Talking sense at NAAP’s first major conference

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The biggest fight against parental alienation took to the streets of Swansea as the National Association of Alienated Parents held its first conference.

The main speakers were Andrew John Teague, whose battle to see his own child  began a Facebook campaign which went world-wide, writer on PA Stuart Hontree and NAAP organiser Peter Davies.

The conference at the Dragon Hotel Swansea was filmed for an educational DVD to be sent to schools and organisations across the UK.

On the run-up to its recent launch  NAAP  sent out a 175 page document demanding the law is changed to protect children and parents alike when a marriage or relationship hits the rocks.

The document – which you can read here  – has been put together by lawyers, psychologists and alienation experts and has been sent to social services, Cafcass, Britain’s courts and Parliament.

The report is estimated to be more than 40,000 words long and is one of the most in-depth studies made of the problem.

Organisers said ‘most of us at the conference were parents who understand what it is like to live with our children rejecting us without any justification or for the flimsiest of reasons’.

Andrew John Teague said: “Parents and grandparents gave feedback which showed what we are doing is worthwhile … people are beginning to realise that the battle against Parental Alienation can actually be won.. And Stuart Graham gave a detailed presentation on the complexities of dealing with the problem.”

NAAP says that in order to reject a once-loved parent a child must suppress their love and attachment to that parent.

Organisers believe it causes profound emotional and psychological harm with life-long consequences.

One said: “Parental alienation is not a parental rights issue: it is a mental health issue. Harm is inflicted upon our children whilst grief and trauma is inflicted upon parents and families through being erased and removed from their children’s lives.”

Andrew, of D.A.D.s (dads against double standards), one of the organisers of NAAP, said: “The way families are treated by the so-called carers and the courts in appalling. Cafcass, which is supposedly there to help people as they try to sort their lives out after separation or divorce and keep in contact with their children, needs to be totally revamped.

“They need to realise that in their ham-fisted and uncaring ways of dealing with families they are destroying lives, including the lives of the children, the people they are supposed to be protecting.”

The has published stories revealing the horrors of what some families have gone through because of the way carers and courts deal with them. There are well-documented cases of alienated parents being told that they shouldn’t tell their children they love them, send letters and birthday cards expressing affection. While some only have supervised visiting rights others have revealed the heartbreak of not seeing their off-spring, sometimes, for years.

D.A.Ds, which began as a Facebook page and now has more than 20,000 members, was a prime mover in  setting up NAAP along with others including  PA authorities Karen and Nick Woodall, who have published a handbook for parents and practitioners, Understanding Parental Alienation, Learning to Cope, Helping to Heal.

Karen believes that parental alienation is finally starting to be seen as child abuse in the UK and CAFCASS – the organisation which claims it looks after the interests of children involved in family proceedings – has agreed it is necessary to change how it treats families.

Many victims of PA deny this is what they do, claiming they do more damage to families and children than good.

Nick describes himself as: “A partner at the Family Separation Clinic. I focus on separating families and supporting the whole family to manage change in ways that provide the best outcomes for children.”
Karen said: “Parents will be supported from now on by the new representative body – The National Association of Alienated Parents. We will join with other parent support bodies as part of the worldwide representation of the needs of families affected by PA. NAAP, will formally launch with a seminar at the House of Commons in February and will increase pressure on government and CAFCASS to properly meet their needs as set out by internationally recognised standards of practice.”

Karen said: “Parental alienation is harmful to children and deeply distressing for families. In its worst form it is serious child abuse, in all forms it is a tragic outcome for children. I welcome the launch of NAAP and know that the power of loving parents will bring great change in the coming year.”

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