1677450643 The Dangerous Advance of False Parental Alienation Syndrome in Latin

The Dangerous Advance of False Parental Alienation Syndrome in Latin America

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It has no scientific validity. It is not recognized by the world’s health or psychiatric authorities and has been a source of debate among lawyers and psychiatrists for years, but it is becoming a throwing weapon against women in Latin America. It’s known as parental alienation syndrome and, while a contested figure, is finding its way into region legislation to favor those who commit gender-based violence.

It is used by men to delegitimize women’s complaints of violence against them and their daughters and sons; It is upheld by some judges, who denied custody to the mother and granted it to the father accused of domestic violence, and now want to include it in the regulations. This is the warning of the OAS Expert Committee of the Belém do Pará Convention Follow-up Mechanism (MESECVI) and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.

In order to understand it, it is worth giving it a face through a current case. A Brazilian woman fled with her three children after realizing the father, a violent man, was abusing the younger child. However, the judiciary applied the parental alienation syndrome, hereinafter SAP, and ordered that the child should be handed over to his father. Fearing that her child would continue to be abused, the woman fled with her children and hid in another country.

And that’s just one of the examples that have emerged in the region. Since 2014, they have drawn attention to how judges use it to decide joint custody cases without legal authorization. “We are not against joint custody, the point is that this figure of the supposed syndrome is used in cases where there is violence against women, they have denounced it and in response to this violence then the man argues with the parental alienation on the part of the mothers and the request for custody,” explains Marcela Huaita Alegre, lawyer and President of MESECVI. He even warns that it’s being used by judges in cases of sexual assault on minors like that of the Brazilian. “What we’re asking is that it’s analyzed on a case-by-case basis.”

The term was introduced in the 1980s by American psychiatrist Richard Gardner, who argued that there was a syndrome that could lead children with conflicting custody issues to falsely accuse a parent of abuse. Gardner, whose theory prompted scientific rejection from the start, claimed that children with the syndrome vindictively lectured from one parent and compulsively slandered the other without reason. The psychiatrist, who committed suicide in 2003, recommended that the courts before whom he testified remove the child from the home of the alleged alienating parent and leave it in the care of the abuser accused.

Over time, this theory had even more critics, but it was already installed and quickly became popular in countries like Spain. This has also happened in some parts of Latin America, where conservative movements and groups of men who have custody of their children have encouraged its use. And now she’s trying to sneak into conventions under a different name.

“It is a current that is reaching the region, amplified in some countries. There is a backlash (anti-feminist reaction) in relation to more conservative movements who argue that women are being bullied, and in many of these cases they are also beginning to call for some elements of equality in relation to parents and parents’ right to adoption responsibility , custody of their children and sometimes use these kinds of arguments like the SAP,” adds Huaita.

The debate burns across the region. Recently in Chile an attempt was made to include her in the Family Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and Deputies. The Minister for Women had to make it clear that she rejected the idea of ​​”legally including the ‘syndrome’ of parental alienation as domestic violence, thereby avoiding ‘discussing a law without a scientific or legal basis'”. “Now we have to defend its rejection in court,” he said, while the Supreme Court president insisted the SAP was not an invention.

Another joint responsibility in the parenting project is also being discussed in Uruguay, the benevolent name, although it is based on the supposed alienation syndrome and joint ownership already exists there. There was an attempt in Brazil in 2010 when they enacted the Parental Alienation Act, although the Brazilian Health Council moved in 2022 to have it repealed. “Unfortunately, it was approved in Peru,” Huaita recalls. In this country, an article has been specifically included in the law validating the SAP.

The figure travels the region with its peculiarities. The OAS experts insist on its risks. “Using this controversial figure against women in cases where they allege gender-based violence or violence against daughters and sons is part of the gender-based violence continuum and could hold states accountable for institutional violence,” he warns.

The swimming pool in Viña del Mar: machismo dressed in tradition

Valeria Ortega, during the pool in 2012.Valeria Ortega, during pool 2012. Mario Davila (Mario Davila)

By Erika Rosette

What hypocrisy the festival of Viña del Mar! A day after announcing they would no longer have a queen bathing in the pool at the O’Higgins Hotel, to the delight of press and viewers, they appointed an ambassador to the competition, which follows exactly the same tradition, the well-known pool , repeated . For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a kind of ritual that began more than 20 years ago and is nothing more than a woman in a tiny bathing suit jumping into a pool, only to be photographed by hundreds later are used by men yelling excitedly at them in and out of the water with their cameras.

