Comments by DV advocates on Dr. Richard Warshak and PAS have been censored by Huffington Post – Are they trying to silence the DV community?

Maybe this should come as no surprise. From what I’m learning, Huffington Post doesn’t care much about scientific facts or freedom of speech.

Check this out on Digg.

Richard Warshak now has a post up on divorce and parental alienation syndrome (PAS). A bunch of domestic violence advocates and domestic violence survivors have tried to post opposing viewpoints – to no avail. At least 5 of us have had our posts deleted. Many of these posts provided research citations and quotes.

Here is a domestic violence advocate and survivor’s post:

Here is the American Psychological Association’s other statement on parental alienation: “Family courts frequently minimize the harmful impact of children’s witnessing violence between their parents and sometimes are reluctant to believe mothers. If the court ignores the history of violence as the context for the mother’s behavior in a custody evaluation, she may appear hostile, uncooperative, or mentally unstable. For example, she may refuse to disclose her address, or may resist unsupervised visitation, especially if she thinks her child is in danger. Psychological evaluators who minimize the importance of violence against the mother, or pathologize her responses to it, may accuse her of alienating the children from the father and may recommend giving the father custody in spite of his history of violence.
Some professionals assume that accusations of physical or sexual abuse of children that arise during divorce or custody disputes are likely to be false, but the empirical research to date shows no such increase in false reporting at that time. In many instances, children are frightened about being alone with a father they have seen use violence towards their mother or a father who has abused them. Sometimes children make it clear to the court that they wish to remain with the mother because they are afraid of the father, but their wishes are ignored.”
 
I posted this from Newseek:
 
Under the theory, children fear or reject one parent because they have been corrupted or coached to lie by the other. Parental alienation is now the leading defense for parents accused of abuse in custody cases, according to domestic-violence advocates. And it’s working. The few current studies done on the subject consider only small samples. But according to one 2004 survey in Massachusetts by Harvard’s Jay Silverman, 54 percent of custody cases involving documented spousal abuse were decided in favor of the alleged batterers. Parental alienation was used as an argument in nearly every case.
 
This year the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges denounced the theory as “junk science,” and at least four states have passed legislation to curtail its use in custody cases involving allegations of domestic violence. “It’s really been a cancer in the family courts,” says Richard Ducote, an attorney in Pittsburgh who has represented abuse victims in custody cases for 22 years. “It’s made it really difficult for parents to protect their kids. If you ask for protection, you’re deemed a vindictive, alienating parent.”
 
I also shortened this & posted it:

 

Sherman, Rorie. (Aug. 16, 1993). Gardner’s Law: A Controversial Psychiatrist and Influential Witness Leads the Backlash Against Child Sex Abuse ‘Hysteria,’ National Law Journal, 15, at 1, 45.

This article notes that forensic child psychiatrist Richard Gardner is one of the most prominent experts who is speaking out against what he considers to be child abuse hysteria.  Most of Gardner ‘s court testimony is devoted to defending men accused of child sexual abuse.  Gardner ‘s theories, most of which have never been tested empirically, are influencing court-appointed therapists around the country.  Gardner has been certified to testify in at least 70 sex-abuse cases, both criminal and civil. He is an outspoken media commentator and has hired his own publicist to help him gain access to more media outlets. Gardner calls child abuse allegations the “third-greatest wave of hysteria” that nation has seen, with the first two being the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy hearings. Many of his colleagues state that there is little scientific evidence to support his theories.  They also note that his ideas are not filtered through the peer-review system before they reach the courts because he publishes them himself.
To help cure society of false allegations, Gardner suggests that courts should appoint therapists familiar with his theory of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) to evaluate custody cases. This theory suggests that there is an epidemic of vindictive women accusing fathers of child sex abuse to gain leverage in child-custody disputes.  The only way to deal with severe cases of PAS, according to Gardner , is to take the children away from their brainwashing mother until they can be deprogrammed.  Gardner claims that the vast majority of sex-abuse accusations made during custody disputes are false, in-spite of numerous research studies which show the opposite is true. There is no research that confirms that PAS even exists, yet Gardner recommends that children be removed from their mother’s care based on it.  Critics state that Gardner almost always sides with a man against his wife, and even testified that a man who murdered his wife during a custody dispute should be found not guilty because his wife had driven him temporarily insane
Gardner also developed a psychological test called the Sex Abuse Legitimacy Scale (SALS) which is a checklist of criteria that Gardner claims will help determine whether child sex-abuse accusations are credible.  Since 1987, therapists nationwide started using this scale even though there was no research documenting that it was valid.  Recently the SALS has been discredited by academics, rejected by one appellate court and withdrawn from the market by Dr. Gardner.  One researcher used Gardner ‘s SALS to evaluate confirmed cases of child sexual abuse and found that the scale produced inaccurate assessments. A lawyer commented that under the theories expounded by Gardner , no matter what a woman who discovers her child is being sexually abused does, she is going to do something wrong unless she disbelieves her child. If a mother goes to an attorney or a doctor for help, the SALS finds the child’s allegations less credible. When asked to explain why all of the men who hire him to testify for them in sexual abuse cases are confirmed innocent by him, Gardner says that guilty men don’t ask him to testify for them.  Gardner states: “People who are falsely accused are more likely to come to me…Pedophiles recognize that I am not so easily fooled.”
 

