Parental Alienation Awareness Day on April 25 is now marked annually in many Canadian cities and around the globe. Recently, 2013, Nanaimo City Mayor John Ruttan, proclaimed the same in Nanaimo. He took a giant step forward in acknowledging that Parental Alienation, which is often ignored by politicians and community leaders, impacts the preservation of families and has the potential to destroy our children’s futures.
When parental, extended family, and grandparent alienation occurs, unsuspecting spouses/partners and grandparents are victimized as well as the children, and often denied contact. Grandparents and grandchildren treated this way are defined as being subject to elder abuse and child abuse by Canadian Grandparents Rights working with families in distress over the last 30 years. Leading psychologists, such as Dr. Glenn Cartwright, past professor at McGill University, and American professors Dr. Richard Gardner 1992, and Dr. W. Goldwater 1991, wrote of parental alienation as early as the 1970s.
The Canadian Grandparents Rights Association has been fighting for new federal and provincial legislation, with some success, to help families in distress after a divorce or separation since 1986. Our handbook, A Child’s Right to Love, produced with the help of The People’s Law School, speaks out loudly against parental alienation and offers solutions and guidance for individuals facing this traumatic behaviour.
As parental alienation behaviour gains more media space, elected officials are becoming aware and involved. Our grandchildren need both parents in their lives and all their grandparents to lead healthy, well adjusted lives, while they are taught respect for others. As the United Nations Article 6 of the Convention of the Child states, children are entitled to their family. Canada accepted this law over 25 years ago.
Where there is no proven abuse, all children need the love and security of their families.
Director of Canadian Grandparents Rights Association