Τετάρτη, 23 Ιανουαρίου 2008

ΚΑΤΗΓΟΡΙΕΣ ΓΙΑ ΣΕΞΟΥΑΛΙΚΗ ΚΑΚΟΠΟΙΗΣΗ-ΠΑΡΕΝΟΧΛΗΣΗ ΑΠΟ ΠΑΤΕΡΑ ΣΤΟ ΔΙΑΖΥΓΙΟ

www.sos-sygapa.eu

ΕΙΣΗΓΗΣΗ ΠΟΥ ΑΠΕΣΤΑΛΗ ΣΤΟ ΣΥΝΕΔΡΙΟ ΚΑΚΟΠΟΙΗΣΗΣ

25-27 Νοεμβρίου 2005

Με αφορμή το Συνέδριο «Για την αντιμετώπιση της σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης» που θα λάβει χώρα από 25 έως και 27 Νοεμβρίου, στην Ελληνοαμερικανική Ενωση (Μασσαλίας 22, Αθήνα), σας στέλνω περίληψη εισήγησης από μέρους του Συλλόγου μας.

ΣΕΞΟΥΑΛΙΚΗ ΚΑΚΟΠΟΙΗΣΗ – ΔΙΑΖΥΓΙΟ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΙΔΙ

ΠΕΡΙΛΗΨΗ

Οι έως σήμερα μελέτες περί σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης αφορούσαν αυτήν μεταξύ των δύο φύλων, των ενηλίκων ή και αυτών από ενήλικες προς ανήλικες.

Ένα θέμα που δεν έχει ακόμη διερευνηθεί ή έχει ατελώς ερευνηθεί στην Ελλάδα αλλά που έχει διαστάσεις τεράστιες και αποτελεί όνειδα της ελληνικής κοινωνίας, του ελληνικού πολιτισμού και της Παιδείας αλλά παραμένει ακόμη ‘οικογενειακό μυστικό’ και μόνο συζητείται σε δικαστικές αίθουσες σε ακροαματική διαδικασία διαζυγίων, είναι αυτό της σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης γονέα προς το παιδί του.

Το ταμπού της καταγγελίας περί σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης παιδιού μέσα στο γάμο με αφορμή το διαζύγιο, τείνει λάβει γιγαντιαίες διαστάσεις στην Ελλάδα. Από πρόχειρες-πρώτες μελέτες μας και συλλογή στοιχείων, προκύπτει ότι ένα τεράστιο ποσοστό διαζυγίων (υπολογίζεται περί το 50%) στηρίζεται σε στοιχεία που έχουν σχέση με σεξουαλική κακοποίηση παιδιού από πατέρα και αυτό καταγγέλλεται, γράφεται ή λέγεται προφορικά ή και με υπονοούμενα σε δικαστήρια, σε αίθουσες ή και σε διαδρόμους.

Ο πατέρας λοιπόν, στην Ελλάδα, κατηγορείται για σεξουαλική κακοποίηση, παρενόχληση ή και ότι άλλο σχετικό, από τη μητέρα όταν η ίδια αποφασίζει να χωρίσει. Αυτό αποτελεί ίδιον της ελληνικής πραγματικότητας, του ελληνικού πολιτισμού? Είναι αποδεκτό από τα ελληνικά δικαστήρια? Είναι αποδεδειγμένο? Εάν ναι, τότε δύο τινά συμβαίνουν: Η το μεγαλύτερο ποσοστό του Ελλήνων πατεράδων είναι ανήθικο και διεστραμμένο ή ότι τα καταγγελλόμενα είναι συκοφαντικά και ανάρμοστα των Ελληνίδων μητέρων. Όπως και να έχει, το βέβαιο είναι ότι μία αρχή μελέτης θα πρέπει να προταθεί, να αναλυθεί και τα συμπεράσματα να ανακοινωθούν παγκοσμίως για να δοθεί μια εικόνα της ελληνικής κοινωνίας. Ας μη ξεχνάμε ότι περί το μισό των ζευγαριών χωρίζουν στην Ελλάδα, ποσοστό ενδεικτικό για τον αριθμό των πατεράδων ή μητέρων που έχουν διαπράξει ποινικό αδίκημα κατά των παιδιών τους (είτε συκοφαντικό εις βάρος του πατέρα είτε πραγματικό γεγονός).

Τέλος, σε ελάχιστες περιπτώσεις κατηγορείται η μητέρα για το ίδιο αδίκημα της σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης με αφορμή το διαζύγιο.

Επειδή στις παραπάνω περιπτώσεις αρμόζει ορισμός επιτρόπου εντός των ορίων έγκλησης και είναι αδιανόητο να θεωρείται νόμιμη η έγκληση από τον ένα γονέα όταν μάλιστα υπάρχει διαφωνία των γονέων σε διαζύγιο, επιμέλεια, γονική μέριμνα, επικοινωνία. Το παιδί –θύμα- χρησιμοποιείται ως υποχείριο με αποτέλεσμα τον ψυχικό τραυματισμό του αλλά και τον διασυρμό του ένα γονέα.

Οι ερευνητές Gardner, Τurkat, Χαραλαμπάκης, όπως και εκθέσεις ΟΗΕ, USA, κτλ, μας δίνουν στοιχεία για το σύνδρομο της κακόβουλης μητέρας στο διαζύγιο, θέματα κακοποίησης, κτλ.

Ολ’αυτά, σε συνδυασμό με τις αποφάσεις δικαστηρίων που δίνουν σχεδόν αποκλειστικά την επιμέλεια στη μητέρα (άρα ο πατέρας αγωνίζεται για την επικοινωνία μόνο) προκαλείται σύγκρουση συμφερόντων μεταξύ μητέρας και παιδιού που αποβαίνει εις βάρος του παιδιού, διότι πρέπει να επιβιώσει εκεί όπου ζει.

Θέμα ανοικτό προς έρευνα.

ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ-ΑΝΑΦΟΡΕΣ

-Elkman, OSullivan, 1991, Ποιος μπορεί να πιάσει ένα ψεύτη. Αμερικανός Ψυχολόγος, Νο 46, σελ 913-920.

-Gardner, 1987, Το γονικό σύνδρομο αποξένωσης και η διαφοροποίηση μεταξύ της κατασκευασμένης και γνήσιας κατάχρησης φύλων παιδιών.

-Turkat, 1993, Το διαζύγιο αφορούσε το κακόβουλο σύνδρομο μητέρων. Περιοδικό της οικογενειακής βίας.

-Family Evaluation in Child Custody Mediation, Arbitration, and Gardner (1987a), το γονικό σύνδρομο αλλοτρίωσης και η διαφοροποίηση μεταξύ της ψεύτικης και αληθινής κακοποίησης παιδιών. Cresskill, Νιου Τζέρσεϋ: Δημιουργική θεραπευτική, Α.Ε.

-Litigation. Cresskill, New Jersey: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

-ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΙΚΟ Τμήμα υγείας και ανθρώπινες

υπηρεσίες, διοίκηση στα παιδιά, νεολαία, και οικογένειες, κακή μεταχείριση 1997 παιδιών: Εκθέσεις από Κράτη στο εθνικό σύστημα στοιχείων κακοποίησης και παραμέλησης παιδιών (Ουάσιγκτον DC, :GPO, 1999). Πηγή για τις δολοφονίες των παιδιών από τους γονείς: ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΙΚΟ Τμήμα υγείας και ανθρώπινες υπηρεσίες, εθνικό κέντρο στην κακοποίηση και την παραμέληση παιδιών, τρίτη εθνική μελέτη επίπτωσης της κακοποίησης παιδιών και παραμέλησης: Παραρτήματα τελικών εκθέσεων

‘ΨΕΥΔΕΙΣ ΚΑΤΑΓΓΕΛΙΕΣ ΣΤΟ ΔΙΑΖΥΓΙΟ ΠΕΡΙ ΣΕΞΟΥΑΛΙΚΗΣ ΠΑΡΕΝΟΧΛΗΣΗΣ-ΚΑΚΟΠΟΙΗΣΗΣ ΠΑΙΔΙΩΝ’

Μανώλα Αναστασία, ψυχολόγος, καθηγήτρια


ΕΙΣΑΓΩΓΗ


Το αυξανόμενο φαινόμενο καταγγελιών για παιδοφιλία και σεξουαλική κακοποίηση παιδιών έδωσε ερεθίσματα για έρευνα στις ανεπτυγμένες χώρες πριν από το 1980.

Στην Αμερική, η Wall Street Journal, 4/2/85 αλλά και η δημοσίευση στα πρακτικά του επιστημονικού περιοδικού ‘Annual Meeting of The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law’, Albuquerque , N.M. , October 10, 1985 αναφέρουν ότι πάνω από 60% ή 750.000 περιπτώσεις αποδεικνύονται το χρόνο να μην έχουν βάση.

Οι παράγοντες που συμβάλλουν στην συνειδητοποιημένη ψευδή κατηγορία για κακοποίηση είναι:

-Η αδυναμία του συστήματος και των νόμων να διαχωρίσουν την αληθινή κακοποίηση των παιδιών.

-Η αυξανόμενη κατάρτιση των ειδικών-επαγγελματιών (στην Αμερική) οι οποίοι προειδοποιούν για τους κινδύνους σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης.

-Διαδεδομένη έντονη δημοσιότητα των ΜΜΕ στη σεξουαλική κακοποίηση.

-Αυξανόμενη προσφυγή στα δικαστήρια για επιμέλεια-επικοινωνία παιδιών στο διαζύγιο.

-Μειωμένο, στην Ελλάδα, το επίπεδο κουλτούρας και πολιτισμού.

Σε μερικές περιοχές, όπως στη χώρα μας, η υπερβολικά ενθουσιώδης υποβολή έκθεσης κακοποίησης (εν απουσία έρευνας) για τη σεξουαλική κακοποίηση παιδιών έχουν συμβάλει σε μια ατμόσφαιρα της υστερίας που θυμίζει τις ιστορίες των μαγισσών του Σάλεμ.

Οι μεσογειακές χώρες έχουν προβάδισμα στις καταγγελίες αυτές και αφορούν κάθε λογής ψευδή καταγγελία περί σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης-παρενόχλησης. Στη Βοσνία, στην Ιταλία όπως και στην Αμερική, έχουν δημιουργηθεί κέντρα έρευνας και δημοσιεύονται συχνά μελέτες. Οι πρώτες ελαττωματικές αξιολογήσεις από συνεντεύξεις παιδιών που έκαναν ανειδίκευτοι ανακριτές ή ορισμένοι από το δικαστήριο εμπειρογνώμονες μετά από παρέλευση ετών, οδήγησαν σε δίκες με ελλιπή ή ελαττωματικά στοιχεία. Η έκθεση το 2006, του ΟΗΕ για την παιδοφιλία στην Ελλάδα είναι κόλαφος, ενώ η κυρία Μπανταντέρ (που είναι από τις πρώτες φεμινίστριες) , δήλωσε σε συνέντευξή της στις 14-11-07 στην εφημερίδα LEMONDE ότι είναι γνωστό ότι ένα μεγάλο ποσοστό των καταγγελιών για σεξουαλική κακοποίηση παιδιών στο διαζύγιο είναι ψευδείς. Στην Ελλάδα, υπολογίζεται ότι στις μισές περιπτώσεις διαζυγίων κατηγορούνται οι πατεράδες για παρενόχληση-κακοποίηση των παιδιών τους με σκοπό την στέρηση επικοινωνίας και εκβιασμό για διατροφή. Ένα εκατομμύριο διαζευγμένων υπάρχουν στην χώρα μας. Στην δε εφημερίδα FIGARO της 16-11-2007 αναφέρεται ότι με τον τρόπο αυτό δημιουργείται και το σύνδρομο γονικής αποξένωσης (PAS) το οποίο είναι αναγνωρισμένο από τα Γαλλικά δικαστήρια και μάλιστα σε περίπτωση μιας μητέρας που κατηγόρησε ψευδώς τον πατέρα για σεξουαλική κακοποίηση του παιδιού τους, της αφαιρέθηκε η επιμέλεια (απόφαση Νο 99/2277 Εφετείου Μονπελιέ, 5-4-2000).

Επίσης, άλλη μητέρα καταδικάστηκε σε τετράμηνη φυλάκιση με αναστολή με την υπ αρ. 06-82383/ 22-02-2007 απόφαση Αρείου Πάγου Παρισιού, για ψευδή καταμήνυση κακοποίησης.

ΤΟ ΔΙΑΖΥΓΙΟ


Υπάρχουν πολυάριθμα άρθρα για την αξιολόγηση ανακρίσεων παιδιών διαζυγίων που αναφέρονται σε ψευδή και συκοφαντική καταγγελία για σεξουαλική κακοποίηση-παρενόχληση.

Οι Adams-Tucker, 1984, Benedek L Schetky, 1985, 1986, Sgroi και λοιποί 1982 καθώς και Weiss, 1983, εξέτασαν την κλινική αξιολόγηση.

Ο Gardner αναφέρει ότι η αξιολόγηση και θεραπεία πρέπει να γίνει στους γονείς και στα παιδιά, τόσο στον γονέα-θύτη που ψευδώς καταγγέλλει όσο και στον γονέα-θύμα αλλά κυρίως στα παιδιά που έχουν υποστεί το βάσανο της ανάκρισης ή δικαστικής εξέτασης το οποίο ψυχολογικά επιβαρύνει το παιδί.

Στην Αμερική υπάρχουν εξειδικευμένα γραφεία δικηγόρων-ψυχολόγων-εγκληματολόγων (πχ Nichols Consulting, τηλ ++18004008886, 24/24ωρο, 7/7 ημέρες, με εμπειρία 25 ετών).

Προκειμένου να μην επαναλάβουμε τις επιστημονικές αποκαλύψεις τους αλλά να δώσουμε τις τρομακτικές συνέπειες των κακών ανακριτικών μεθόδων, παραθέτουμε τις ανεπαρκείς και αποτυχημένες ενέργειες:

1. Η αποτυχία να εξεταστεί η υποκειμενική εμπειρία του παιδιού.

Το παράδειγμα παιδιού που έλεγε στον πατέρα ‘φύγε με έκανες παρενόχληση’ (όταν προ εξαετίας ήταν 4 ετών), ενώ αποδεδειγμένα δεν συνέβη ποτέ τίποτα ή του παιδιού που σε δικαστήριο ήταν αδύνατο να θυμηθεί λεπτομέρειες όπως στις επίμονες ερωτήσεις: ‘τι έκανες στον καναπέ με τον μπαμπά’ που αποτελούσε παιχνίδι φαντασίας του εσωτερικού του κόσμου παρά εξωτερικού πραγματικού κόσμου.

2. Κακή χρήση ανατομικών ειδώλων – κουκλών.

