The damage caused to children by poor or selfish parenting when they separate has reached epidemic proportions
Tens of thousands of children suffer the needless loss of a parent in their lives through abusive denigration of good parents
Family courts are not fit for purpose - other forms of support are all but non-existent
Covid-19 is making matters worse
While the Domestic Abuse Bill is being scrutinised by Parliament a powerful new report highlights the desperate need to address a system of family justice and support that are not working properly.
The UK Parental Alienation Study 2020 has just been published. It was conducted by Good Egg Safety CIC, a leading campaigner on child safety who has worked on a wide range of social justice and community safety programmes.
The study is based on over 1,500 responses from separated parents, the biggest such study ever conducted in the UK. The results mirror the experience of parents who are FNF members and service users:
- Almost half report not seeing their children for over six months, in many cases not for years.
- 58% experienced breaches of court orders.
- 80% experiencing adverse health impact.
This broader study shows that the issue is reported heavily by mums as well as dads and has adverse wellbeing effects on children regardless of which parent is behaving abusively.
The report identifies the kinds of abusive behaviours following family separation that wreak untold damage on tens of thousands of children every year. Behaviours such as isolating children from their fathers, mothers, grandparents and wider family, denigrating and devaluing of victim mothers and fathers and making false allegations against parents (often in front of the children).
A spokesperson for FNF says "With almost half of parents separating before their children leave school, it would not be an over-statement to say that the situation has become a child wellbeing issue of epidemic proportions.
The adversarial family justice system has shown itself to be unfit-for-purpose. It takes well over half a year to conclude family proceedings - on average, and often the child is no longer able to see one of their parents! Many children's arrangements take a year or even several years.
Frequently the court fails to provide early-intervention when needed and only takes enforcement action in relation to breaches of court orders far too late and in fewer than 1% of cases.
FNF support Philip Davies MP's amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill that seek to ensure that children are protected from all forms of abuse."