First let me wish you a very happy new year and I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Brenda Stephens, I’m a mum of two and for my sins, I’m an writer/author. First I’d like to apologise for the open letter. These are awful for both the writer and the recipient but experience tells me that writing privately about this matter sadly results in being completely ignored. And sadly it’s a situation that needs to be dragged out into the open and I feel I must do all I can to aid this despite how uncomfortable openly writing this leaves me feeling.
I am writing to you about parental alienation. I don’t know if you are aware of what this is, I’ll briefly explain as best as I can, apologies if you are already aware. Parental alienation is when a person refuses a parent contact with their child for no good reason. It is deeply abusive, damaging and traumatising for both the affected parent and child. And apparently in the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the globe, this is seemingly a perfectly acceptable situation.
I haven’t seen my eleven year old son since his sixth birthday. Any attempts I made to contact him was blocked and I was physically threatened. I also have a four year old daughter. She has never met her big brother due to this cruelty and this situation has impacted our lives in a totally devastating manner. Over the course of this period of abuse, I have spoken to three different counsellors, all of whom agree that this situation is extremely abusive, three different GPs, again, all of whom completely agree that my children and I are being horrifically abused.
It is my understanding that no politician, I am assuming yourself included can get involved in situations such as these. That message is now crystal clear to me and I am not writing to you to ask you to intervene in any way. I am writing to you to ask if you can explain to me why situations such as this are allowed to continue. Apparently, my children both have the right to know each other and know me and I them. And this is where it all goes a bit pear shaped for me, you see, I have been told that in order to exercise these rights, I must take the person keeping my child from me to court. So, in light of this, I am assuming that the basic human rights that we apparently have actually only exist if I have the money to pay a solicitor to reinstate them? Doesn’t this make them privileges and not rights? I can’t afford this nor am I entitled to legal aid therefore I cannot exercise mine or my children’s “rights”
I’d also like to know why it is that children’s services seem to think that this is an acceptable situation. Surely an actual diagnosis of abuse from six separate medical professionals is not something to be dismissed? In order to help prepare my four year old better for the difficulties she is being forced to live with, my family and I need answers to these questions. Why are adults allowed to use children like this? Why are they allowed to abuse their rights and as a result cause massive emotional distress and trauma in their lives and futures?
My son lives in North Scotland. Children’s services response to this has been abhorrent. His schools response has been equally as disturbing. His rights appear to mean absolutely nothing to anyone other than myself. Why is this?
Are there any plans to do anything in the near future to prevent this from happening? If not, why not? These are all questions that are actually preventing me from moving on with my life. I am living in limbo and have been for five years now. I’d be very grateful for some answers.