Στην περίπτωση παιδιού τριών ετών (ΗΠΑ, Diane K. Schetky, M.D. and Harold Boverman, M.D., Nov 28, 2004), όπου ανώτεροι αστυνομικοί απογοητεύθηκαν όταν το παιδί προτίμησε να παίξει με ένα φορτηγό παρά να τραβήξει τα εσώρουχα αρσενικής κούκλας που του είχαν δώσει και απάντησε αρνητικά στις επίμονες ερωτήσεις τους, ότι δηλαδή έβγαλαν τα εσώρουχα.

Στην Ελλάδα, δεν υπάρχουν καν ειδικοί παιδο-ανακριτές. Οι Εισαγγελείς ανηλίκων ούτε είναι εξειδικευμένοι, ούτε έχουν δυνατότητα χρησιμοποίησης εργαλείων όπως η ανατομική κούκλα.

3. Αποτυχία ολοκλήρωσης της έρευνας.

Το παιδί αδυνατεί να διακρίνει ένα αντικείμενο από άλλο όταν δεν γνωρίζει την ορολογία. Για παράδειγμα στη λέξη ραβδί, ονομάζει το θερμόμετρο, το πέος, το κουτάλι, το δάκτυλο, το κλίσμα, κτλ.

Σε άλλη περίπτωση το παιδί σταματά επίσης να συμμετέχει όταν αγνοεί τη διαφορά μεταξύ ενός προφυλακτικού και ενός μπαλονιού. Υπάρχουν αναπάντητα ερωτήματα και τελειώνουν τη συνέντευξη με κάποια ενοχοποιητικά στοιχεία για τον εαυτό τους.

4. Ερωτήσεις που οδηγούν τα παιδιά κάπου.

Η διατύπωση μιας ερώτησης μπορεί να γίνει με τέτοιο τρόπο που να έχει και την επιθυμητή απάντηση. Για παράδειγμα, το παιδί από την Μινεζότα, είπε ’μπόρεσα να πω ότι θέλησαν να πω από τον τρόπο που υπέβαλαν την ερώτηση’ (Newsweek, 2/18/75). Στη Μασαχουσέτη σε μια περίπτωση ενάντια σε ένα βρεφονηπιακό σταθμό ανατράπηκαν τα δεδομένα όταν αντέκρουσε ο δικαστής την έρευνα της κοινωνικού λειτουργού, «βρήκα τις μεθόδους της τόσο υποδηλωτικές, καταναγκαστικές, και επαναλαμβανόμενες και ότι οποιεσδήποτε πληροφορίες που λήφθηκαν από την από τα παιδιά ήταν έτσι μολυσμένες ώστε να είναι συνολικά αναξιόπιστες » (telegraph 8/2/85 του Worcester).

5. Καταναγκασμός και απειλές για τις απαντήσεις.

Το Ιορδανό παιδί της Μινεσότα, 8 χρονών, κατά τους θεράποντες ιατρούς, κρατήθηκε από την μητέρα και απειλήθηκε έως ότου πει σε ψυχολόγο ότι αναγνωρίζει την σεξουαλική του κακοποίηση (star-step of Mineapolis, 09/29/84). Σε άλλη περίπτωση, η μητέρα απείλησε το παιδί ότι δεν του επέτρεπε να επιστρέψει στο σπίτι θα το πήγαινε στο νοσοκομείο όπου έβαζαν βελόνες, εάν δεν κατέθετε ότι ο πατέρας το ακούμπησε στο κάτω άκρο του. Αυτό επιβάρυνε τον πατέρα με ισόβια κάθειρξη.

6. Η προκατάληψη του προσώπου που παίρνει συνέντευξη από το παιδί.

Πρώτα εμφανίζεται να ανακρίνει το παιδί η μητέρα, η οποία είναι ήδη προκατειλημμένη και ‘σίγουρη’ για το συμβάν εφόσον και η ίδια έχει ήδη αυθυποβληθεί γι’αυτό. Επίσης, προκατάληψη μπορεί να υπάρχει και από συγγενικά άτομα της οικογένειας της μητέρας ή από γνωστούς που επίσης είναι και ειδικοί για την αξιολόγηση και εμπλέκονται με την υπόθεση. Σε περίπτωση της Ελλάδος, η μητέρα (ήδη κοινωνική λειτουργός) και φιλικά πρόσωπα – ειδικοί είναι σίγουροι ότι ο πατέρας έδειχνε προφυλακτικά στο αγόρι για να ενδώσει σεξουαλικά. Αυτό στέρησε στον πατέρα την επικοινωνία με το παιδί του για δέκα χρόνια, δημιουργώντας το, το PAS.

7. H παραμέληση της οικογενειακής δυναμικής.

Η σχέση μητέρας-παιδιού πολλές φορές είναι τόσο μεγάλη ώστε οδηγεί σε ψευδείς μαρτυρίες του παιδιού ενάντια στον πατέρα. Στην περίπτωση της Τζένη, ηλικίας 7 ετών, όλη η μητρική οικογένεια φύτεψε σπόρους στο μυαλό του για σεξουαλική κακοποίηση και από φόβο απώλειας της μητέρας, το έπραξε. Μετά την ωριμότητά της, απέσυρε τους ισχυρισμούς της σκεπτόμενη τις συνέπειές τους. Σε παρόμοια περίπτωση, η μητέρα πρόβαλε τις ερωτικές-σεξουαλικές της επιθυμίες μπροστά στην κόρη της και εξέταζε τα γεννητικά της όργανα μετά από την επικοινωνία με τον πατέρα και ή ίδια κατέθεσε εναντίον του. Στην Ελλάδα, προ ημερών, στον ιδιωτικό τηλεοπτικό σταθμό ΑΛΤΕΡ, στην εκπομπή ‘κοιτάω μπροστά’, κοπέλα δήλωσε ότι στην ηλικία των 17 ετών κατήγγειλε ψευδώς τον πατέρα της που βρίσκεται στη φυλακή από τετραετίας.

8. Η αποτυχία να εξεταστεί περίπτωση προγενέστερης σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης.

Στην περίπτωση του Brian, 8 ετών, κατηγόρησε τον κοινωνικό λειτουργό-σύμβουλο για επίδειξη πέους, ομοφυλοφιλία και αυτό-ικανοποίησης μπροστά του. Αποδείχθηκε όμως στο δικαστήριο από ψυχολόγο ότι αυτό ήταν προγενέστερη εμπειρία του παιδιού που έβλεπε κρυφά την τηλεόραση των γονιών του στο δίπλα δωμάτιο με παρόμοιες σκηνές. Ο σχολικός αυτός σύμβουλος είχε μπει σε διαθεσιμότητα για πολλούς μήνες. Σίγουρα, η κακή εκτίμηση ότι το παιδί προτίμησε να προβάλει την σεξουαλική του παρενόχληση στον σχολικό σύμβουλο ενώ υπήρχε προγενέστερη εμπειρία.

9. Η ανεπαρκής αξιολόγηση.

Ενας εκδικητικός γείτονας κατήγγειλε ότι δύο παιδιά 2 και 4 ετών είναι εκτεθειμένα σε ασελγείς πράξεις, ότι κυκλοφορούσαν γυμνά, έκαναν μπάνιο και έκαναν ζωή χίπις διότι προσπαθούσαν να τον ξεκουμπώσουν το πουκάμισο. Η μητέρα, αργότερα εξήγησε ότι τα παιδιά ήταν σε ηλικία ‘εξερεύνησης’ του σώματος. Ο ανακριτής αναγνώρισε ότι η μέθοδος του κακόβουλου γείτονα και μητέρας ήταν άχρηστες και προκάλεσαν την διακοπή της επικοινωνίας.

10. Αποτυχία να εξεταστεί η αξιοπιστία του παιδιού.

Αγόρι 6 ετών μίλησε στον ψυχολόγο με διαφορετικό τρόπο για την μητέρα και τον πατέρα του. Κατόρθωσε να τον εξαπατήσει σε ένα παιχνίδι και στην κατάθεσή του στο δικαστήριο αρνήθηκε όλη τη συζήτηση με τον ψυχολόγο. Το συμπέρασμα ήταν ότι οι πολύ διφορούμενες δηλώσεις περί σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης του αποδείκνυαν αναξιοπιστία και ότι υπήρξε λάθος χρήση αξιολόγησης.

11. Οι κίνδυνοι των επαναλαμβανόμενων συνεντεύξεων.

Τα παιδιά μπορεί να βλέπουν τις επαναλαμβανόμενες συνεντεύξεις ως απαίτηση των ενηλίκων για διαφορετικές καταθέσεις ή περισσότερες πληροφορίες. Εάν οι πρώτοι ισχυρισμοί είναι ψευδείς και επαναλαμβανόμενοι, το παιδί μπορεί να αναθεωρήσει ειδικά εάν οδηγούνται από έγκριση των ενηλίκων ή αντίστροφα.

12. Η αποτυχία να αντιμετωπιστεί το ζήτημα της ικανότητας.

Η ικανότητα του παιδιού κάτω των 14 ετών να πιστοποιήσει γεγονότα προκαθορίζεται από τον δικαστή (ΗΠΑ). Το παιδί από την ηλικία αυτή έχει αξιόπιστη μνήμη και μπορεί να διαχωρήσει την αλήθεια από την αναλήθεια, το γεγονός από την φαντασία. Το παιδί έχει συναισθηματικές συγκρούσεις (ντροπή, φόβος, συγκρούσεις πίστης) και δεν σημαίνει ότι μπορεί να διακρίνει την αντικειμενική αλήθεια από την υποκειμενική ερμηνεία και όλα αυτά έχουν επιπτώσεις στην κατάθεση στο δικαστήριο.

Μερικές φορές, για να υπάρξει εχεμύθεια και συνεργασία, η δίκη καταγράφεται σε κάμερα και σε γραφείο δικαστή-ανακριτή. Βέβαια και στην περίπτωση όπου δικαιώθηκε ο πατέρας (Ηράκλειο-Τρίκαλα, κτλ), τα έξοδα δικών είναι υπέρογκα, μετά από 5-7 χρόνια δικών. Σε άλλη περίπτωση, ο δικαστής αποφάνθηκε ότι η ικανότητα της Τζένυ, 5 ετών, δεν είναι επαρκής να πιστοποιήσει οτιδήποτε εναντίον του πατέρα και η δίκη μεταφέρθηκε σε αστικό-οικογενειακό δικαστήριο.

Ο ΡΟΛΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΕΙΔΙΚΟΥ ΨΥΧΟΛΟΓΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΥ ΠΑΙΔΟ-ΨΥΧΙΑΤΡΟΥ

Οι ειδικοί μπορεί να κληθούν είτε ως εμπειρογνώμονες είτε ως απλοί μάρτυρες. Αυτοί θα πρέπει να εκπαιδεύσουν τους δικαστές και τους ανακριτές για τους λόγους της ψευδούς καταθέσεως περί σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης-παρενόχλησης. Δίχως να υπάρχει άμεση πρόσβαση στον μηνυτή είναι δύσκολη η ανάλυση καταθέσεων παιδιών και μαρτύρων. Η επεξεργασία πρέπει να γίνεται σε οικογενειακά δικαστήρια εκτιμώντας την συνολική οικογενειακή δυναμική. Στα αστικά δικαστήρια μπορούν να αποτιμήσουν το μέγεθος του κακού, τις συνέπειες και την μελλοντική ή παρούσα έκταση των ζημιών.

ΣΥΜΠΕΡΑΣΜΑΤΑ


Οι ισχυρισμοί και η αξιοπιστία των λόγων των παιδιών δεν πρέπει να αξιολογηθούν μεμονωμένα αλλά να ληφθεί υπόψη η οικογενειακή δυναμική, οι προηγούμενες εμπειρίες, η υποκίνηση από άλλους.

Τα αντικείμενα-είδωλα (ανατομικές κούκλες) είναι επικίνδυνο να εκτιμώνται μεμονωμένα διότι τα παιδιά μπορεί να τα παίζουν διαφορετικά.

Τα χρονικά περιθώρια από αστυνομία-δικαστήρια, ανακρίσεις, κτλ επηρεάζουν την κρίση.

Να λαμβάνεται υπόψη από ειδικούς η ικανότητα του παιδιού, η ωριμότητά του, η τιμιότητα (και του περιβάλλοντός του) και να υπάρχει επαγρύπνηση και υποψία ψεύδους για τις περιπτώσεις σε επιστροφή από επικοινωνία με τον γονέα που δεν έχει την επιμέλεια-κατοικία. Σ’αυτές τις περιπτώσεις πρέπει να εξετασθεί εάν υπάρχει συνεχής επαφή επικοινωνίας ή υπάρχει εξαναγκασμός για ψευδή καταγγελία με σκοπό αφαίρεσης επιμέλειας ή αποκοπή επικοινωνίας με τον πατέρα.

Πιο σατανική είναι η περίπτωση όπου δικηγόρος και μητέρα επισκέπτονται συχνά εισαγγελείς και δικαστές και αναφέρουν προφορικά παρενόχληση αγοριών από πατέρα με μοναδικό σκοπό τη στέρηση επικοινωνίας τους μ’αυτόν. Η περίπτωση πατέρα που παρέμεινε επί έξι μήνες προφυλακιστέος έως ότι αναγνωρισθεί η πλάνη για σεξουαλική κακοποίηση μετά από κανονική επικοινωνία με την δίχρονη κόρη του είναι χαρακτηριστική στην Ελλάδα του 21ου αιώνα.

ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ

-Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R, 2006, ‘Ψευδείς ισχυρισμοί για σεξουαλική κακοποίηση παιδιών’, αναφορά γραφείων πληρεξούσιων & πελατών, τρίτη έκδοση,

- Daniel Marcelli, 2004, 'Il bambino sovrano - Un nuovo capo in

famiglia?’, Editore Raffaello Cortina, Roma.

- David M. Fergusson – Paul E. Mullen (Edizione italiana a cura di

Ernesto Caffo), 2004, ‘Abusi sessuali sui minori’, Un approccio basato sulle evidenze scientifiche ed. Centro Scientifico, Roma.

-Adams-Tucker,C (1984) "Early Treatment of Child Incest Victims", Am. J. Psychotherapy Vol XXXVIII no 4 505-515

-Benedek, E. and Schetky, L.H. Allegations of Sexual Abuse in "Custody and Visitation Disputes" in Emerging Issues in Child Psychiatry and the Law New York : Brunner/Mazel, 1985

-Dale, P.S., Loftus, E.F.& Rathbun, L. (1978) "The Influence of the form of the question on the eyewitness testimony of preschool children." J. Psycholinguistic Research, 7, 269-177

-Mrazek, D. "The Child Psychiatric Examination of the Sexually Abused Child" in Sexually Abused Children and Their Families. Ed. P. Mrazek and C. H. Kanpe.

