The proposition that domestic abuse in the UK is a ‘gendered crime’ is not supported by scientific evidence.
Our annual crime survey shows us that one third of victims are men.
The UK Statistics Authority has issued two separate warnings that the term ‘overwhelmingly female’ in relation to abuse victims, is false.
The reason this matters so much is that we simply cannot protect all children until we protect all victims.
Gender bias puts children of female perpetrators at great risk.
How can we fail to protect them because their victim parent is male? It would be morally and ethically indefensible.
This is equally true when we consider the pernicious abuse of parental alienation.
It has been incorrectly re-framed as a ‘fathers rights’ issue and only as a “backlash against perceived feminist gains”.
Further denigrated as a ‘debunked theory’ concocted by a ‘paedophile’ (false) rogue psychiatrist.
Alienating behaviours have likely been around since the beginning of human civilisation.
Recorded by Louise Despert, a leading French child psychiatrist and psychotherapist in 1953.
“It is a sharp temptation for the parent who remains with the child, to break down their love for the one who has gone. This may be a temporary relief to the parent who does so, but it can only do harm to the child”
Many years before Gardner.
If we are to protect children, we can only refer to facts.
Facts found in a rudimentary knowledge of attachment-based science.
Our evident lack of respect for attachment- based science may help explain why the UK scores less well in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index, in comparison to other countries with healthier parenting and family court models.
It also explains why we refer to precious parenting time as ‘contact’.
It explains why some of the less enlightened members of our judiciary sometimes recommend ‘indirect contact’ – often when an alienating parent has created so much fear and anxiety in the child’s mind, they ‘refuse’ to continue a relationship with a parent they previously loved with all their heart.
There is no such thing as an ‘indirect’ attachment bond.
The UK is suffering epidemic levels of crime which the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for serious violence, Jackie Sebire, courageously linked to our ‘fatherless society’.
Rising knife crime, drug and alcohol addiction, disregard for authority, law and order.
We are witnessing escalating costs of family breakdown which exceeds our national defence budget by a significant margin.
We blame the perpetrator yet give scant consideration to their previous life trauma. Trauma which is almost always the root cause.
Erin Pizzey, the legendary campaigner who dedicated her entire life to protecting victims and children and who opened the first refuge in the world, explains it well.
“This is not a numbers game. The roots of domestic abuse lie within inter-generational family violence and dysfunction”
And that is the truth.
We cannot remain quiet in case it offends ideological sentiments, when our focus should remain centred directly on how we help our future generation to live their best lives.
While the drivers behind the alienation of a child from a safe parent can be complex and rooted, as in all other cases of family abuse, in trans-generational trauma or psychological disorder, the adverse effects on children, cannot be ignored any longer.
We live in a country governed by equality laws. It is surely unacceptable that any organisation or individuals demand equality when it suits, yet be unwilling to support and promote equality when it comes to protecting a ll victims of abuse.
It is critical that sub-specialist experts are employed at the earliest stages where abuse claims are raised. In any cases of abuse, victims and their children need immediate protection.
Legal Aid must be available to all victims, including those who are having their children deliberately withheld from them. We agree wholeheartedly that ‘all victims must be believed’. Ensuring thorough investigation and fact-finding, does not undermine that approach.
It just ensures public funding is used only for those it is intended for. Otherwise, resources may be misused simply to prevent equitable co-parenting plans.
The biggest losers being children who will have their familial inheritance, and all the extra love, care and nurture it offers, stolen from them