One comment on “In January divorces are on the increase

  1. Spot on Bertus.

    A little off subject, but when will South African Law start to recognize PAS, (Parental Alienation Syndrome), for the huge problem it is?

    I read that the end of year holiday season also sees a big spike in child abduction, in fact I think you wrote an article on the problem?

    I find that to mention it by it’s name, only draws a blank stare, certainly from your average social worker, or the average volunteer trauma counselor, that may be one of the first points of contact after a domestic violence incident.

    A person would be far better off using the word “blackmailed” or “poisoned my child’s mind”, unless you want to be vilified for “labeling” your partner.

    It seems to me the majority of the social Justice system have no concept of PAS whatsoever, even although they deal with it every day. They are either ignorant or possibly in denial, perhaps (I would prefer to think), it’s due to insufficient resources and a lack of education?

    Nonetheless, it tells me that thousands of people, more especially children are victims of something they don’t realize has a name, and does indeed exist as a well documented problem internationally.

    PAS is not only the domain of a parent, I find that often an entire extended family, grandparents as well as brothers and sisters in law, are involved.

    They have no concept of the harm they are causing a child by forcing or manipulating him or her to shun the target parent.

    A typically harmful comment could be “sorry, I can’t buy you an ice cream, I cant afford it because your Daddy / Mommy doesn’t love us anymore, they don’t give us enough money”

    Finally, in the absence of understanding it for what it is, will there ever be a chance for the targeted parent to claim civil damages in the same way that one is allowed to claim for “alienated affection” when adultery occurs, is there a precedent or any case history in South Africa to support such a claim?

    Thank you for your article, and your effort at always bringing the focus back to where it rightfully belongs, namely the best needs of the child.

    Until the message gets through, “suffer the little children” will be the daily reality of thousands of kids.

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