-Renshaw, D. (1985) "When Sex Abuse is Falsely Charged." Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality 19 no 7 Jul '85 44-52

-Schetky, D.H. and Benedek, E.P. "False Allegations of Sexual Abuse." Submitted to Int. J. Child Abuse & Neglect

-Sgroi, S., Forter, F., and Blick, L. "Validation of Child Sexual Abuse" in Handbook of Clinical Intervention in Child. Sexual Abuse ed. Sgroi, Lexington Books, Lexington , Mass, 1982

-Weiss, E, (1983) Incest Accusations: Assessing Credibility.

ΙΣΤΟΣΕΛΙΔΕΣ

http://www.rgardner.com/ Dr. Richard A. Gardner's site - the innovator of the term Parental Alienation Syndrome and a source of information, books and he acts as an expert witness.

http://www.education.mcgill.ca/pain/The Canadian Parental Alienation Information Network (P.A.I.N.) and involves the team from McGill University, including Dr. Glenn F. Carwright and Despina Vassiliou.

http://www.parentalalienation.com/ is Dr. Douglas Darnall's site. He deals with Parental Alienation -- the state proceeding the full-fledged PAS -- as well as Parental Alienation Syndrome. Dr. Darnall also has a book available through his site.

http://www.spig.clara.net/ Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK. An excellent site in the UK with a lot of useful information. It also has a PAS section that has an exhaustive article list.

http://www.robin.no/~dadwatch/ links to Dad Watch and Aktive Fedre (a Norwegian group) with information on PAS.

http://fnf.org.uk/ Families Need Fathers is a UK group with a collection of good information, including a Parental Alienation section.

http://www.familycourts.com/ The Family Court Reform Council of America is a California-based US site with some information on PAS.

http://www.mall4us.com/pas.htm is a U.S. group calling itself the Parental Alienation Information Network (P.A.I.N.) It does provide some information on (U.S.) providers of services.

http://www.vev.ch/en/pas/ link's to VeV's PAS newsletter, which you can subscribe to or review some of the material in the current or past issues of the newsletter.

http://homepages.iol.ie/~pe/ is Parental Equity, an Irish group with information on Parental Alienation, including cited statistics.

http://www.acfc.org/, the American Coalition for Fathers & Children has an extensive site with considerable information on a number of topics, including some reports and studies on Parental Alienation.

http://www.familycourt.gov.au/papers/fca3/LODGE.PDF links to Paul Lodge's presentation material from his Alienation Revisited session at the Australian 3rd National Family Court Conference.

http://www.divorcedfather.com/ has an excellent article under the father resources on PAS. This site also promotes Serge Prengel 's book Still A Dad: the divorced father's journey.

Https://ftp3.sagepub.com/cgi-bin/fx/record/stahccc.txt is Phil's Stahl's book Conducting Child Custody Evaluations available from Sage Publishing. Other material from Sage by Stahl is found at http://www.sagepub.co.uk/books/details/a237402.html

http://members.xoom.com/WWDD/noframes.htm is an excellent site with a number of articles on PAS and other related topics.

http://www.divorcesource.com/archives/alienation.shtml provides the Ward and Harvey article above in a hypertext format.

http://www.bpdcentral.com/ deals with Borderline Personality Disorder (it is not the disorder that is borderline). This condition seems to be found in many alienating parents.

http://www.stanford.edu/~corelli/borderline.html also deals with BPD and states that some 10-14% of the population is affected, and that it is 2-3 times more common in women than in men.

ΓΕΝΙΚΗ ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ

Benedek, E., & Schetky, D. (1985) Allegations of Sexual Abuse in Child Custody Cases.
In: D. Schetky & E. Benedek (Eds.), Emerging Issues in Child Psychiatry and the Law. NY: Brunner/Mazel pp. 145-156.

Benedek, E., & Schetky, D. (1987) Problems in Validating Allegations of Sexual Abuse: Part I - Factors Affecting Perception and Recall of Events, & Part II - Clinical Evaluation. 26 Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Bernet, W. (1993) False Statements and the Differential Diagnosis of Abuse Allegations. 32 Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 5.

Bernet, W. (1997) Case Study: Allegations of Abuse Created in a Single Interview. 36 Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 7.

Bernet, W. (1998) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Law. In: J. D. Noshpitz (Ed.) Handbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. NY: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 438-467.

Bernet, W. (2002) Child Custody Evaluations, 11 Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America.

Bernet, W. (2006) Sexual Abuse Allegations in the Context of Child Custody Disputes. In: R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.) The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Conceptual, Clinical and Legal Considerations. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd.

Berns, S. (2006) Recognition of PAS in Australia. In: R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.) The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Conceptual, Clinical and Legal Considerations. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd.

Blush, G., Ross, K. (1987) Sexual Allegation in Divorce: the SAID Syndrome. 25 Conciliation Courts Review 1.

Brandon, S., Boakes, J.,Glaser, D & Green R. (1998) Recovered Memories Of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Implications For Clinical Practice. 172 British Journal of Psychiatry 4.

Campbell, T.W. (1992) False Allegations of Sexual Abuse and their Apparent Credibility. 10 American Joumal of Forensic Psychology, 4.

Dennis, N. & Erdos, G.(1993) Families Without Fatherhood. London: IEA Health and Welfare Unit.

Child Sexual Abuse Allegations. 22 Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 2.

Gardner, R. A. (1989) Differentiating Between Bona Fide and Fabricated Sex Abuse Allegations in Children. 5 Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 1-25.

Gardner, R. A. (1992) True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc

Gardner, R.A. (1993), Child Sex Abuse and Hysteria: 1890s (Austria)/1990s (U.S.) 81 The Bulletin of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians 2.

Gardner, R. (1999) Differentiating Between Parental Alienation Syndrome And Bona Fide Abuse-Neglect. 27 American Journal Of Family Therapy 2.

Gardner, R. A. (1996) Psychotherapy with Sex-Abuse Victims: True, False, and Hysterical. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

Gardner, R. A. (2001) The Normal-Sexual-Fantasy Consideration in Sex-Abuse Evaluations. 29 American Journal of Family Therapy 2.

Gardner, R. A. (2002) Sex Abuse Trauma? Or Trauma from Other Sources? Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

Gordon, R. M. (1998) The Medea Complex and the Parental Alienation Syndrome: When Mothers Damage Their Daughters’ Ability to Love a Man. In: G. Fenchel (Ed.) The Mother-daughter Relationship: Echoes Through Time. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., pp. 207-225.

Green, A. (1986) True and False Allegations of Sexual Abuse in Child Custody Disputes. 25 Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 4..

Hindman, J. (1991) Sexual Victim Trauma Assessment. In: R. Langevin (Ed) Sex Offenders and Their Victims, Oakville, Ontario: Juniper Press, pp. 151-165.

Kalichman, S. C. (1999) Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse: Ethics, Law, and Policy (2nd ed.) Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Kopetski, L., Rand, D. & Rand, R. (2006) Incidence, Gender, and False Allegations of Child Abuse: Data on Eighty-four Parental Alienation Syndrome Cases. In: R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.) The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Conceptual, Clinical and Legal Considerations. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd.

Kreisman, J., Straus. H. (1989) I Hate You ? Don’t Leave Me. Los Angeles, CA: The Body Press.

Kuehnle, K. (1996) Assessing Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press.

Kuehnle, K. (2003) Child Sexual Abuse Evaluations. In: A.M. Goldstein & I.B. Weiner (Eds.) Handbook of Psychology, Volume 11, Forensic Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons pp. 437-460.

Lamb, M. E. et al. (1997) Assessing the Credibility of Children’s Allegations of Sexual Abuse: A Survey of Recent Research. Learning and Individual Differences 9, 175-194.

Lamb, M. E. et al. (2000) The Accuracy of Investigators’ Verbatim Notes of Their Forensic Interviews With Alleged Child Abuse Victims. 24 Law and Human Behavior 6.

Levy, David L. (2006) The Need For Public Awareness and Policy Makers to Respond to PAS: A Neglected Form of Child Abuse. In: R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.) The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Conceptual, Clinical and Legal Considerations. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd.

Lorandos, D. (2006) Parental Alienation Syndrome: Detractors and the Junk Science Vacuum. In: R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.) The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Conceptual, Clinical and Legal Considerations. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd.

Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Board on Family Law: Children Act Sub-Committee. ‘Making Contact Work: A Report to the Lord Chancellor on the Facilitation of Arrangements for Contact between Children and their Non-Residential Parents and the Enforcement of Court Orders for Contact’. February 2002.

Meadow, R. (1993) False Allegations of Abuse and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. 68 Archives of Disease in Children 4.

National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, Executive Summary (1988) Study of National Incidence and Prevalence of Child Abuse and Neglect. Washington, D.C.: Department of Health and Human Services, Contract 105-85-1702.

National Council on Children’s Rights (1996-97), CAPTA Revised to Provide Relief for False Allegations. Speak Out for Children, Fall/Winter.

False Allegations. Speak Out for Children, Fall/Winter. National Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Child Custody (1998) Legal and Mental Health Perspectives on Child Custody Law: A Deskbook for Judges. Eagan, MN: West Group.

Raskin, D.C., & Esplin, P.W. (1991) Assessment of Children’s Statements of Sexual Abuse. In: J. Doris (Ed.), The Suggestibility of Children’s Recollections. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 153-164.

Raskin, D.C., & Esplin, P.W. (1992) Statement Validity Assessment: Interview Procedures and Content Analysis of Children’s Statements of Sexual Abuse. Behavioral Assessment 13, pp. 265-291.

Turkat, I.D. (2002) Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Review of Critical Issues. Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 18, pp. 131-176.

Vassiliou, D. and Cartwright, G. (2001) The Lost Parent's Perspective on Parental Alienation Syndrome, 29 The American Journal of Family Therapy, pp. 181-191.

White, S. & Quinn, K. M. (1988) Investigatory Independence in Child Sexual Abuse Evaluations: Conceptual Considerations. 16 Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law 269-278.

Wood, J. M. & Garven, S. (2000) How Sexual Abuse Interviews Go Astray: Implications For Prosecutors, Police, And Child Protection Services. Child Maltreatment 5, 109-118.

Ybarra, 0. (2002) Naive Causal Understanding of Valenced Behaviors and Its Implications for Social Information Processing. 18 Psychological Bulletin 3. Yeo, S.S. (1996), Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy: Another Form of Child Abuse. In: 5 Child Abuse Review 3.

PAS – BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://www.pasattorney.com/pas-resources-links.htm

Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D.

WEST GROUP KEY AUTHOR EVIDENCE LAW

Licensed Clinical Psychologist / Attorney at Law

EAST: 734-327-5030 WEST: 415-877-6010

LEGAL NOTICE: This e-mail is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not an intended recipient, please notify the sender by reply e-mail or by calling (734) 327-5030, delete the e-mail from your computer and do not copy or disclose it to anyone. Unauthorized disclosure, copying, distribution, reliance or use is prohibited. Neither this e-mail nor its attachment(s) establish an attorney-client relationship, constitute an electronic signature or provide consent to contract electronically, unless expressly so stated by a Lorandos & Associates attorney in the body of this e-mail or an attachment.

ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΙΕΣ-SITE ΑΠΟ ΚΑΝΑΔΑ

Have You Been
Falsely Accused?
READ THIS FIRST AID KIT!


False Accusations of
Sexual Child Abuse:


A First Aid Kit
By Leigh Travis, Ph.D.


Your divorce has been going on for months, and it looks like you're going to get custody of your child(ren). Then, it happens. You can't believe the document before you: you've been falsely accused of sexually abusing your child(ren). What do you do?


FIRST
Get Help

Immediately call a father's rights organization in your area (if you're not a member, you'd better join immediately; father's rights organizations are highly specialized businesses, NOT churches or your parents, and you want to pay for the services provided). You need advice from an expert in the organization--a Mentor--who has been similarly accused, has faced the charge(s), and has won. You will probably need this Mentor's guidance over what might be months to come.

SECOND
The Fact Sheet

Assemble a written "fact sheet" about yourself: your job history, your criminal history (have you ever been convicted of alcohol or drug abuse or of molesting children?), your family history, the dates and significant events of your relationship with the person who is accusing you of sexually abusing your child(ren).

THIRD
The Chronology

Prepare a chronology of events. The accusation you're holding has statements of time in it: "that on or about the -day of --, 199-, the Defendant did . . ." Where were you at that time on that date? Why were you where you were? How can you prove you were where you say you were? Who are your witnesses? Write down their names, addresses, and telephone numbers (both work and home), and the rest of these facts. Your Mentor or the organization will have this form or help you create the chronology.

FOURTH
Attorneys

Using your Mentor's experience and that of the other members of the father's rights organization, start to interview attorneys who have the following qualifications:

· Has the JD degree and at least ten successful years experience representing primarily fathers in domestic law cases;

· Has an undergraduate minor in clinical and developmental psychology; and

· Is a parent (if divorced, has fought for and won sole or joint physical custody).

Show the attorney who meets these criteria the fact sheet and chronology you've prepared (above). If you personally like the attorney, and want to hire him or her to represent you, be prepared to pay a hefty retainer--sometimes as much as $25,000.00 or more in cases of extreme allegations of Criminal Sexual Conduct I (penetration).

If for whatever reason your "gut" tells you not to hire the attorney: DON'T.

FIFTH
Research

Start doing legal and psychological research on this NCFC home page, then branch out to a local publicly-accessible law library (city, county, federal, local law school). Do NOT expect your attorney to do this research. You need to carefully read the laws governing CSC in your state, how these laws have been interpreted by the courts in cases like yours, and which of all the CSC cases you've read most resembles yours.

SIXTH
The Psychologist

Even if there is indisputable physical evidence (for example, written medical evidence of a ripped hymen), it is highly probable that a Ph. D. psychologist will be appointed by the court to perform psychological evaluations of ALL the parties involved. Under no circumstances should these evaluations be performed by a person with only a master's degree ("MSW," "MA") after their name: they do not have sufficient training, and may be on a radical feminist mission as "Validaters" of sexual abuse charges (see the work on Richard A. Gardner, MD found in the files section of this home page).

ALWAYS tell the truth when you meet with the psychologist.: do not even attempt to fudge your answers during your personal interviews with the psychologist and on the written tests you'll take. The written tests have been designed to pick up lies, and the psychologist is highly trained to do the same thing on a verbal level.

DO NOT rush off and take a polygraph test ("lie detector test"), particularly if the test is administered by the State Police. If you want to have this test taken off-the-record (privately) to reassure yourself and your attorney that you are not guilty, fine: but understand that polygraph evidence is not admissible in your case (or in any CSC case). An exception is that polygraph results if ordinarily relied upon by the psychologist may be admissible to illustrate the basis for the psychologist's expert testimony.

