The Editor, The Sault Star
145 Old Garden River Rd.
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5M5
The City of Sault Ste. Marie has proclaimed April 25, 2009 as the 4th Annual Parental Alienation Day as shown below. This year 15 countries are participating as well as cities and states within these countries. Parental Alienation (PA) can cause children emotional problems ranging from mild trauma to severe psychological tribulations. Pamela Richardson, a Canadian mother, authored the book "A Kidnapped Mind", detailing her ordeal and the subsequent suicide of her son Dash. More recently a mother in Toronto killed her 18 month old toddler son, Jayden Bernard, to prevent the father from seeing him. This is the most extreme kind of PA possible.
PA is prevalent in our community with past court cases in the public record involving it and current activity before the Family Court where it has been used against target parents to get a "leg up" in custody battles. Family Courts in Canada are starting to recognize the seriousness of the manipulation of young children and are reversing custody as a result.
I have discussed this emotional abuse of children with the Algoma Children's Aid Society (ACAS) over the past 4 years and they can do little to combat it. They cannot see the psychic bruising and it is outside of their current protective mandate. The Family Preservation Program operated by the ACAS does do its best with highly motivated dedicated staff.
With awareness we can educate to create understanding and through understanding legislative changes can be made to create environments reducing the conflict which creates this behaviour. One of the first must be changes to the divorce act making shared and equal parenting a rebuttable presumption for fit parents. Those who daily supervise or provide mental health services for children will be better equipped to recognize why children exhibit certain responses.
P R O C L A M A T I O N
WHEREAS Parents in high conflict situations may intentionally or otherwise cause children to suffer from Parental Alienation; and
WHEREAS Some of the behaviours of Parental Alienation include speaking negatively about a parent to or before a child and interfering with parental communication and time together; and
WHEREAS These destructive behaviours can interfere with a loving parent and child bond, depriving children of their right to love and be loved by both parents; and
WHEREAS These behaviours can be confusing, frightening and create a sense of insecurity well into adulthood; and
WHEREAS Awareness, education and understanding, play an important role in stopping the effects of Parental Alienation:
THEREFORE, I, Brian Hayes, by virtue of the power vested in me as Acting Mayor of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, do hereby proclaim and pronounce April 25, 2009 "PARENTAL ALIENATION AWARENESS DAY" in the City of Sault Ste. Marie.