climbed mountains with mums dads and grand parents
    This is not a one sided journey and indeed we have had grandparents with the shirt
    Not exactly something we would encourage ladies to do
    Such a shame some prefer to poke and prod than support and push
    We deal regular with fathers suicidal but also mums and grandparents too
    It might interest others to know also that mums lose everything too
    Come to hull on november the 22nd and let people see the mums and families too
    Times are not changing there have always been mums and family members been through this
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  5. Paul Ukap Andrew John Teague don’t get me wrong. I know you have suffered. So have I. I could bore you withthe details, but what does it matter? the only point is whether there are better ways to do things.

  6. Leigh G Banks Simon Cobb some people might see it as graphic i understand – but men taking their shirts off surely isn’t offensive and i can’t see why they should be equated with football hooligans… when you think whenever men come up against sporting adversity in boxing, wrestling, swimming – and others in day to day work, like labourers etc etc – they are stripped to the waist … it is the football hooligans surely who are demeaning the act not protesters who are tryin

  7. Simon Cobb Leigh G Banks I need further context to give a proper opinion. The context that the photo provides does make it look like an aggressive protest. I’m not saying that it was but you can see why people would think that? If there are other photos then they should have been shared/used to show how the protest was in fact peaceful in my opinion.
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