Under no circumstances telephone or go charging over to your wife's (or ex-wife's or girl friend's) place to give her a piece of your mind: such behavior will only harm you. Remember this: everything you say or do WILL be held against you in CSC cases.

IF YOU "WIN"

Forget about BOTH revenge and forgiveness: what you want to focus on is managing the post-suit matters with measured caution for the sake of your child(ren). Do EVERYTHING in moderation, including your choice of words about the lady and her associates who have caused you and your child(ren) all that grief and expense. You're now in control: STAY THERE.

(If you've progressed beyond the stage where this advice is directly useful to you, don't despair. There is hope at every phase of the process.)

MORE INFO: Treatise by Travis Ballard - Unreliability of Children's Memories

BACK TO NCFC HOME PAGE

UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND COPYRIGHT NOTICE. Document Copyrighted (c) 1996 by Leigh Travis, Ph.D. Gordu@aol.com Compilation (c) 1996 by NCFC. Changes or modifications may be made solely by or at the written instruction of Robert A. Hirschfeld, who may be reached by voice at (602) 840 0342, and by e-mail at nolawyer@primenet.com.

ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΟΝΙΚΗ ΑΝΑΦΟΡΑ ΑΠΟ Η.Π.Α.

PAS and Sex-Abuse Accusations

SPECIAL REPORT


May, 1999 Volume 2 No. 5

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND SEX-ABUSE ACCUSATIONS

''The best time for your client to attend sex offender treatment is before they go trial''

A false sex-abuse accusation is sometimes seen as a derivative or spin-off of the PAS. Such an accusation may serve as an extremely effective weapon in a child-custody dispute. Obviously, the presence of such false accusations does not preclude the existence of bona fide sex abuse, even in the context of a PAS. Although the sex-abuse factor in the PAS is an important one, I only make minimal reference to it in this book. Rather, I focus primarily on the etiology, development, manifestations, and treatment of the PAS, having elaborated on the sex-abuse factor in previous books (Gardner, 1987a, 1995a) and in a forthcoming volume (Gardner, 1999). So formidable and complex is this component that a separate book was warranted.

In recent years, some examiners have been using the term PAS to refer to a false sex-abuse accusation in the context of a child-custody dispute. In some cases the terms are used synonymously. This is a significant misperception of the PAS. In the majority of cases in which a PAS is present, the sex-abuse accusation is not promulgated. In some cases, however, especially after other exclusionary maneuvers have failed, the sex-abuse accusation will emerge. The sex-abuse accusation, then, is often a spin-off, or derivative, of the PAS but is certainly not synonymous with it. Furthermore, there are divorce situations in which the sex-abuse accusation may arise without a preexisting PAS. Under such circumstances, of course, one must give serious consideration to the possibility that true sex abuse has occurred, especially if the accusation antedated the marital separation. I am in agreement with Mapes (1995), who holds that professionals conducting forensic assessments of alleged sex abuse should be knowledgeable about the PAS as a motivating factor for a false sex-abuse accusation.

Another factor operative in the need to deny the existence of the PAS, and relegate it to the level of being only a "theory," is its relationship to sex-abuse accusations. I mention frequently throughout the course of this book that a sex-abuse accusation is a possible spin-off or derivative of the PAS. My experience has been that the sex-abuse accusation does not appear in the vast majority of PAS cases. There are some, however, who equate the PAS with a sex-abuse accusation, or a false sex-abuse accusation. My experience has been that when a sex-abuse accusation emerges in the context of a PAS--especially after the failure of a series of exclusionary maneuvers--the accusation is far more likely to be false than true. Claiming that a sex-abuse accusation may be false also has potentially been politically risky in recent years and not "politically correct." Those of us who have stood up and made such claims, both within and outside of the realm of the PAS, have subjected ourselves to enormous criticism--often impassioned and irrational. My experience has been that sex-abuse accusations that arise within the context of PAS situations are more likely to be directed toward men than women. Accordingly, in sex-abuse cases in the context of custody disputes I am more likely to testify in support of the man. This somehow proves me "sexist." The fact that I have most often testified in support of women to be designated the primary custodial parent--even when there has been a sex-abuse accusation--does not seem to dispel this myth. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

"This condition arises as a distinctive form of psychological injury to children in high conflict divorce. It occurs when the child becomes aligned with one parent as a result of the unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other parent. This leads to an impaired relationship with the alienated (target) parent and an absolute loss of parenting as a result of the hostility of the parent producing the alienation. In most cases of high conflict divorce, there are degrees of alienation. In severe cases, the child's once love-bonded relationship with the target/rejected parent is destroyed."

Diagnosis and treatment:

Whenever there is alleged, obvious or deep-seated parental alienation, the diagnosis and treatment must proceed swiftly to preclude the worsening of the condition. Diagnosis involves an estimation of the extent of the alienation and the nature of the causative factors. Attention is paid to rejecting behaviors on the part of the alienating parent that undermine the child's legitimate need for a relationship with both parents. Rejecting behaviors include: terrorizing factors by which the child may be bullied and verbally assaulted into being fearful of the target parent to the point where the child fears contact with that parent; relating factors where the alienating parent keeps the child from normal opportunities for parenting with the target parent, their relatives, friends and extended family; and corrupting influences where the child is mis-socialized and misinformed by the alienating parent about the real intentions of the target parent.

Treatment

After careful assessment of the individual case as a result of the mandated participation of both parents, a treatment plan is devised and tailored to the degree of alienation documented. Mild and moderate degrees of alienation are properly dealt with through family therapy and parent education. Therapy is begun to support the child's healthy need for both parents, to eradicate unhelpful contributions of the alienating parent and unwitting contributing factors on the part of the target parent.

Severe alienation with a phobic or hysterical reaction of the child to the target parent and alienation of the child to the point of prolonged visitation refusal or cessation must be treated aggressively to have any hope of a successful outcome. Separation from the alienating parent is often mandatory. This separation can be accomplished by mandating the child to foster care, the care of other relatives or to a hospital setting which has a specially trained staff for rehabilitation, deprogramming and reestablishment of the parent-child relationship.

The Rye Hospital Center staff is prepared to evaluate cases of PAS and implement inpatient treatment for severely alienated children and their families. During a hospital placement for the treatment of PAS the hospital staff will focus on the child's feelings about the alienating parent and the target parent. The child will be educated to the healthy realities of attachment to eliminate the distortions supporting alienation. Group sessions with other alienated children will be used whenever possible. Intensive therapy with the target parent will aim at the reintegration of the alienated child in a loving relationship. In addition, while there may be minimal contact for a significant period of time between the child and the alienating parent, an intensive educational therapy will be used with the alienating parent to create a correct understanding of that parent's responsibility for maintaining a loving connection that keeps both parents in the child's life.

A post-hospital treatment plan will be devised to continue the reintegration of the child with the target parent and his/her extended family and maintain the changes in the alienating parent. The plan will include gradual integration of the alienating parent back into the child's life, possibly through supervised visitation and carefully monitored contacts. The out-patient treatment may involve a change of residence for the child to the custody of the former target parent until the court can be assured that the behaviors that produced the alienation have been remedied.

Every case will be dealt with on an individual basis with treatment plans carefully tailored to the needs of all the parties. The goal will be the restoration of a relationship with both parents. The expectation of the program is to produce life-long benefit to the child and enable the child to have a normal psychological development even after divorce.

After-care plans describing the hospitalization, interventions and continued treatment will be a routine part of discharge planning. Blueprints for an ongoing treatment of all parties covered will be furnished to treating personnel in the area to which the child returns. Edward M. Stephens, M.D. Member, American Psychiatric Association

Committee on Juvenile Justice Member, American Psychiatric Association Committee on Mental Health in Schools

From FAMILY PRACTICE NEWS, Vol 20, #24, December 15-31, 1990, page 7.

Custody Disputes Fueling arental Alienation Syndrome

New York -- With increasing child custody disputes has come a growth in parental alienation syndrome, Dr. Richard A. Gardner said at a meeting of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis.

Abetted by one parent, the child develops an obsessive, irrational hatred of the other, who is viewed as the incarnation of evil, said Dr. Gardner, a child psychiatrist at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.

Ninety percent of the time, the father is the victim; but in 10% the roles are reversed. There is no history of abuse. To call it brainwashing would be an oversimplification. The child jumps on the mother's bandwagon...but adds his own scenario, he said.

In the typical presentation, which may arise within days of the announcement of custody conflict, the child obsessively denigrates the father, with no empathy and little guilt. The denigration has a litany quality; every altercation of the past is used to justify his hatred.

Lack of Normal Ambivalence

When asked why he never wanted to see his father again, one little boy said that he chewed too loud and added, He used to say, `Don't interrupt.'

Bizarre charges, condoned by the mother, may be made. One child said that his father had murdered his grandfather, who had actually died, at age 85, in the hospital. The father was the kind of person who would do it, the boy declared, supplying details of the crime.

When asked what she thought, the mother said she didn't actually believe the murder had happened, adding but I wouldn't put it past him, Dr. Gardner said.

A hallmark of the syndrome is the child's lack of normal ambivalence toward both parents: He can find nothing he dislikes about his mother and nothing he likes about his father.

The hatred may extend to the father's family; grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins with whom relations had previously been good are now viewed as despicable, Dr. Gardner said.

Evidence that might counteract the distortions is met with rationalization and delusion. Asked about a photograph from happier times in which the family was together at Disney World, one boy explained that if I didn't smile for the picture, he'd beat me.

He believes the syndrome has arisen as a result of social and legal changes of the last 15 or 20 years. In the mid-1970's, the presumption that the mother is the de facto preferred custodial parent gave way to an egalitarian commitment to determine the child's best interests in a gender-blind fashion.

Custody disputes burgeoned and the erosion of the mother's position deepened in the late 1970's and early 1980's with the increasing popularity of the joint custody concept.

In severe cases of parental alienation syndrome -- the alienating parent is unamenable to therapy and so filled with rage, paranoia, and delusions that a virtual folie a deux has developed with the child - the only hope is court ordered removal of the child to the other parent's home. In this case, the primary psychological bond is strong but sick, he said.

In more moderate cases, the bond must be respected but the child induced to see the other parent. Being respectful of the child's wishes won't work, Dr. Gardner said.

To give the child no choice but to see the father provides an excuse that allows him to protect his relationship with the mother ( I still hate him, but the judge says I have to ).

In moderate and milder cases, truncating custody litigation is probably more therapeutic than any intervention in resolving the syndrome. Once the threat is gone, there's no need for the scenario, he said.

The syndrome may be seen at any age past 3 or 4 years. When a couple in their fifties divorces acrimoniously, a variant may occur in children in their twenties.

In severe cases, lifelong alienation from one parent may ensue, Dr. Gardner said.

Parental Alienation: What Can the Courts Do?

· Recognize early the symptoms of alienation. Intervene quickly.

· Don't let attorneys use unfounded delay tactics like continuances.

· Order parents into therapy (family systems therapy), hopefully before they come to an agreement on a Shared Parenting Plan.

· Order a Guardian Ad Litem to monitor compliance and report to the court.

· Don't withhold visits unless there is a question about the child's safety. There is always the risk that withholding visits will reinforce alienation and increase the risk that the child will believe there is something wrong with the targeted parent.

· Give the parents an opportunity to speak before the court.

· If the child is already alienated, order therapy for the child.

http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/info_pas.htm

DEFINITION OF THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME

Since the 1970s, we have witnessed a burgeoning of child-custody disputes unparalleled in history. This increase has primarily been the result of two recent developments in the realm of child-custody litigation, namely, the replacement of the tender-years presumption with the best-interests-of-the-child presumption and the increasing popularity of the joint-custodial concept. The assumption was made that mothers, by virtue of the fact that they are female, are intrinsically superior to men as child rearers. Accordingly, the father had to provide to the court compelling evidence of serious maternal deficiencies before the court would even consider assigning primary custodial status to the father. Under its replacement, the best interests of the child presumption, the courts were instructed to ignore gender in custodial considerations and evaluate only parenting capacity, especially factors that related to the best interests of the child. This change resulted in a burgeoning of custody litigation as fathers now found themselves with a greater opportunity to gain primary custodial status. Soon thereafter the joint-custodial concept came into vogue, eroding even further the time that custodial mothers were given with their children. Again, this change also brought about an increase and intensification of child-custody litigation.

In association with this burgeoning of child-custody litigation, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the frequency of a disorder rarely seen previously, a disorder that I refer to as the parental alienation syndrome (PAS). In this disorder we see not only programming ( brainwashing ) of the child by one parent to denigrate the other parent, but self-created contributions by the child in support of the alienating parent's campaign of denigration against the alienated parent. Because of the child's contribution I did not consider the terms brainwashing, programming, or other equivalent words to be applicable. Accordingly, in 1985, I introduced the term parental alienation syndrome to cover the combination of these two contributing factors (Gardner, 1985a, 1987b).

In accordance with this use of the term I suggest this definition of the parental alienation syndrome:

The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child's campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent's indoctrinations and the child's own contributions to the vilification of the target parent. When true parental abuse and/or neglect is present the child's animosity may be justified, and so the parental alienation syndrome explanation for the child's hostility is not applicable. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME IS NOT THE SAME AS PROGRAMMING

( BRAINWASHING )

It has come as a surprise to me from reports in both the legal and mental health literature that the definition of the PAS is often misinterpreted. Specifically, there are many who use the term as synonymous with parental brainwashing or programming. No reference is made to the child's own contributions to the victimization of the targeted parent. Those who do this have missed an extremely important point regarding the etiology, manifestations, and even the treatment of the PAS. The term PAS refers only to the situation in which the parental programming is combined with the child's own scenarios of disparagement of the vilified parent. Were we to be dealing here simply with parental indoctrination, I would have simply retained and utilized the terms brainwashing and/or programming. Because the campaign of denigration involves the aforementioned combination, I decided a new term was warranted, a term that would encompass both contributory factors. Furthermore, it was the child's contribution that led me to my concept of the etiology and pathogenesis of this disorder. The understanding of the child's contribution is of importance in implementing the therapeutic guidelines described in this book. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND BONA FIDE ABUSE AND/OR NEGLECT

Unfortunately, the term parental alienation syndrome is often used to refer to the animosity that a child may harbor against a parent who has actually abused the child, especially over an extended period. The term has been used to apply to the major categories of parental abuse: physical, sexual, and emotional. Such application indicates a misunderstanding of the PAS. The term PAS is applicable only when the target parent has not exhibited anything close to the degree of alienating behavior that might warrant the campaign of vilification exhibited by the child. Rather, in typical cases the victimized parent would be considered by most examiners to have provided normal, loving parenting or, at worst, exhibited minimal impairments in parental capacity. It is the exaggeration of minor weaknesses and deficiencies that is the hallmark of the PAS. When bona fide abuse does exist, then the child's responding alienation is warranted and the PAS diagnosis is not applicable.

