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Parental Alienation Awareness Day to Shed Light on Little-Known Form of Abuse
MIAMI, March 22, 2006 -- Nearly everyone knows a couple who has divorced and used their children against each other. But not many people know there's a name for such behavior - and fewer still know it is a particularly damaging form of child abuse.

Now a group of concerned people has created Parental Alienation Awareness Day (http://www.parental-alienation-awareness.com). Slated for April 25, 2006, Parental Alienation Awareness Day is designed to shed light on the problems of Parental Alienation (PA).

Defined as the systematic brainwashing and manipulation of children with the sole purpose of destroying the loving and warm relationship they once shared with a parent, PA is typically caused by a parent going through a divorce or separation. While many divorced and separated parents recognize their children's deep need to have healthy relationships with both parents, some parents have a more difficult time putting their own feelings aside - and that is when PA can occur.

"A pattern of alienation usually begins without any malicious or conscious intent to harm the relationship between the other parent and the children," explained Sarvy Emo, co-founder of Parental Alienation Awareness Day. "Parents are often unaware of how subtle behaviors and comments can hurt the relationship between the children and the targeted parent. Alienating parents, however, learn how to manipulate and use their children to purposefully hurt the other parent."

As workshops and lectures scheduled for Parental Alienation Awareness Day will show, victims of PA display several distinct early signs of the abuse. The group advises family members and teachers of children whose parents are divorcing to watch for the children perceiving one parent as causing the other parent's financial problems, showing a sudden negative change in attitude around one parent or being uncharacteristically belligerent around a parent.

A parent engaging in PA may speak disparagingly about his or her ex-spouse in front of the children. He or she may share details of the divorce with the children or refuse to give the other parent access to medical and school records or extracurricular activity schedules. Other typical PA behaviors include grilling the children about their visits with the other parent, becoming physically violent with the other parent or stepparent in front of the children, prohibiting the children from calling the other parent "Mommy" or "Daddy," and refusing to allow telephone, mail or e-mail communication between the children and the other parent.

"Parental Alienation is emotional and mental child abuse. No child should be used as a weapon for someone else's gain. No child should have to choose between people they love," said Emo. "With awareness come education, understanding and the power to stop the abuse of innocent children caught in the crossfire of people they love."

To learn more about PA and Parental Alienation Awareness Day, including future workshops and webinars, visit http://www.parental-alienation-awareness.com. A list of 167 signs of PA and other articles on PA are available at http://www.parental-alienation-awareness.com/awarness-articles.asp.


Sarvy Emo
Tel: 416-840-5654
Fax: 866-232-8134