Violating the mind – excerpt from a text by Karen Woodall, October 2020

I, Lena Hellblom Sjögren, recommend you to read about alienation in the decision given* if you click the highlighted ”Appeal and High Court Decisions” below in the text by Karen Woodall, from which I, October 13, 2020, made this excerpt.

”Inducing alienation in a child is abusive. The Family Courts in the UK are clear about that and case law establishes it. In fact not only does case law establish that alienation in a child is abusive, it establishes that behaviours which may lead to alienation are abusive. Recent Appeal and High Court decisions have made it clear that the Court has a duty to act in such circumstances and to do so before the alienation becomes serious. This makes it clear that alienation of a child is real in law and that it is child abuse.

We do not allow parents to violate the body of a child, we act to remove when a parent sexually or physically abuses a child. We all understand this and we do not argue about it. We do not project onto those people who do this, the belief that this person is really a protective parent who loves the child. We do not argue that this child loves the parent and needs the parent. We know that violating the body of a child is wrong.

When it comes to violating the mind of a child however, we have a long way to go to establish acceptance that this is wrong. Ideological resistance to the reality that violating of the mind of the child is wrong, is powerful. Efforts to mischaracterise it are rife. Those who view the family through an ideological lens, see mothers as innocent victims of abusive fathers and project their personal experiences onto the issue of alienation as if it were the universal truth. It is not the universal truth at all, it is simply a personal experience projected. Just as those who claim that all allegations of domestic abuse are false, those who claim that alienation of a child is always a false allegation, are living in a binary world which does not reflect reality.

The reality of working with alienated children and their families, is that we are working with children who are being harmed by being caused to use a defence which distorts their sense of self. It also forces them into a life long struggle with the impact of that. Splitting is a horrible defence for children of divorce and separation, because it strips them of their right to a sovereign sense of who they are and binds them to the mind-set of a parent who uses them as a regulatory object. How the child came to use the defence of splitting and what are the dynamics which are configured to cause it, is our task in differentiation. Protection of the child is our core focus.”

*Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWCA Civ 568 Case No: B4/2020/0318 IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION) ON APPEAL FROM THE CENTRAL FAMILY COURT HHJ Meston QC ZC19P00137 Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London, WC2A 2LL Date: 29 April 2020 Before : LORD JUSTICE McCOMBE LADY JUSTICE KING and LORD JUSTICE PETER JACKSON