Programming parents who are accused of inducing a PAS in their children will sometimes claim that the children's campaign of denigration is warranted because of bona fide abuse and/or neglect perpetrated by the denigrated parent. Such indoctrinating parents may claim that the counter-accusation by the target parent of PAS induction by the programming parent is merely a cover-up, a diversionary maneuver, and indicates attempts by the vilified parent to throw a smoke screen over the abuses and/or neglect that have justified the children's acrimony. There are some genuinely abusing and/or neglectful parents who will indeed deny their abuses and rationalize the children's animosity as simply programming by the other parent. This does not preclude the existence of truly innocent parents who are indeed being victimized by an unjustifiable PAS campaign of denigration. When such cross accusations occur--namely, bona fide abuse and/or neglect versus a true PAS--it behooves the examiner to conduct a detailed inquiry in order to ascertain the category in which the children's accusations lie, i.e., true PAS or true abuse and/or neglect. In some situations, this differentiation may not be easy, especially when there has been some abuse and/or neglect and the PAS has been superimposed upon it, resulting thereby in much more deprecation than would be justified in this situation. It is for this reason that detailed inquiry is often crucial if one is to make a proper diagnosis. Joint interviews, with all parties in all possible combinations, will generally help uncover The Truth in such situations. Stahl (1994) and Hysjulien, et al. (1994) make reference to the complexity of some PAS evaluations. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AS A FORM OF CHILD ABUSE

It is important for examiners to appreciate that a parent who inculcates a PAS in a child is indeed perpetrating a form of emotional abuse in that such programming may not only produce lifelong alienation from a loving parent, but lifelong psychiatric disturbance in the child. A parent who systematically programs a child into a state of ongoing denigration and rejection of a loving and devoted parent is exhibiting complete disregard of the alienated parent's role in the child's upbringing. Such an alienating parent is bringing about a disruption of a psychological bond that could, in the vast majority of cases, prove of great value to the child--the separated and divorced status of the parents notwithstanding. Such alienating parents exhibit a serious parenting deficit, a deficit that should be given serious consideration by courts when deciding primary custodial status. Physical and/or sexual abuse of a child would quickly be viewed by the court as a reason for assigning primary custody to the nonabusing parent. Emotional abuse is much more difficult to assess objectively, especially because many forms of emotional abuse are subtle and difficult to verify in a court of law. The PAS, however, is most often readily identified, and courts would do well to consider its presence a manifestation of emotional abuse by the programming parent.

Garbarino and Stott (1992) consider the PAS to be an example of what they refer to as the psychologically battered child and describe it specifically, by name, as one form of child battering. Rogers (1992) identifies five types of psychological maltreatment: rejecting, terrorizing, ignoring, isolating, and corrupting, and then describes how each of these types may be seen in the PAS. Accordingly, courts do well to consider the PAS programming parent to be exhibiting a serious parental deficit when weighing the pros and cons of custodial transfer. I am not suggesting that a PAS-inducing parent should automatically be deprived of primary custody, only that such induction should be considered a serious deficit in parenting capacity---a form of emotional abuse--and that it be given serious consideration when weighing the custody decision. In this book, I provide specific guidelines regarding the situations when such transfer is not only desirable, but even crucial, if the children are to be protected from lifelong alienation from the targeted parent. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME DOES NOT EXIST BECAUSE IT IS NOT IN DSM-IV

There are some, especially adversaries in child-custody disputes, who claim that there is no such entity as the PAS, that it is only a theory, or that it is Gardner’s theory. Some claim that I invented the PAS, with the implication that it is merely a figment of my imagination. The main argument given to justify this position is that it does not appear in DSM-IV. The DSM committees justifiably are quite conservative with regard to the inclusion of newly described clinical phenomena and require many years of research and publications before considering inclusion of a disorder, and this is as it should be. The PAS exists! Any lawyer involved in child-custody disputes will attest to that fact. Mental health and legal professionals involved in such disputes must be observing it. They may not wish to recognize it. They may give it another name (like parental alienation ). But that does not preclude its existence. A tree exists as a tree regardless of the reactions of those looking at it. A tree still exists even though some might give it another name. If a dictionary selectively decides to omit the word tree from its compilation of words, that does not mean that the tree does not exist. It only means that the people who wrote that book decided not to include that particular word. Similarly, for someone to look at a tree and say that the tree does not exist does not cause the tree to evaporate. It only indicates that the viewer, for whatever reason, does not wish to see what is right in front of him (her). To refer to the PAS as a theory or Gardner’s theory implies the nonexistence of the disorder. It implies that it is a figment of my imagination and has no basis in reality. To say that PAS does not exist because it is not listed in DSM-IV is like saying in 1980 that AIDS does not exist because it is not listed in standard diagnostic medical textbooks. The PAS is not a theory, it is a fact. My ideas about its etiology and psychodynamics might very well be called theory. The crucial question then is whether my theory regarding the etiology and psychodynamics of the PAS is reasonable, and whether my ideas fit in with the facts.

This is something for the readers of this book to decide.

But why this controversy in the first place? With regard to whether PAS exists, we generally do not see such controversy regarding most other clinical entities in psychiatry. Examiners may have different opinions regarding the etiology and treatment of a particular psychiatric disorder, but there is usually some consensus about its existence. And this should especially be the case for a relatively pure disorder such as the PAS, a disorder that is easily diagnosable because of the similarity of the children’s symptoms when one compares one family with another. Over the years, I have received many letters from people who have essentially said: Your PAS book is uncanny. You don’t know me and yet I felt that I was reading my own family’s biography. You wrote your book before all this trouble started in my family. It’s almost like you predicted what would happen. Why, then, should there be such controversy over whether or not PAS exists?

One explanation lies in the situation in which the PAS emerges and in which the diagnosis is made: vicious child-custody litigation. Once an issue is brought before a court of law-in the context of adversarial proceedings-it behooves one side to take just the opposite position from the other, if one is to prevail in that forum. A parent accused of inducing a PAS in a child is likely to engage the services of a lawyer who may invoke the argument that there is no such thing as a PAS. And if this lawyer can demonstrate that the PAS is not listed in DSM-IV, then the position is considered proven. The only thing this proves to me is that DSM-IV has not yet listed the PAS. It also proves the low levels to which members of the legal profession will stoop in order to zealously support their client’s position, no matter how ludicrous their arguments and how destructive they are to the children.

An important factor operative in the PAS not being listed in DSM-IV relates to political issues. Things that are hot and controversial are not likely to get the consensus that more neutral issues enjoy. As I will elaborate upon below, the PAS has been dragged into the political-sexual arena, and those who would support its inclusion in DSM-IV are likely to find themselves embroiled in vicious controversy and the object of scorn, rejection, and derision. The easier path, then, is to avoid involving oneself in such inflammatory conflicts, even if it means omitting from DSM one of the more common childhood disorders.

The PAS is a relatively discrete disorder and is more easily diagnosed than many of the other disorders in DSM-IV. At this point, articles are coming forth and it is being increasingly cited in court rulings. Articles about PAS in the scientific literature will be cited throughout the course of this book. Court rulings in which the PAS is cited are also appearing with increasing frequency. I continue to list these on my web site as they appear (http://www.rgardner.com/refs). My hope is that by the time committees are formed for the preparation of DSM-V, the committee(s) evaluating for inclusion will see fit to include the PAS and have the courage to withstand those holdouts who, for whatever reason, need to deny the reality of the world. It may interest the reader to note that if PAS is ultimately included in the DSM, its name will be changed to include the term disorder, the current label utilized for psychiatric illnesses that warrant inclusion. It might very well have its name changed to parental alienation disorder. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME IS NOT A SYNDROME

There are some who claim that the PAS is not really a syndrome. This criticism, like many, is especially seen in courts of law in the context of child-custody disputes. It is an argument sometimes promulgated by those who claim that PAS does not even exist. The PAS is a very specific disorder. A syndrome, by medical definition, is a cluster of symptoms, occurring together, that characterize a specific disease. The symptoms, although seemingly disparate, warrant being grouped together because of a common etiology or basic underlying cause. Furthermore, there is a consistency with regard to this cluster in that most (if not all) of the symptoms appear together. Accordingly, there is a kind of purity that a syndrome has that may not be seen in other diseases. For example, a person suffering with pneumococcal pneumonia may have chest pain, cough, purulent sputum, and fever. However, the individual may still have the disease without all these symptoms manifesting themselves. The syndrome is more often pure because most (if not all) of the symptoms in the cluster predictably manifest themselves.

An example would be Down's Syndrome, which includes a host of seemingly disparate symptoms that do not appear to have a common link. These include mental retardation, mongoloid-type facial _expression, drooping lips, slanting eyes, short fifth finger, and characteristic creases in the palms of the hands. There is a consistency here in that the people who suffer with Down's Syndrome often look very much alike and most typically will exhibit all these symptoms. The common etiology of these disparate symptoms relates to a specific chromosomal abnormality. It is this genetic factor that is responsible for linking together these seemingly disparate symptoms. There is then a primary, basic cause of Down's Syndrome: a genetic abnormality.

Similarly, the PAS is characterized by a cluster of symptoms that usually appear together in the child, especially in the moderate and severe types. These include:

  1. A campaign of denigration
  2. Weak, absurd, or frivolous rationalizations for the deprecation
  3. Lack of ambivalence
  4. The independent-thinker phenomenon
  5. Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict
  6. Absence of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent
  7. The presence of borrowed scenarios
  8. Spread of the animosity to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.

Typically, children who suffer with PAS will exhibit most (if not all) of these symptoms. This is almost uniformly the case for the moderate and severe types. However, in the mild cases one might not see all eight symptoms. When mild cases progress to moderate or severe, it is highly likely that most (ii not all) of the symptoms will be present. This consistency results in PAS children resembling one another. It is because of these considerations that the PAS is a relatively pure diagnosis that can easily be made by those who are not somehow blocked from seeing what is right in front of them. As is true of other syndromes, there is an underlying cause: programming by an alienating parent in conjunction with additional contributions by the programmed child. It is for these reasons that PAS is indeed a syndrome, and it is a syndrome by the best medical definition of the term. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

Articles in Peer-Review Journals on the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) by Richard A. Gardner, M.D. is a description of the nature of PAS and a compilation of citations by the researcher who introduced the term. This is available through a link to his company, Creative Therapeutics at http://www.rgardner.com/ This particular paper as also been captured into a PDF format (January 4, 1999 version). On the site, Dr. Gardner also has a list of legal citations indicating times that testimony on PAS has been admitted in the courts of various jurisdictions. The site is set up to allow you to order books, including his The Parental Alienation Syndrome (2nd edition) directly.

Rye Hospital Program For Treating Children Affected by Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), as published on the web site http://www.divorcedfather.com/ , written by Edward M. Stephens, M.D., provides some information on the diagnosis and treatment of Parental Alienation Syndrome. This particular page as also been captured in PDF format.

Differentiating between Parental Alienation Syndrome and Bona Fide Abuse-Neglect by Richard A. Gardner from The American Journal of Family Therapy, Volume 27, Number 2, p 97-107 (April-June 1999). Talk about a HOT new article! The article looks at the differences in children, but most specifically adults, under a PAS situation with false allegations of abuse or neglect, and the same where there is true abuse-neglect. Truly makes one wonder seriously about the inducers of PAS. This document is also available in PDF format.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It by J. Michael Bone and Michael R. Walsh as published in The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 73, Number 3, March 1999, p. 44-48. This new article is meant for lawyers. It provides a higher level look at PAS, provides the indications that a lawyer or judge can use to tell if PAS is present, and deals with the absolute need of the courts to operate swiftly if PAS is detected. A quote from the article: Any attempt at alienating children from the other parent should be seen as a direct and willful violation of one of the prime duties of parenthood . This document is also available in PDF format.

Alienation Revisted as presented by Mr. Paul Lodge, FCOA, at the Third National Family Court Conference October 20-24 in Melbourse, Australia. This article is conference notes that were initially taken in PDF formation from the conference site. The conference material has moved several times so that a good link is not available. This is conference material, so make some allowances for missing points and references that are not used, please. The original PDF document is available here.

Identifying Cases of Parent Alienation Syndrome--Part I by Leona M. Kopetski as published in The Colorado Lawyer, February 1998, Volume 27, Number 2 p 65-68

(also available in PDF format), and

Identifying Cases of Parent Alienation Syndrome--Part II by Leona M. Kopetski as published in The Colorado Lawyer, February 1998, Volume 27, Number 3 p 61-64 (also available in PDF format)

These articles deal with evidence of PAS that pre-dated Gardners original work and talks about the impact of PAS on children. The final comments on the second part talks about the significance of sexual reproduction, and equivalent psychological nature of this.... If children are allowed free access to these different people, they do not need a perfect parent. It is not individual parental mistakes that harm the development of children. It is the exclusion of these different people that places them in danger.... .

The Emerging Problem of Parental Alienation by Caroline Willbourne and Lesley-Anne Cull, as published in Family Law, December 1997, p. 807-8. This document is meant for lawyers and provides an overview of things to look at that indicate parental alienation (though I doubt that lawyers see the children enough to tell) but also talks about the damage done to the children in leaving them in the residential care of the alienating parent.. This document is also available in PDF format.

Management of Visitation Interference as published in The Judges' Journal (Number 36) of the American Bar Association in the Spring of 1997. This document is meant for judges and is very strong and specific about the types of therapy and the considerations in orders that are required to handle access problems when Parental Alienation Syndrome or Divorce-Related Malicious Mother Syndrome in involved. This document is also available in PDF format.

Summary of the Practice Parameters for Child Custody Evaluation as published on the website of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as approved in 1997 and published in their Journal. Parental alienation is recognised as the serious problem that it is. This particular page as also been captured in PDF format.

Perspectives on Parental Alienation, Child Custody and Dispute Resolution Systems by Anita Vestal was an award winning essay in the American Bar Association's Section on Dispute Resolution and can be found, in a less formatted form at http://www.abanet.org/dispute/comwin.html This is also available in PDF format. This is a good summary of PAS meant for lawyers and discusses such things as the problems with mediation and joint custody when PAS is involved.

The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part I) by Deirdre Conway Rand as published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychology, Volume 15, Number 3, 1997. This came from files at Aktive Fedre, a new fathers' group in Norway (with minor cleaning by FACT) and is kept in two pieces due to the size of the HTML file. These files have also been put into a single file in PDF format.

