Many in the UK have been following the case of Samantha Baldwin and her two sons where she abducted her two sons after leaving a courtroom where custody was taken away from her and given to the court. The police looked for her for several days, up to 100 officers, as the judge stated that she was a potential danger to her children.
During this period the internet was very active in publicising several allegations against the father, his family and friends. Petitions were started, a go-give site was set up for her defence costs later. Libellous statements were the order of the day, and she was in the perception of many reading, a mother that was being unfairly hounded by justice.
After several days there was a tip-off from the public and she and the boys were found. She was arrested and subsequently bailed by the judge.
Yesterday the judge and the father issued separate statements (they can be read in full on the transparency site). The judge stated that he reached his judgement after 12 days of the hearing, 2000 pages of depositions and listening to 14 witnesses. He stated that the boys had been made to believe that the father had abused them, and that in order to support that claim she herself drugged the children to be able to prove the existence of those abuse enabling drugs in their system.
An objective view of the facts can be seen here: transparency project
So why am I writing this, and what does it have to do with parental alienation?
The judges statement details that the boys believe that the father abused them. Such cases can be found in details of cases involving parental alienation. My boys for instance believe things that never happened, never took place, or things that happened and were changed to give a completely different angle. Though I must state never at this absolutely awful level. But nevertheless, this is something I never could have believed years ago. We are literally talking here about ceaseless, relentless pressure on the children to believe something, so much so that life events can be ‘edited’. This is my clumsy way of expressing this of course – professionals can definitely articulate this better.
This is putting a face to parental alienation. It is abuse, purely and simply. It is unforgivable, and there is no way to explain this away with such weak statements as ‘Was in the best interests of the child’. In the Baldwin case the mother (and to be clear this could also have been a man doing this – what happened here is not gender specific) according to the judge’s statement believed she was doing the right thing for her children over the years – admirable, what a wonderful parent. But when everybody who is not emotionally involved (Judges, lawyers, child care professionals) believes you are wrong, and your only supporters are those that believe your story, and they have probably not reached your conclusions separately, then you are at fault and should seek help – look up Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
So young children do not change in this way from one day to the next, it is a process that takes several years. This is one of the aspects of the case that disturbs me the most. In this case the mother has had several years to brainwash her children by playing the system. There is no other of describing this. She dragged this out through false allegations, and the consequent checking of the legitimacy of these allegations took time. The time of experts, legal professionals, social services, court appearances etc. etc. This is the problem. In the UK, as in Germany where I live playing the system gives you time – time to alienate the children against the other parent. Time to abuse your own children.
What is unfortunate is the fact that this whole debate is falling into the old trope of good mother/bad father. People are taking sides, and there are still some places on the internet where the mother has done no wrong. Instead of focussing on the real issue – how could it have come to this, and what can be done to protect our children and abused parents in the future. The family court system with its safeguards for the children is enabling these types of cases to happen. In my simple (in comparison) case it was really obvious from the start what was going on, but until you can prove it, it is simply supposition. If anything should have come out of this case, it should be a fundamental look at the processes being followed by the courts in cases such as this to reduce the time available to abusing parents.
But the real victims here are the boys, it will take a long time before they can trust their father again. They have no trust at the moment in those two people they should trust implicitly – their parents. In addition, their names are all over the internet – forever. Unless they change their surnames every potential employer/friend/lover doing a simple background check will read this very personal story. These are the very real results of the abuse perpetrated here.
A quick check of the newspapers so far just shows a simple reporting of the judges’ statement, and one national newspaper (Independent) hasn’t even bothered to report it. Only one mainstream (Telegraph) reporter has gone a little further in his tweets (Martin Daubney).
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