And this-
 

 

“PAS is junk science at its worst,” says Dr. Paul Fink, President of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, and a former President of the American Psychiatric Association.  Dr. Fink explains, “Science tells us that the most likely reason that a child becomes estranged from a parent is that parent’s own behavior. Labels, such as PAS, serve to deflect attention away from those behaviors.”
 

 Oh yeah, here’s Warshak’s article: Stop Divorce Poison

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5 comments on “Comments by DV advocates on Dr. Richard Warshak and PAS have been censored by Huffington Post – Are they trying to silence the DV community?

  1. […] Maybe this should come as no surprise. From what I’m learning, Huffington Post doesn’t care much about scientific facts or freedom of speech. Check this out on Digg. Richard Warshak now has a post up on divorce and parental alienation syndrome (PAS). A bunch of domestic violence advocates and domestic violence survivors have tried to post opposing viewpoints – to no avail. At least 5 of us have had our posts deleted. Many of these posts provided … Read More […]

  2. […] Comments by DV advocates on Dr. Richard Warshak and PAS have been censored by Huffington Post – Are they trying to silence the DV community? (via Media Misses) In domestic law on November 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm Maybe this should come as no surprise. From what I'm learning, Huffington Post doesn't care much about scientific facts or freedom of speech. Check this out on Digg. Richard Warshak now has a post up on divorce and parental alienation syndrome (PAS). A bunch of domestic violence advocates and domestic violence survivors have tried to post opposing viewpoints – to no avail. At least 5 of us have had our posts deleted. Many of these posts provided … Read More […]

  3. silverside says:

    When abusers try to estrange the child from a protective parent, it’s not PAS. It’s psychological abuse that’s a part of their abuse arsenal. PAS treats “alienation” as a discrete “syndrome” with no relationship to a domestic violence dynamic. It’s a sloppy diagnosis that lumps a protective parent’s experience and an abuser’s experience of being rejected into the same pot. It’s like calling a stress headache and a brain tumor the same thing and giving them the same diagnosis.

  4. miss j says:

    It sounds like you experienced domestic violence. Often, it’s domestic violence by proxy (thru children) rather than something called “alienation.”

    Opponents of PAS do not argue against alienation on grounds of being contradictory, harmful, or silly. PAS has been used against parents that allege abuse (domestic violence, child abuse, child sexual abuse). It makes the court doubt the accuser, bases it on personalities, rejects other reasons for relationship breakdown, and is based on premises that women are vindictive and abuse is rare. Finally, the more Mom claims abuse, the more kids fear the father and the more tests Mom seek to provide evidence – are all used against her as claims of alienating a father.

    Therefore, PAS is highly dangerous, unscientific and unethical (particularly that “treatment” forces kids to see a parent that is feared or hated).

  5. M. Annabelle Twilley says:

    I am an alienated parent. I am now alienated from my grandchild. The child’s father persevered in breaking the relationshio I had with my daughter. It did not directly involve court fighting over custody and access, although court and legal proceedings were used in that alienation process. I was emotionally and psychologically abused by my husband, and it is my belief that in this alienation process, my daughter was also.
    Parental Alienation surely exisits. So does Domestic Violence. They are not mutually exclusive, and to argue the existance or non existance of PA on a gender basis is both harmful and silly….as much for women as men express mysogeny when they globally condemn feminists. Let’s stop the polarizing, the black and white thinking about the complicated lives of people and families !

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