The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part II) by Deirdre Conway Rand as published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychology, Volume 15, Number 4, 1997. This came from Aktive Fedre as well (with minor cleaning by FACT) and is kept in three pieces due to the size of the HTML file. These files have also been put into a single file in PDF format. These are excellent articles and deal with not only the psychological aspects of PAS, but the legal process and judicial recognition (mostly in the US) of PAS. We would strongly recommend reading them, and then perhaps distributing them to judges, lawyers, social workers, psychologists, journalists, etc. who deal with, or are interested in, the children of divorce.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Age-Old Custody Problem by Michael R. Walsh and J. Michael Bone from the June 1997 issue of The Florida Bar Journal (p. 93-96). This is also available in PDF format. This is an excellent article for officers of the courts and parents in looking at the face of PAS, the problems with dealing with it, and their roles in protecting the children.

Relocation as a Strategy to Interfere with the Child-Parent Relationship by Ira Daniel Turkat, Ph.D. from the American Journal of Family Law, Volume 11, 39-41 (1996). This article talks about the unhealthy relocation of children to interfere with parental contact and identifies some of the risk factors associated with this. A good article to look at for casting some question on relocations. This document is available in PDF format.

Understanding and Collaboratively Treating Parental Alienation Syndrome by Kenneth H. Waldron, Ph.D. and David E. Joanis, J. D. from the American Journal of Family Law, Volume 10, 121-133 (1996). This is an good article and attempts to broaden the discussion of the nature of PAS by examining the alienating parent, the target parent, and the family system, as well as the techniques used in and results of parental alienation. It also discusses the adversarial system, and the roles of the parties if there is truly a concern about protecting the children. This document is also available in PDF format.

Children's Alignment with Parents in Highly Conflicted Custody Cases by Anita K. Lampel discusses the personality characteristics measured for children who aligned with a parent (the parent the child felt provided more empathy and understood the child's age-specific concerns ), nonaligned children, and their parents. In the study about equal numbers (actually a bit more) of the children indicated that father was the preferred parent . This study was published in Family and Conciliation Courts Review, Vol. 34, No. 2, April 1996, 229-239. This paper is also available in PDF format.

A Therapist's View of Parental Alienation Syndrome by Mary Lund discusses the nature of PAS and the structure of therapy groups that could be used. It was published in Family and Conciliation Review, Vol. 33, No. 3, July 1995. This paper is also available in PDF format.

Divorce-Related Malicious Mother Syndrome by Ira Daniel Turkat as published in the Journal of Family Violence, Volume 10, No. 3, 1995, p 253-264. This article takes a look at a condition involving somewhat acting like a very severe PAS inducer, but with no other mental disorder affecting behavior. It is interesting to read. This document has also been put into a PDF format.

Child Visitation Interference in Divorce by Ira Daniel Turkat from Clinical Psychology Review, Vul. 14, No. 8, pp. 737-742, 1994. This article sets the structure of the various forms of visitation interference and talks about how the courts and the lack of research have become big problems in contributing to this form of child abuse. The article has also been put into a PDF format.

The Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Analysis of Sixteen Selected Cases by John Dunne and Marsha Hedrick. This was published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 21(3/4), 1994. This article looks at sixteen cases that met Dr. Gardner's criteria for Parental Alienation Syndrome. It shows that traditional interventions in these cases were ineffective, and that the only effective treatment included a change in custody of the alienated child. This material is also available in PDF format.

The Detrimental Effects on Women of the Gender Egalitarianism of Child-Custody Dispute Resolution Guidelines by Richard A. Gardner from the Academy Forum Volume 38, Number 1,2 p 10-13 (Spring/Summer 1994), the publication of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis. This article discusses the history of custody over the ages and the possible reasons for the high incidence of parental alienation seen now. The article has also been put into a PDF format.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Developmental Analysis of a Vulnerable Population by Joseph L. Price, Ph.D. and Kerry S. Pioske, RN, MS, ANP. This was published in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, Vol. 32, No. 11, 1994 p 9-12. This article provides an overview of PAS for nurses and some description of how it fits into psychological framework of the child and the family. This material is also available in PDF format.

When You Suspect the Worst: Bad-faith relocation, fabricated child sexual abuse, and parental alienation by Carol Holstein Sanders. This was published in the Family Advocate in the Winter, 1993 edition. This article looks at alienation in context of the other common conditions associated with alienating parents using children as weapons against the other parent. This article is a simple and general piece (well, it was written for lawyers) but amply indicates the tie in on Parental Alienation with many other actions often seen on relationship breakdowns. This material is also available in PDF format.

Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome by Glenn F. Cartwright as published in the American Journal of Family Therapy, 21 (3), 205-215 (1993). This is available through a link to his personal site at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. An excellent paper. He seems to have / make use of a site called P. A. I. N. (Parental Alienation Information Network ) at http://www.education.mcgill.ca/pain/ for the dissemination of material. This particular paper as also been put into a PDF format.

Family Wars: The Alienation of Children, Composite case from actual examples by Peggy Ward and J. Campbell Harvey was published in the New Hampshire Bar Journal, Volume 34, No.1, March 1993. A slightly different version, but with the same title, composed all of Newletter #9 (from 1993) of The Professional Academy of Custody Evaluators (PACE) is available through a link to PACE's Web site at http://www.pace-custody.org/. This is an excellent and comprehensive paper. The PACE version is available in many different formats across the Web. The PACE version of this paper has been captured in PDF format, and the New Hampshire paper has been printed in PDF format.

Mediation: Parental Alienation Syndrome by Mary Lund from the Family Law News, the official publication of the State Bar of California Family Law Section, Volume 15, Number 1, in the Spring of 1992. It provides a very brief overview of the issues with lawyers to help them not contribute to the child abuse known as Parental Alienation. This particular paper as also been put in PDF format.

Le syndrome d'aliιnation parentale (Parental Alienation Syndrome) by Anne-France Goldwater. This is an article that was originally published in Dιvelopments Rιcents en Droit Familial 1991, P. 121-145, but that was made available through http://www.total.net/~goldwate as a Microsoft Word document. There are some other good papers there. Despite the French title, most of this document is in English. It provides a good summary from a Canadian, and specifically a Quebec, legal viewpoint. The Word version of this particular paper as also been put in PDF format.

Legal and Psychotherapeutic Approaches to the Three Types of Parental Alienation Syndrome Families by Richard A. Gardner, M.D.. This article was published in the Court Review Volume 28, Number 1, Spring 1991, p. 14-21, the publication of the American Judges Association. This paper describes the three types of PAS and gives some specific pieces of information that judges, at least judges that care, need to know when coming across PAS in the courtroom. You need to read this one. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

Custody Disputes Fueling Parental Alienation Syndrome written about Richard A. Gardner, M.D.. This is a news article was published in the Family Practice News, Volume 20, Number 24, December 15-31, 1990, p 7. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

Preventing Parentectomy Following Divorce by Frank S. Williams, M.D.. This article was the keynote address at the Fifth Annual Conference of National Council for Children's Rights held in Washington DC on October 20, 1990. This paper describes problems with the process and motivations for separation of the children from a parent and talks about some of the preventative actions a parent can take. The paper was taken from the Men's Rights Agency site at http://www.ecn.net.au/~mra/page27b.htm and reformatted slightly. This site has considerable amounts of interesting data, and can be accessed through the URL http://www.ecn.net.au/~mra/. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

Judges Interviewing Children in Custody/Visitation Litigation by Richard A. Gardner, M.D.. This article was published in the New Jersey Family Lawyer, Volume VII, Number 2, August/September 1987, p 26ff. This paper describes the problems that judges have in interviewing children affected by PAS directly, and gives some guidance on the approach and questions that a judge who wants to directly interview the children should take into account. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

Post-Divorce Therapy With Highly Conflicted Families by Anita K. Lampel, Ph.D. This article was published in The Independent Practitioner Volume 6 Number 3, July 1986, p. 22-26, the Bulletin of the Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice, Division 42 of the American Psychological Association. This paper describes the success of conventional techniques on mild cases, but indicates that conventional techniques do not work well on severe cases, and that a change in residency has a much greater chance of working. Some of the improvements are discussed. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

A Guide to the Parental Alienation Syndrome by Stan Hayward. This is available through a link to http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk, the UK Men and Father's Rights page. An excellent paper. This particular paper as also been captured in PDF format.

The Father’s Guide: Coping with Parental Alienation by the Texas Fathers for Equal Rights (T. F. E. R.). This is is a discussion, by fathers, of some of the strategies fathers should consider in re-establishing a relationship with a child who has been alienated but is once again visiting. TFER's home page can be found at http://www.startext.net/homes/tfer/index.htm. This particular paper as also been captured in PDF format.

Dr. Douglas Darnall, a therapist, expert witness and author in Ohio, has a great collection of information on Parental Alienation - the stages that usually occur before the more serious PAS kicks at his site at http://www.parentalalienation.com/PASdirectory.htm. Information on his book is, of course, there too. There is some useful stuff to consider there. If you are interested, Dr. Parnell was the guest at an on-line chat session at Concerned Counselling on February 3,1998, and that transcript is available here.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is an article The Family Court Reform Council of America. This is a discussion of PAS in general. Their home page can be found at http://www.familycourts.com/. This particular page as also been captured in PDF format.

SOME REPORTED RESULTS OF ACCESS DENIAL AND PARENTAL ALIENATION

Increased suicidal tendencies were found in people who had experienced the loss of the father. Bron, Strack & Rudolph, Univ. of Gottingen, Germany, 1991

Children showed the most behavior problems if their parents were in a legal conflict and the visitation was not frequent or regular. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1990 British researchers have found adults who suffer parent loss due to separation or divorce have significantly higher risk of developing agoraphobia with panic attacks and panic disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 1989

Scandinavian research has found a significantly higher number of adults who attempted suicide had lost a parent through divorce in childhood. Acta Psychiatrica, Scandinavia,1990, 1993

Children who were separated from their father for a period of three months or longer and between the ages of 6 months to 5 years old, suffer a higher risk (2.5 to 5 times higher) of hysteria, emotional disorders and conduct disorder than other children. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 1988

An Irish Equal-Parenting group, called Parenting Equality has an interesting collection of Parental Alienation statistics, with good source references, on their site. You can reach the site at http://homepages.iol.ie/~pe/ for other interesting information.

A not-too-exhaustive list of sites with information on Parental Alienation Syndrome. Please note: links tend to get out of date very quickly. Please let us know if the one you wanted is broken, or a good site not listed below is online, by e-mailing us at webmaster@fact.on.ca.

http://www.rgardner.com/ Dr. Richard A. Gardner's site - the innovator of the term Parental Alienation Syndrome and a source of information, books and he acts as an expert witness.

http://www.education.mcgill.ca/pain/The Canadian Parental Alienation Information Network (P.A.I.N.) and involves the team from McGill University, including Dr. Glenn F. Carwright and Despina Vassiliou.

http://www.parentalalienation.com/ is Dr. Douglas Darnall's site. He deals with Parental Alienation -- the state proceeding the full-fledged PAS -- as well as Parental Alienation Syndrome. Dr. Darnall also has a book available through his site.

http://www.spig.clara.net/ Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK. An excellent site in the UK with a lot of useful information. It also has a PAS section that has an exhaustive article list.

http://www.robin.no/~dadwatch/ links to Dad Watch and Aktive Fedre (a Norwegian group) with information on PAS.

http://fnf.org.uk/ Families Need Fathers is a UK group with a collection of good information, including a Parental Alienation section.

http://www.familycourts.com/ The Family Court Reform Council of America is a California-based US site with some information on PAS.

http://www.mall4us.com/pas.htm is a U.S. group calling itself the Parental Alienation Information Network (P.A.I.N.) It does provide some information on (U.S.) providers of services.

http://www.vev.ch/en/pas/ link's to VeV's PAS newsletter, which you can subscribe to or review some of the material in the current or past issues of the newsletter.

http://homepages.iol.ie/~pe/ is Parental Equity, an Irish group with information on Parental Alienation, including cited statistics.

http://www.acfc.org/, the American Coalition for Fathers & Children has an extensive site with considerable information on a number of topics, including some reports and studies on Parental Alienation.

http://www.familycourt.gov.au/papers/fca3/LODGE.PDF links to Paul Lodge's presentation material from his Alienation Revisited session at the Australian 3rd National Family Court Conference.

http://www.divorcedfather.com/ has an excellent article under the father resources on PAS. This site also promotes Serge Prengel 's book Still A Dad: the divorced father's journey.

Https://ftp3.sagepub.com/cgi-bin/fx/record/stahccc.txt is Phil's Stahl's book Conducting Child Custody Evaluations available from Sage Publishing. Other material from Sage by Stahl is found at http://www.sagepub.co.uk/books/details/a237402.html

http://members.xoom.com/WWDD/noframes.htm is an excellent site with a number of articles on PAS and other related topics.

http://www.divorcesource.com/archives/alienation.shtml provides the Ward and Harvey article above in a hypertext format.

http://www.bpdcentral.com/ deals with Borderline Personality Disorder (it is not the disorder that is borderline). This condition seems to be found in many alienating parents.

http://www.stanford.edu/~corelli/borderline.html also deals with BPD and states that some 10-14% of the population is affected, and that it is 2-3 times more common in women than in men.

ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΟΝΙΚΗ ΜΕΛΕΤΗ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗ (2004)

http://www.dadsrights.org/articles/abuse_accusations_and_false_allegations.shtml

Abuse and Accusations


Faulty Assessment of Child Sexual Abuse: Legal and Emotional Sequelae
By Diane K. Schetky, M.D. and Harold Boverman, M.D.
Nov 28, 2004, 01:04

Summary: Increased awareness of child sexual abuse has caused the pendulum to swing the other way to the point where unsubstantiated reported cases may now outnumber documented ones. If one includes all child abuse cases, over 60% or 750,000 cases per year turn out to be without factual basis.

INTRODUCTION

Increased awareness of child sexual abuse has caused the pendulum to swing the other way to the point where unsubstantiated reported cases may now outnumber documented ones.

If one includes all child abuse cases, over 60% or 750,000 cases per year turn out to be without factual basis. (Wall Street Journal, 4/2/85). Factors contributing to this overreporting include:

· mandatory child abuse reporting laws

· Increased training of professionals alerting them to the prevalence of sexual abuse

· Widespread media attention to sexual abuse

· increased litigation around child custody with parents alleging sexual abuse in order to deprive the former spouse of custody or visitation

· Possibly mandated joint custody which leaves parents feeling uneasy or intimidated.

In some areas overzealous reporting and investigation of child sexual abuse has contributed to an atmosphere of hysteria reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials. It has also overburdened child protective services, led to unnecessary disruption of families and generated enormous court costs and legal fees. Inevitably, the price of increased protection to children means there will he more opportunities for mistakes. We are left trying to balance the interest of children and risk of abuse against the rights of families to be free of unnecessary intrusion by the state. The pivotal point in this balancing act is often the person doing the initial evaluation of the child and which way the case goes is often a factor of the professionalism of that initial interview.

