Island recognises Parental Alienation Awareness Day
April 25 has been chosen as Parental Alienation Awareness Day as part of a global awareness campaign to heighten awareness about parental alienation.
The proclamation was signed yesterday by Community and Cultural Development Minister Wayne Scott in the presence of members of ChildWatch Bermuda headed up by Edward Tavares and Vice President Andrew Carmichael.
A Government spokesman said: “Parental alienation involves taking advantage of the suggestibility and dependency of children with the sole purpose of destroying a loving and warm relationship they once shared with a parent.”
Bermuda joined with 17 states across America and cities in Canada to recognise the day in 2011.
The Minister signed the proclamation to support efforts to eradicate this form of child abuse which may deprive children of their right to love and be loved by both parents.
Said Mr Scott: “Alienation behaviours are common during adversarial divorce and custody situations.
“Divorce affects numerous children under the age of eighteen with as nearly as many unmarried couples separating.”
The move follows a Throne Speech promise by the new One Bermuda Alliance Government to introduce legislative amendments to allow shared parenting to give both parents “equal rights and opportunities to be with their children”.
Childwatch spokesman Mr Tavares commended Government for the initiative.
“We at ChildWatch are thrilled the Children’s Act 1998 will be amended to include shared parenting.”
And he noted that research shows that shared parenting is beneficial for children, leading to higher self esteem, higher grades and less delinquency.
As a result, he believes the legislation could go a long way towards mending social issues affecting the community.
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