Link for RightsForMothers which is where I found the below. I rarely like to just re-cycle a post, but this one was worth it.
I found this on Associated Content. It is a good discussion by Elaine Doxie:
- Published: Fri December 18th, 2009
- By: Elaine Doxie
- Category: Dating & Relationships
From the time that Richard A. Gardner came out with his theory detailing Parental Alienation Syndrome, there has been a great deal of controversy over whether it was real or not. Parental Alienation Syndrome occurs when one parent pulls the children in as allies against the other parent. It may involve false allegations of abuse but is often abused as a defense where real abuse has occurred.When it is used as a defense in a case where real abuse has occurred, the children are the ones who suffer. They lose touch with a parent who was trying to protect them, and become pawns in the ongoing abuse of their other parent. This is when it becomes Domestic Violence by Proxy. The children are often forced into the position of becoming abusive themselves, although they probably do not see their own actions as being abusive.
Most often, the mother is the one in this unfortunate position. She may feel trapped into taking the abuse because she loves her children and doesn’t want to lose them. Her abuser, who is drunk on control, has found yet another way to control her by using the children. He thus continues his onslaught of abuse, making it domestic violence by proxy. The mother may have any number of reasons for having lost custody of her children. She may have given them up to him voluntarily, hoping that if she did, they would have a better life since he was more abusive to her than to the children. She may have been intimidated into giving up because he seemed to always win every battle, even when she knew she was right. She may not have had the strength and fortitude to carry on in what seemed to be a never-ending battle. He may have won in front of the judge because he seemed more in control of the situation.
The abuser may seem very charming to the children. All of a sudden, the children who were starved for attention by their father previously, have become the apple of his eye. He may tell the children that their mother never wanted them, while he was excited at the prospect of having children, when often, the exact opposite is true. He may shower them with expensive gifts that their mother cannot afford, and compare her gifts to his, finding hers lacking. He may prevent, or make it very difficult for the mother to see her children, then tell the children if she really loved them, she would be there. All of these things and more he uses to create the illusion that she does not love her children.
If she spends any time with her children at all, he will often stalk her during the time that she is with them. He tells the children that this is “for their protection.” They have no choice to believe him, although prior to the divorce they had no reason to ever be frightened when they were alone with their mother. Any information that the children bring back from their mother’s home is twisted in such a way that it can be used against her in attempts to get her in trouble with the law. This makes it dangerous for the children to be in her home, although she desperately wants to welcome them with open arms.
The biggest problem with domestic violence by proxy is that the courts all too often fail to recognize it or do anything about it. In fact, for all the lip service that we hear about helping victims of domestic violence in any form, there is very little done about it at all. Domestic violence is a huge problem that way too many people turn a blind eye to. It’s time to do something about it. Learn the signs, especially if you are in any kind of a position of power. If you are a judge, a lawyer, police, or anyone who can start the seeds of change, do so. Even if you are just the average layperson, report it when you see it. Don’t let your neighbors get away with it.
If I can change the world in one way, it will be that no person will ever lose their children to domestic violence again. This is the most painful loss as the children are still there, but unable to be a part of a loving mother’s life. The men that perpetrate this need to be held accountable for their actions.