This presentation will discuss some of the perils and pitfalls in doing these evaluations. Our data derives from recent cases in the media as well as cases with which we have been professionally involved when evaluations were faulty. Our point of entry into these cases was typically late and in cases where we consulted for the defense it was not until litigation had begun. In other cases we were court appointed to evaluate the child or were involved as therapist for the child or parent, but in none of these cases were we the initial investigator. We will look at how faulty evaluations affected the outcome of these cases and make recommendations for improving the state of the art.

Problems in evaluating children for sexual abuse

Numerous articles have addressed techniques for the clinical assessment of child sexual abuse (Adams-Tucker, 1984, Benedek L Schetky, 1985, 1986, Sgroi et al 1982 and Weiss, 1983). Ratherthan reiterate what are now standard approaches, we shall address ways in which misguided investigators have abused these techniques and at times the child and her family as well.

1. Misuse of anatomical dolls

Three and a half year-old Michael, alleged to have been sodomized by his police officer father, was interviewed on video tape by one of his father's colleagues, Officer Hammer. Officer Hammer was determined to get down to business right away with the anatomical dolls which he kept thrusting at Michael. Michael picked up on his single-minded pursuit of the dolls, and the more Officer Hammer persisted, the more Michael resisted, instead opting to play with a truck and draw. In desperation Officer Hammer pulled off the pants of the male doll and said, "Michael, look what you did, you made the dolls pants fall off!" Michael was quick to pick up on this deception and replied, "I did not, you did!" and thereafter exhibited very little trust in the police officer.

2. Failure to deal with the child's subjective experiences

In his eagerness to get the hard data, Officer Hammer repeatedly cut off Michael's fantasy play and attempts to draw, saying he wanted him to talk about what really happened. In court, Michael, when asked what he did with his Daddy, referred to eating couches and it became dubious as to how able he was to distinguish between his inner world of fantasy and the outer world of reality.

3. Failure to follow up on evidence and premature closure

At one point in the above interview, Michael said his father had "shoved a stick" up his bottom. Officer Hammer, now elated at finally getting some incriminating evidence, promptly terminated the interview. Unanswered were such questions as what was the stick? A thermometer? An enema nozzle (history of constipation), a hand wiping him? The wooden spoon his mother used to paddle him? Or a penis? He also neglected to establish when or where this occurred and if anyone else was present, and what was said between them.

4. Bias of person interviewing child

In some cases we have seen the mother has been primary interrogator and the child comes to identify with her. Bias may also occur in the selection of the professional who evaluates the child, or when the person doing the investigation has a pre-existing relationship with family members.

5. Coercive, threatening questions

According to one of the therapists treating a child in the Jordan, Minnesota case, an 8-year-old child alleged to have been sexually abused was kept in foster care for one year and told by a psychologist that he wouldn't be allowed to return home until his mother admitted that the sexual abuse had occurred (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 9/29/84). In case no. 3, an 8-year-old boy was told by his mother that he could never return home, never ride his bike, never see his father again and would have to go to the hospital where they would stick needles in him unless he admitted that his father had touched his bottom. The child's eventual admission resulted in father receiving a life sentence.

6. Leading questions

Children, are eager to please and can often deduce from how a question is phrased what the desired answer is. For example, the boy in the Jordan , Minnesota case admitted he'd made up detailed stories of sexual abuse because, "I could tell what they wanted me to say by the way they asked the question (Newsweek, 2/18/75)." In Massachusetts a case against a daycare center was overturned when the judge refuted the social worker's investigation saying, "I found her methods so suggestive, coercive, and repetitious and that any information obtained by her from the children was so tainted as to be totally unreliable (Worcester Telegram 8/2/85)."

7. Failure to consider impact of prior sexual abuse

In several cases children were unduly knowledgeable about sexual matters prior to the alleged sexual abuse (cases, 6, 7). The child who has been previously sexually abused may sexualize relationships with adults and even accuse the wrong person of abusing him. For instance, 8-year-old Brian was referred to his school guidance counselor because he was holding his recorder between his legs in music class while simulating masturbation and cracking homosexual jokes. While being seen by the guidance counselor he drew a picture of two nude boys in bed "getting it on" while their parents watched TV in the adjacent room. He then began making phalluses out of clay and in his excitement exposed himself to the guidance counselor. Several months later he charged the guidance counselor with touching his penis and exposing himself. The counselor was suspended and months later at his trial he was charged with doing "sex therapy" with the child along with sexually abusing him, and the state even produced a clay phallus in evidence. The child psychiatrist for the defense argued that allowing Brian to draw a picture of his sexual concerns was not inappropriate given the reason for referral, and that it did not constitute "sex therapy." She pointed out that in their eagerness to convict the guidance counselor, no one had pursued the issue that Brian had most likely experienced prior sexual abuse and was possibly projecting his own wishes to exhibit himself onto the guidance counselor.

8. Neglect of family dynamics

Jenny, age 7, as a result of prior psychiatric evaluation of alleged sexual abuse, had been having supervised visits with her father for two years. Fed up with this arrangement, her father filed for custody once Jenny underwent yet another evaluation. When seen by one of the authors, she admitted that her father had never sexually abused her but said she'd been afraid to tell anyone for fear that her mother would get angry with her. She presented as a very needy child whose primary contact with her mother was Physical and consisted of sleeping with her. She'd received excessive sexual stimulation in her mother's home, including watching Deep Throat, and was privy to frequent lambasts against her father by her mother and maternal grandmother who had little use for him and had planted the seeds of suspicion re possible sexual abuse. The fact that she was now retracting allegations in absence of any pressure to do so was attributed to her increased maturity, ability to think for herself and consider the consequences of false allegations on her rather to whom she remained closely attached.

In a similar case, a mother projected her own sexual concerns over her daughter by examining her genitals on return from visits with her father. Ironically, in such cases the mother could be charged with sexual abuse because of extraordinary sexual stimulation.

9. Inadequate evaluation

In the Hennepin County case, Jean and Jane Doe, ages 2 and 4, were abruptly removed from home by the police, based solely on an anonymous allegation and a complaint by a vindictive neighbor who later proved to be the anonymous caller. The children were placed in foster care prior to any evaluation being done on them or their parents, and they remained there for two weeks. The neighbor was highly critical of the Does' hippie lifestyle and alleged that the children often swam nude and were allowed to explore their bodies freely. He interpreted the girls trying to unbutton his shirt as a sexual advance when in fact, as their mother later explained, they were going through a phase of "naval infatuation" and were curious to see if other people also had them. The therapist who evaluated them initially spent less than an hour with them and admitted this his usual investigator's methods were useless because both girls were withdrawn and uncommunicative. He interpreted their spontaneous denial of sexual abuse as evidence that they had been coached.

10. Failure to address the issue of competency

Although we are often not asked to evaluate competency to testify, the issue needs to be addressed in terms of whether or not to pursue criminal charges against the alleged offender. Competency to testify in children under age 14 is determined the judge and is based upon determining that the child has a reliable memory, can differentiate truth from falsehood and appreciate that lying is morally wrong. The legal criteria for competency do not take into consideration the child's ability to distinguish fact from fantasy, ability to cooperate and withstand cross examination, nor the child's suggestibility and loyalty conflicts, all of which will affect his testimony and demeanor in the courtroom. It has been demonstrated that the presence of leading questions increases the likelihood that subjects will give answers consistent with misleading information after a two-week delay (Dale) and that children are more susceptible to misleading information than adults. Further, the ability to understand abstract concepts of right and wrong and truth and falsehood does not preclude the child from lying in face of emotional conflict (shame, fear, loyalty conflicts) nor does it mean the child can distinguish objective truth from subjective interpretations.

In the case of Michael, the prosecution went forward on the basis of his statement that his father had shoved a stick up his bottom and equivocal medical findings. No attempt was made to understand family dynamics and the fact that his mother was increasingly threatened by his closeness to his father whom he and his sister visited frequently. Also neglected were his oppositional tendencies and long history of withholding bowel movements. In absence of corroborating evidence, the case rested on whether Michael would cooperate and repeat his accusations before the jury. In court he proved very uncooperative and taxed the patience of the jury with his balkiness and refusal to "tell what happened." His silence on the matter seemed to be his way of handling obvious loyalty conflicts, and once again he rejected the anatomical dolls. His mother was allowed to sit next to him and her anxiety was clearly infectious as he clung to her saying, "get me out of here." In effort to elicit more cooperation, the hearing was transferred to the judge's chambers with parents excluded and the proceedings transcribed to the jury via a two-way closed circuit TV. After 45 minutes of wooing Michael, he entered the judge's chambers, only after insisting the judge first remove his robe.

Once there, he played happily, seemed more relaxed, but nonetheless just as resolute as before when it came to answering questions about sexual abuse. After five days of testimony, the state failed to prove their case and Michael's father was acquitted. In the meantime, father's legal fees amounted to $30,000.

Jenny was 5 when called upon to testify in criminal proceedings against her father. After talking to her alone in chambers, the judge decided she was not competent to testify, even though her father wanted her to because he was certain she'd prove his innocence. The case then went to family court, but because her father had not been acquitted, an order was rendered for supervised visitation.

11. Failure to address the child's credibility

In case no. 18, a 6-year-old boy spoke of fibbing to his mother and his father on two different occasions with the psychologist evaluating him. In the course of the evaluation, he proceeded to cheat in a game, then lie to the psychologist about this. In his testimony in court, the child denied ever having discussed fibbing with the psychologist. In spite of all of this and very equivocal statements by the boy about the alleged sexual abuse, the psychologist concluded that the child had been sexually abused.

12. Dangers of repeated interviews

The child may view repeated interviews as a demand for more or different information and feel that the interviewer is not satisfied. Or if the allegations are false but repeated enough, the child may come to believe them, especially if they result in approval from adults.

Summary of our experience with faulty evaluations

We reviewed our experiences with 15 cases of faulty evaluations of child sexual abuse in which we were later brought in to testify as experts, or give second opinions or became involved as therapists. In eight cases we became involved upon request of the defense, in three cases upon request of the plaintiff, and in another three cases we were court appointed or agreed upon by both parties. In two cases our involvement was that of a psychotherapist for the involved member. We added to these cases four well publicized ones from the media and one about which we had secondhand knowledge.

The initial evaluations in these cases, some of which were duplicated, were conducted by the following:

Police 10

Social Worker 7

Psychologist 2

Psychiatrist 1

Psychoanalyst 1

Rape crisis counselor 1

The most common reasons for their evaluations being discredited in court were:

Leading questions 9

Inadequate evaluation 7

Bias 3

Misuse of anatomical dolls 4

Coaching 2

Bribery 2

Faulty evaluations were felt to have been a major factor in six cases being dropped and in five acquittals. Four cases are still pending. In case no 2, the father was convicted for life based in part on admissible evidence consisting of a highly threatening an coercive interview done by the child's mother who was separated from the father.

The implications of faulty evaluations are considerable and in our experience have included, in addition to the conviction of a father who may have been innocent, acquittal when the offender was probably guilty. Further, many children suffered from disruption of family life and some were sent to foster care with very restricted visits by parents. Alleged offenders suffered loss of employment while awaiting trial and some because of the adverse publicity surrounding the cases. One physician, later acquitted almost lost his license. False labeling of offender and child and damage to professional reputation were common. Legal costs were often formidable and in some cases extraordinary costs were incurred by the state in prosecuting these cases. Finally, in three cases countersuits arose against investigators and state agencies who were involved in the initial evaluations.

The role of the child psychiatrist

Typically it is unusual for child psychiatrists to be involved on behalf of the child in criminal proceedings as rulings against hearsay evidence preclude our participation as witnesses. Our role may he restricted to prior evaluation of the child or preparing the child to testify. The child psychiatrist may be called upon as an expert witness to testify to hypotheticals or to educate the jury and court as to situations in which false allegations of sexual abuse may arise and to what constitutes a proper determination of child sexual abuse. We may also be called upon by the defense to critique evaluations, video tapes, or interviews done by others to help them develop their case and instruct counsel as to how to interview the child witness, and even to observe witnesses in court. In these cases we are often operating at a disadvantage, not having had any direct access to the plaintiff.

The child psychiatrist is more likely to be involved in cases routed through family court where our input is sought regarding assessment of individual family members, family dynamics and questions regarding disposition and treatment recommendations.

A relatively new area involves plaintiffs seeking damages for sexual abuse through civil court. Here the role of the psychiatrist is that of expert witness defining the extent of specific and general damages and predicting what future damages related to sexual abuse may be.

Probably the most efficient use of our time and skills, but least used, is in the role of consultant to those agencies on the front line of intervention in child sexual abuse. We are in a key position to assist in training and ongoing supervision, yet in our experience agencies are reluctant to pay for this type of consultation from our profession.

What can we learn from these cases?

1. The child's allegation of sexual abuse must not be taken in isolation. One must evaluate family dynamics, past history of sexual abuse or excessive sexual stimulation, all of which may shed light on present allegations.

2. The child's credibility needs to be assessed in terms of cognitive and emotional maturity, past history of honesty, coaching, being subjected to leading questions or undue familial influence and possible ulterior motives.

3. We need to bear in mind both legal and psychiatric criteria in deciding whether or not the child is competent to testify.

4. Caution needs to be exerted in the use of anatomical dolls which should never be forced upon children. As Renshaw reminds us, "explicit dolls or cartoons do not make an instant expert of a counselor, police officer or state's attorney.." Nor has anyone yet to demonstrate how normal children play with these dolls. Perhaps dolls should only be issued to those licensed to use them.

5. We need to be mindful of the possibility of false allegations of child abuse arising in child custody and visitation disputes (see Schetky & Benedek, 1985).

6. Such has been said regarding the potential trauma of having a child testify before someone who has sexually abused her. We need also ask what of the trauma to the child who is coerced into testifying against a parent who has not abused her or, because of false allegations, is deprived of contact with a parent.

7. Finally, as is apparent in these cases, there is now a high likelihood of countersuit against professionals who have deemed a child sexually abused. These cases demand the most thorough evaluations and we must not compromise our standards in response to time pressures from agencies, police or courts.

Recommendations

1. Develop more definitive and agreed upon criteria for diagnosis of child sexual abuse in children.

2. Joint investigation of child sexual abuse cases to eliminate duplication of efforts between police, protective services and district attorney's office,

3. Routine videotaping of initial interview to spare the child subsequent interviews prior to court. Interviews on tape may also promote guilty pleas by the defendant and eliminate the need for the child to testify in court.

4. Specialized training to police and protective services workers in the art of developing defendable, valid interviews which are uncovering nontraumatic interview techniques and do not lead or intimidate the child.

