Submited by: Cathy
Father’s right activists have been attempting to have Parental Alienation Disorder added to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible” of diagnoses.
The National Organization for Women learned about the effort and is concerned. They have now sent out an Action Alert to counter the campaign. According to NOW’s Tracy Simmons:
I am writing you, the leaders of various groups that represent battered women, for your help in one of the most important matters we will address this year. The American Psychiatric Association is considering adding Parental Alienation to the Diagnosticians book, which would legitimize this legal tactic into a real disorder.
Parental Alienation Syndrome has now morphed into Parental Alienation Disorder thanks to the fathers’ rights organizations who are wildly pushing this through, and why wouldn’t they? It benefits the abuser and discriminates against the victims of abuse, which are overwhelmingly women.
This gender specific, abuse excuse, junk science can not be allowed to enter into the scientific community as there is nothing scientific about a syndrome/disorder whose only symptoms are a uterus, divorce papers, and bruises. I ask that you all to take action against legitimizing this outrageous theory by e-mailing the APA and asking your groups to do the same.
Although I doubt Tracy cares, I’ve a response to her concerns.
1. Why the hell does now push the agenda that most divorced women are victims of domestic abuse? NOW is an organization that I thought promoted independence and equal rights. How can any woman feel independent and equal to a man if she is taught to be the victim and that is what NOW does, they encourage women to become victims.
Some insights for Tracy on divorce. Most divorces are filed by women. Not because those women were victims of domestic abuse but because those women want out of unhappy marriages. Yep, some were victims, some were cheated on most though, they are quitters who have a romanticized idea of what marriage is. They are off out there looking for the “night in shining armor” and while doing so feel they have ownership over their children.
2. Most men who are victims of Parental Alienation are not abusers. They are fathers, good fathers who are dealing with women who use their children as a negotiating tool. They are fathers, faced with the up hill battle of trying to convince some family court judge that they, as a parent have as much right to parent as the mother of their children.
NOW has fought hard for the rights of abused women why not take your head out of your butt and take a look around at reality. Parental Alienation is a form of abuse and women are more likely to attempt to alienate a child from the father than fathers are from the mother. In this case, NOW isn’t speaking out for the victim, instead they are working to protect the abuser. You want to stop the discrimination against the abused, get behind this attempt to have Parental Alienation defined as a disorder in the DSM-V.
3. Only someone who has never been a victim of Parental Alienation would refer to it as “junk science.” Although most perpetrators of Parental Alienation are women, some men are also guilty of attempting to alienate a child from a parent.
Take my ex for example. His children are objects to him; objects he wants nothing to do with unless he feels he has full ownership of said object. My son spent 10 months in his custody. During those 10 months, my ex defied the court order pertaining to communication and visitation.
He had my son’s cell phone turned off and purchased a new phone with a new number. A number he refused to give to me. My son was told he was to NEVER answer the home phone. Guess who had no way of communicating weekly with her son, even though the court order gave me that privilege.
My ex was court ordered to share with me all medical information. He refused, going as far as not contacting me when my son spent a week in the hospital. Something I knew nothing about until after the fact and then he did everything in his power to keep me from getting medical records from the doctors who cared for my son.
NOW has a skewed view of divorce and what takes place before, during and after a divorce. They also have a skewed view of what equality actually is. Equality is about ALL PEOPLE being treated equally…especially the children.
When it comes to Parental Alienation the focus should not be on the abuser or the victim, it should be on the children who have the right to equal time with both Mom and Dad. That won’t happen until Parental Alienation is viewed by the Family Court System as a recognized psychiatric disorder.
And believe it or not that happening has nothing to do with whether or not you have a uterus or have been a victim of domestic abuse. Most mothers put their children’s needs first. Most fathers do the same. Those who are victims of the mother and father who doesn’t, need to be armed with ammunition to fight back. Thanks to these Father’s Rights groups hopefully we will soon have that ammunition.
If you are interested in support the effort to have Parental Alienation defined as a disorder click here.