Victims of parental alienation are expected to gather in Manchester on May 20 in what could become a major show of strength against a syndrome which is destroying lives across the world.
People are using social media to arrange car sharing to get them to the event and a coach has been booked to bring protesters in from Derbyshire and Nottingham.
The strength of feeling against parental alienation has grown massively in the past few months as Facebook groups globally stand up to be counted.
And even the boss of a controversial child protection service has said that Parental Alienation is just as powerful a public health issue as smoking or drinking.
Anthony Douglas, chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), had recently 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.”
The Manchester protest in Piccadilly gardens at 10am, has been arranged by One Voice Against Abuse.
A spokesperson for One Voice said: “We are asking for urgent reform to family courts and in particular to stop giving child abusers validated access to children … Let’s speak up for the real victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Social Services and Cafcass along with court officials need to be made accountable for their injustices. Questions on forced adoption and conflicts of interests need to be investigated…”
Campaigners held a series of protests outside court buildings across the UK a few days ago.
Members of D.A.D.S (Dads Against Double Standards) set up camp outside the main doors of court houses as part the protest which took place in more than 30 towns and cities across the country, including Edinburgh, Swansea, Liverpool and Belfast.
DADS say that many fathers and family members are alienated by courts and find it difficult to get shared access to their children.
The group believe it would be fairer if each case was decided on an individual basis and a ‘50/50’ parental responsibility was agreed in the first instance by the courts.
A leaflet handed out by the group states: ‘‘Parental Alienation’ is illegal in Brazil and is widely recognised in the US and Canada.”
Fathers’ rights groups like Fathers for Justice have received attention in the past for their outlandish protests but DADS spokesman Andrew John Teague, who lives in Swansea but decided to protest in Bristol with fellow activists, said: “We need to stop parental alienation, the courts know it’s an issue and they must begin to act on it, it’s a failure in the justice system.
“We’re protesting to get the law changed to make it a criminal offence to alienate a parent. It should be recognised as another form of child abuse.”
Andrew described how he spent two hours talking an unnamed member down from his despair. He said: “I couldn’t put the phone down on him, how could I? I have felt similar feelings to his in my own personal battle to keep in contact with my daughter.”
And Andrew revealed that more and more of his time and the time of others running the site is spent talking to divorced parents who have hit rock bottom as their ex-partners twist their children against them and they come up against the brick wall of beaurocracy which ham-strings courts, social services and the CSA.
One Voice said: “Attend the protests, question your local candidates for the up and coming general election on this matter, sign the petitions or donate to any of the just giving pages asking for help to appeal unjust cases.”