Campaigner Andrew John Teague made it to the top of Snowdon at the weekend in the battle to make parental alienation a crime.
Andrew had put in a lot of training for this major protest – a 100 mile walk from his home in Swansea across the Snowdon national park to the mountain itself.
And as he reached the top of 600ft high Kilvey Hill on a practice run he
admitted: “I can feel my pulse pumping inside my head … but it’s worth it to raise awareness.”
Andrew was accompanied on the last leg of his climb by other protesters as the summit came into sight.
Julie Newc, from South Wales, who joined the celebrations at the top, said: “I can’t believe I managed to climb Snowdon and Pen Y Fan. What an experience I’ll never forget! Strength I never knew I had and now I know anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Don’t ever give up.”
And Andrew’s partner Sophie David said: “Well. they did it. The weather wasn’t great but they did it! I’m so proud, I know we can do anything you set your mind to.”
The walk was in preparation for a major protest walk through Swansea to the town’s family court to raise funds for a new educational DVD for courts, social services and schools.
Andrew said: “I can’t believe it, it was really cold and we were hard hit by winds and icy rain but we all did it for all the mum’s as well as the dads.”
Finally, after more than a year of campaigning, there are some glimmers of hope as people in power begin to accept that the syndrome exists.
A spokesman for the Welsh government has pledged to help victims of Parental alienation.
In a statement the devolved government said: “There are benefits children derive from having an ongoing positive relationship with both parents, as long as it is safe and in their best interest.
“To support parents who are separating we are developing information and advice services to help them focus upon how they can best support their children and make arrangements that meet their long term emotional needs.”
This follows an online petition calling on the Welsh Government to recognise PA as a type of emotional abuse of children and parents and proposes funding for mandatory training for professionals.
PA is when one parent undermines the role of the other by turning a child against them following a separation.
Between 2013 and 2016, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in Wales dealt with 22,670 cases involving children.
And Dr Sue Whitcombe, from not-for-profit Family Psychology Solutions, said social workers, psychologists and solicitors should be receiving training.
“This is a severe form of child emotional abuse when at its most severe and pure form and it needs to recognised along with those other types of child abuse,” she said.
There are laws in some countries, including Mexico and Italy, which punish parents who alienate one another.
Andrew J Teague, from D.A.D.S (dads against double standards) revealed that more and more he and others running the site are spending time talking to estranged parents who have hit rock bottom as their ex-partners twist their children against them or they come up against the brick wall of bureaucracy which ham-strings courts and social services.
Many parents find it so difficult to see their children that despite paying hundreds of pounds in maintenance they are also paying for supervised access. One man says this costs him EIGHTY pounds a time to spend two hours with his child.
Estranged parents – who have perhaps lost all contact because of lies about them – are certainly vulnerable and sadly to some suicide can appear to be the only way out.
Since Andrew began campaigning less than twelve months ago there have been three major breakthroughs in the battle against Parental Alienation.
Recently, www.consumerwatchfoundation.com reported on a judge who was deciding whether the human rights of two children have been affected by the syndrome.
The same judge has just ordered a council to pay the children’s father ￡15,000 after he was accused of sexual abuse and prevented from seeing his children for two years.
The man had made a complaint that social services bosses at the council had breached his human rights. Council bosses have apologised and agreed to pay damages, the judge has been told.
Details of the case emerged in a ruling by Mr Justice Cobb following a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London. The judge said neither the children nor their father could be identified.
And in another glimmer of hope CWF highlighted the fact that the head of the Britain’s family courts agency has finally agreed divorced and estranged parents who deliberately turn their children against ex-partners are guilty of abuse.
Anthony Douglas, chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, has publicly come out against “parental alienation” admitting that manipulation of children by a parent has become so endemic in family break-ups that it should be dealt with like any other form of neglect or abuse
Andrew said: “Finally, our group and the many other groups battling against parental alienation, can take some comfort in what has been said – but it doesn’t mean the battle is over. Now we need to get the law to see it as a crime.”