5. Educate attorneys and judges about sexual abuse so as to provide intelligent lines of questioning. E.g., in a recent trial I was commenting on under what circumstances a child may not be truthful about alleged sexual abuse. The judge insisted I disregard my experience with some (100 cases of child sexual abuse and restrict my comments to how the 6-year-old plaintiff compared with other 6-year-old male victims of child sexual abuse that I have personally examined! I attempted to explain that credibility had nothing to do with the child's sex but he would not hear me!

6. Legislative changes

Eliminate hearsay rule in child sexual abuse cases eliminate need for corroboration--eliminated in all states but Nebraska

Eliminate or having to testify repeatedly where there is more than one dependent

Permit use of videotapes and closed circuit TV in criminal trials--model of New York State

7.Legislative remedies in Oregon --Citizens review board

In Oregon the 1985 legislature established and funded a program of local citizen review of all Children Services Division cases. This came about as a direct result of overzealous and not so terribly sophisticated pursuit of physical and sexual abuse cases and premature and unilateral removal of children from homes without considering future consequences. The campaign was launched by a Trappist monk who gave up his vow of silence, probably fueled by his own struggles about his own sexual drives and identity and, in part, sustained by maintaining a sympathetic attitude towards the now maligned father. This is a much better response than suing professionals and semiprofessionals for malpractice.

REFERENCES

Adams-Tucker,C (1984) "Early Treatment of Child Incest Victims", Am. J. Psychotherapy Vol XXXVIII no 4 505-515

Benedek, E. and Schetky, L.H. Allegations of Sexual Abuse in "Custody and Visitation Disputes" in Emerging Issues in Child Psychiatry and the Law New York : Brunner/Mazel, 1985

Dale, P.S., Loftus, E.F.& Rathbun, L. (1978) "The Influence of the form of the question on the eyewitness testimony of preschool children." J. Psycholinguistic Research, 7, 269-177

Mrazek, D. "The Child Psychiatric Examination of the Sexually Abused Child" in Sexually Abused Children and Their Families. Ed. P. Mrazek and C. H. Kanpe.

Renshaw, D. (1985) "When Sex Abuse is Falsely Charged." Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality 19 no 7 Jul '85 44-52

Schetky, D.H. and Benedek, E.P. "False Allegations of Sexual Abuse." Submitted to Int. J. Child Abuse & Neglect

Sgroi, S., Forter, F., and Blick, L. "Validation of Child Sexual Abuse" in Handbook of Clinical Intervention in Child. Sexual Abuse ed. Sgroi, Lexington Books, Lexington , Mass, 1982

Weiss, E, (1983) Incest Accusations: Assessing Credibility.


Presented at the Annual Meeting of The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Albuquerque , N.M. , October 10, 1985

Dr. Schetky is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale Child Studies Center and in private practice in Wilton , CT.
Dr. Boverman is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Oregon Health Sciences Center , and in private practice in Portland , OR .

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ΔΙΚΑΣΤΙΚΗ ΑΠΟΦΑΣΗ ΓΑΛΛΙΑΣ

Inversement de résidence pour fausse allégation d'abus sexuel

Une "bonne décision" qui sanctionne civilement les fausses allégations d'abus sexuel sur l'enfant. Le transfert de la résidence est effectivement la bonne réponse pour bien faire comprendre que de telles allégations ne sont pas dignes d'un bon parent et qu'il convient de ce fait, de privilégier l'autre parent. En l'occurrence le parent qui permet le meilleur accès à l'autre parent.
Nous constatons toutefois, que bien que la mère ait commis de telles ignominies, les juges lui ont tout de même accordé un large droit de visite. C'est à dire beaucoup plus que ce qui est souvent accordé à un père y compris dans le cas où il n'aurait fait aucune allégation et où il aurait parfaitement respecté la mère. Est-ce là encore une réminiscence du traditionnel sexisme de la justice ?


Arrêt de la Cour d'appel de Montpellier, 1° Chambre Section C.

05 Avril 2000

REPERTOIRE GENERAL DE LA COUR : 99/0002277

Sur l'ordonnance du J.A.F. rendu par le TRIBUNAL DE GRANDE INSTANCE de MONTPELLIER LE 26 Mars 1999 sous le n° 02188/99 (JAF)

APPELANTE : Madame M.F XXX …., ayant pour avoué constitué Maître GARRIGUE (Réf.:X 249), assisté de Maître BARBE, Avocat au barreau de MONTPELLIER,

INTIME : Monsieur J.F YYY….., ayant pour avoué constitué la SCP JOUGLA-JOUGLA (Réf.: 21245), assisté de Maître THUILLIER, Avocat au barreau de MONTPELLIER,

COMPOSITION DE LA COUR LORS DES DEBATS ET DU DELIBERE :
LAGUERRE Claude, Conseiller, désigné par ordonnance du Premier Président pour assurer la présidence,
AVON Dominique, Conseiller,
ILHE-DELANNOY Nadine, Conseiller,

GREFFIER : COMTE Marie-Françoise lors des débats et du prononcé.

DEBATS :
En chambre du conseil le NEUF FEVRIER DEUX MILLE à 09h45
L'affaire a été mise en délibéré au 22 Mars 2000 puis le délibéré prorogé au 05 Avril 2000

ARRET : CONTRADICTOIRE, prononcé en audience publique le CINQ AVRIL 2000 par LAGUERRE Claude, Président,

Par ordonnance du 26 mars 1999, le Juge aux affaires familiales de MONTPELLIER, saisi d'heure en heure par Madame XXX divorcée YYY en suspension du droit de visite du père sur l'enfant commun Chloé, née le 26 novembre 1993, a ordonné une expertise psychologique de Chloé et dit n'y avoir lieu de suspendre le droit de visite et d'hébergement de Monsieur YYY, ce dernier bénéficiant, jusqu'à la date de l'audience de renvoi, fixée le 22 juin 1999, du droit de visite suivant :

· · première, troisième et cinquième fins de semaine de chaque mois, du vendredi dix-neuf heures au dimanche dix-neuf heures.

  • Moitié des vacances scolaires en alternance.

Une ordonnance rectificative du 2 avril 1999 a alloué également au père les deuxième et quatrième mercredis de chaque mois du mardi dix-sept heures au mercredi dix-sept heures.

Madame XXX a interjeté appel de la décision du 26 mars 1999.

Dans ses dernières conclusions en date du 9 août 1999, elle demande de réformer la décision entreprise et d'ordonner la suspension du droit de visite exercé par Monsieur YYY sur l'enfant Chloé. Par ailleurs, le rapport d'expertise ordonné ayant été déposé, elle demande à la Cour d'évoquer l'affaire et d'instituer un nouveau droit de visite à l'issue du traitement thérapeutique auquel l'enfant devra être soumis, suite à la procédure actuellement instruite par le Juge des Enfants du Tribunal de Grande Instance de MONTPELLIER.

Dans ses dernières conclusions en date du 20 octobre 1999, Monsieur J-F YYY, se portant appelant reconventionnel, demande de modifier la décision entreprise et de fixer la résidence de Chloé chez lui avec tous les droits afférents à la mère, tels que ceux préconisés dans l'ordonnance critiquée.

Il sollicite une pension alimentaire de 1500 francs pour l'entretien et l'éducation de l'enfant.

Il sollicite la moitié des vacances scolaires en alternance et demande de préciser que, si la mère déménageait de MONTPELLIER et résidait à plus de 150 kilomètres de ladite ville, elle prendrait en charge l'intégralité des frais de transport.

Il sollicite 20.000 francs à titre de dommage et intérêts pour préjudice subi et procédure abusive du fait des allégations mensongères de son ex-femme, et 10.000 francs sur le fondement de l'article 700 su nouveau code de procédure civile.

ET SUR CE,

# Sur la DEMANDE PRINCIPALE de SUSPENSION du DROIT de VISITE DE Monsieur YYY avant le DEPOT du RAPPORT d'EXPERTISE PSYCHOLOGIQUE

Attendu qu'il résulte des pièces produites aux débats que Chloé YYY, sans doute perturbée par la séparation de ses parents, a bénéficié d'un suivi psychologique à compter du 2 mai 1997, à l'hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve, plus particulièrement par Madame LEMAITRE ;

Que malgré ce suivi, elle n'a jamais tenu aucun propos alarmant aux professionnels qui la connaissent bien ;

Que l'examen médico-légal, pratiqué le 8 mars 1999 à la demande de la mère de Chloé, trouve son origine dans le certificat médical du Docteur MERIC, médecin psychiatre, qui indique le 25 février 1999 avoir reçu en consultation Chloé avec sa maman et à qui l'enfant a tenu des propos pouvant évoquer des attouchements de nature sexuelle ;

Que les circonstances de la rédaction de ce certificat sont particulièrement troublantes dans la mesure où, à la même période, et à plusieurs reprises, la mère avait produit des certificats médicaux particulièrement vagues pour s'opposer au droit de visite du père, ce qui avait conduit ce dernier à porter plainte pour non représentation d'enfant ;

Que le médecin a toutefois mis en exergue la préoccupation de l'enfant en ce qui concerne le divorce de ses parents et l'attitude provocante de Chloé dont l'instabilité traduit une souffrance morale incontestable ;

Que c'est donc à juste titre, malgré la plainte déposée par Madame XXX à l'encontre de son ex-mari, que le premier Juge a maintenu le droit de visite et d'hébergement de Monsieur YYY ;

Que la décision entreprise doit être confirmée de ce chef ;

Qu'il convient enfin de préciser que le 9 juillet 1999 Madame XXX a été informée par le Parquet de MONTPELLIER que la plainte qu'elle avait déposée à l'encontre de son ex-mari le 20 mars 1999, avait été classée sans suite :

# Sur l'APPEL INCIDENT de Monsieur YYY

Attendu que le rapport d'expertise psychologique de Madame BLANCHEMAIN, déposé le 10 juin 1999, ne met nullement en évidence, comme le prétend Madame XXX dans ses écritures, que le droit de visite du père serait contraire à l'intérêt de l'enfant ; que par ailleurs, contrairement aux allégations de Madame XXX, aucune procédure n'a été mise en place actuellement par le Juge des Enfants du Tribunal de Grande Instance de MONTPELLIER ;

Attendu que l'expert a mis nettement en évidence la place centrale occupée par Chloé dans le conflit de ses parents et le fait que, tant le père que la mère, fait porter à cet enfant le contenu de sa problématique personnelle ;

Que cette attitude des parents entraîne l'enfant à perdre tout repère quant au réel, au vrai et au faux, ce qui peut avoir des conséquences dramatiques sur son psychisme et son développement mental ;

Que l'expert précise : "Nous avons du mal à discerner sa parole d'enfant" ;

Qu'elle met également en évidence le discours et le comportement érotisé à l'extrême de Chloé sans pouvoir donner d'explication précise de cette attitude ;

Qu'il convient toutefois de noter l'expérience sexuelle précoce qu'elle a pu vivre à l'école et dont elle a parlé avec sa psychologue habituelle peut constituer une explication du comportement de Chloé, qui ne correspond pas à son âge ;

Que l'expert préconise un éloignement des deux parents mais craint que cette situation ne puisse être vécue par Chloé comme une punition en soulignant que cette éventualité et ses différentes modalités sont à étudier avec précaution dans les services pédopsychiatriques ;

Qu'il convient de retenir qu'à aucun moment, pendant l'expertise, l'enfant n'a accusé son père mais a indiqué qu'elle avait menti à la police car sa mère le lui avait demandé ;

Que compte tenu des éléments fournis par l'expertise psychologique, il apparaît qu'il existe une véritable machination de la part de Madame XXX pour instaurer une rupture du lien père-fille en multipliant les obstacles à l'exercice du droit de visite de Monsieur YYY ; que la destruction de l'image du père, par des plaintes pour violence sexuelle, conduisent la Cour à faire droit à la demande de Monsieur YYY en transférant la résidence de Chloé chez lui, à compter de la rentrée scolaire de Pâques 2000, le père présentant par ailleurs toutes les qualités pour s'occuper de son enfant ;

Qu'il convient d'accorder à la mère un large droit de visite s'exerçant les premier, troisième et cinquième week-ends de chaque mois, du vendredi dix-sept heures au dimanche soir dix-neuf heures ainsi que tous les mercredis, du mardi soir dix-sept heures au mercredi soir dix-neuf heures, et la moitié des vacances scolaires en alternance ;

Qu'il convient de faire bénéficier Madame XXX des jours fériés qui seraient accolés aux week-ends, aux mercredis ou à des vacances ;

Attendu qu'eu égard à la situation professionnelle identique des deux parents, la pension alimentaire de 1.000 francs par mois prévue par le jugement de divorce du 10 novembre 1998 à la charge de Monsieur YYY pour l'entretien et l'éducation de Chloé, doit être mise à la charge de Madame XXX ;

Attendu que l'exercice de l'action en justice ne dégénère en faute susceptible de donner lieu à des dommages et intérêts que s'il est établi à la charge de l'appelante une intention de nuire caractérisée ; qu'en l'espèce, il convient de condamner Madame XXX à payer à Monsieur YYY la somme de 5.000 francs à ce titre, compte tenu de sa persistance à s'opposer sans motif au droit de visite du père.

Qu'il y a lieu également de la condamner à lui payer la somme de 3.000 francs sur le fondement de l'article 700 du nouveau code de procédure civile !

PAR CES MOTIFS

Statuant publiquement, contradictoirement, en dernier ressort, Vu le rapport d'expertise de Madame BLANCHEMAIN ;

Infirme la décision entreprise.

Fixe la résidence de Chloé chez son père.

Accorde à Madame XXX un droit de visite et d'hébergement qui s'exercera de la façon suivante :

  • les premier, troisième et cinquième week-ends de chaque mois, du vendredi dix-sept heures au dimanche soir dix-neuf heures
  • ainsi que tous les mercredis, du mardi soir dix-sept heures au mercredi soir dix-neuf heures,
  • et la moitié des vacances scolaires en alternance ;

Condamne Madame XXX à payer à monsieur YYY, pour l'entretien et l'éducation de Chloé, la somme de MILLE FRANCS (1 000 francs) par mois,

Dit que cette pension sera indexée sur l'indice des prix à la consommation des ménages urbains, série France entière, publié par l'I.N.S.E.E., et sera révisée annuellement à la diligence du débiteur, la première fois le 1er janvier 2001, avec pour base l'indice en cours, le dernier connu au jour de la dite révision,

La condamne à payer CINQ MILLE FRANCS (5 000 francs) à titre de dommages et intérêts, et CINQ MILLE FRANCS (5 000 francs) au titre de l'article 700 du nouveau code de procédure civile.

La condamne aux entiers dépens avec droit de recouvrement direct conformément aux dispositions de l'article 699 du nouveau code procédure civile

LE GREFFIER LE PRESIDENT


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