We the undersigned are petitioning you to bring attention to a very important matter. Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting are painful and destructive behaviors that can leave deep and long-lasting emotional scars on a child. These behaviors can effectively alienate a child from a parent, are often seen in the context of high conflict divorce and custody cases, and are done by a third party, such as a parent or extended family member. Such behaviors interfere with the bond between a loving parent and child.
These behaviors can include interfering with communication and visitation; withholding important school and medical information; false allegations of child abuse; moving and leaving no contact information; allowing children to make inappropriate decisions, such as if they want to see the other parent; and discussing inappropriate information with a child, such as details of the marriage, court proceedings, and financial matters.
While not everyone agrees on the terminology, most mental health and legal professionals acknowledge and agree that alienating behaviors, such as those above are damaging. These behaviors, designed to take advantage of a childs suggestibility and dependency, leave a child feeling confused, frightened, and insecure. Research has shown that children who have been alienated from a parent show a greater percentage of depression, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol problems, and difficulties in their own relationships. Alienating behaviors can result in the loss of a relationship with a previously loving, supportive, and nurturing parent.
Some of us know first hand the emotional impact losing contact with a parent has on a child. It is our hope that no other child will have to lose contact with a loving and fit parent due to alienation, or to ever experience the devastating feeling that they are not wanted by one of their own parents because of the conscious or unconscious acts of another person.
The good news is that many alienators do not understand the impact their behavior has on the target child. Except in the most extreme circumstances, education and intervention are enough to stop the alienation and restore a childs healthy relationship with both parents. For that reason, it is essential that we bring awareness to this issue, in the hope that we can put a stop to these damaging behaviors.
All children deserve to feel loved by their parents. No child should have to choose between the love of one parent or another. I urge Governor Kaine to learn more about Parental Alienation, and we invite him to visit http://www.PAawareness.org.
We are asking that Governor Kaine issue a Proclamation declaring April 25th as Parental Alienation Awareness Day in the state of Virginia. For the sake of all children to be able to give and receive all of the love they deserve.