The limits of a judge’s power
The VOC link opened up a welcome and a shared sorrow about this public apology of a case.
SM: This article is so upsetting. The catalogue of failures of services. To have to say to a parent, dad in this case, ‘yes, we know you are a good parent, but you still can’t have access to them because they have been told so many lies they actually HATE you” ⧣ParentalAlienation
Early on SP and NCn had this exchange about the power and limits of what a judge could order. Click on NCn’s link here to read more of it.
SP: So. What would you have done? How much physical force do you think it’s appropriate to exert on children?
NCn: Would you leave a child in the care of someone you knew to be sexually abusing them? The horrific life long outcome for children of PA is as damaging.
SP: No, and that is a fair point. But at the moment the apparatus of the State WILL get behind a child who is sexually abused. Emotional abuse is much more difficult to deal with as in every other respect the parent is a ‘good’ one and the children refuse to leave. I do not doubt that the impact of such emotional abuse has life long consequences every bit as severe as sexual abuse. But its like boiling a frog. By the time everyone has woken up to the fact it is happening, damage is done and is entrenched. What the court system needs is more time and more judges to have quicker finding of fact hearings and then a will to act much more quickly. An end to this desperately naive hope that the abusing parent will ‘shift’. I think they rarely do.
NCn: (1) Agree with your summing up, but more than just time is needed. It’s accuracy and proper investigation into why a child is unjustifiably rejecting another parent. Cafcass are assigned 25 hrs per case. Most of that goes on report writing, travel, court appearances.
(2) Often only 1 hour is given to a telephone interview with traumatised parent of which their trauma is held against them and so indirect contact is recommended during proceedings which can take months. By which time, as you agree, entrenchment is too deep.
(3) My initial reaction was to your wording of your original text. Parents are trying to survive the worst grief and ambiguous loss and it came across as dismissive and sarky. Grieving a living a child is beyond anyone’s comprehension and yes! The Judge should have done more.
(4) Why was this Mother not in contempt of breaking the Order when so many others are often arrested due to false allegations?