It is difficult to criticize with the necessary sharpness what a large part of a society considers a tradition. But if those traditions mean continuing to reproduce stereotypes, violence, and the idea that women’s bodies serve as public appropriation and sharing for the show. Why not question, complain or name it: machismo.

This Friday, in the pool, the Chilean journalist and surfer Isidora Ureta, ambassador of the 2023 edition of the festival, tried to take away from the act a bit of the smell of yesteryear and was more distant than other participants, who posed sensually in front of the cameras while they gradually undressed. Before the presenter reached the count of 2 and 3, he jumped into the water at 1 and answered press questions without leaving the pool.

The festival has attempted to camouflage its rancidest tradition by assuming Ureta’s bikini was made from recycled fishing nets, as if that would take an iota away from the objectification that women are made year after year. It also doesn’t go unnoticed that he bestowed top honors on Alejandro Fernández after the Mexican singer performed “Mátalas,” a song that sparked unease and anger in a region where more than 4,000 women are victims of femicide every year triggered. Do you know what makes so many women angry? That the Quinta Vergara audience and thousands of spectators called “gallantry” which was really harassment. “Oh, what a seagull,” the singer commented on the woman who presented him with the award, only to later notice that something was shaking “between his legs” and the excited audience applauded even louder.

The feeling that this type of image leaves in many women is very strange. To think that we, as a society, are not yet ready to have conversations that are beginning to jettison those “traditions” and “rituals” that have historically compromised our integrity; and that at the same time we remember that our bodies have continued to be material for the show for many centuries. Something public that others are comfortable talking about, questioning, and hurting without consequences.

Our recommendations of the week:

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 4, 2022, former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California.  - December 19, 2022: The US jury finds Harvey Weinstein guilty on three counts of sexual assault.  (Photo by ETIENNE LAURENT / POOL / AFP)

Prosecutors asked for 24 years for the former film producer, who is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York.

An abortion rights activist holds a sign that reads in Spanish "Feminist kick on macho mouth" during a celebration marking the anniversary of the Constitutional Court's decriminalization of abortion, lifting all restrictions on the procedure up to the 24th week of pregnancy, in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, February 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

In the nearly two months of 2023, there were 25 femicides in Colombia.

Protest by the collective VIVVELibre near the Congress of Mexico City MEXICO CITY, FEBRUARY 21, 2023.- Members of the collective VIVVELibre demonstrated near the Congress of Mexico City to demand the repeal of Article 159, which prohibits the non - Ban conversion therapy for minors proposed by Congresswoman América Rangel.  The nonconformists were attacked by elements of the Citizen Security Secretariat (SSC), who took control of the property's entrance.  PHOTO: CUARTOSCURO.COM

The march came about after a lawmaker unveiled an initiative banning underage sex reassignment treatments and surgeries, something the law doesn’t even contemplate.

The writer Geetanjali Shree.

The Tomb of Sand author won the 2022 International Booker Prize for a work about being a mother, daughter and wife.

Rihanna during her Super Bowl performance on February 12.

An essay analyzes the historical influence, sexual fetishization and instrumentalization of buttocks over 200 years to perpetuate stereotypes of race, class and gender.

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The former Minister of Social Development and the Chilean Network Against Violence denounce the Mexican singer’s interpretation of a song that “advocates femicide”.

And a final suggestion:

🎬 A documentary: I’m Vanessa Guillen. By Sally Palomino

The story of Vanessa Guillén, the 20-year-old soldier who disappeared and was murdered at a US Army base in 2020, inevitably moves people to tears. Mayra and Lupe, her sisters, are the protagonists of the documentary that follows their struggle for justice and reform of the armed forces, tainted by harassment and sexual assault among soldiers.

The Guillén family’s insistence on not letting the case go unnoticed sparked a movement in which thousands of soldiers who had suffered sexual abuse in the army shared their experiences on social media using the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen.

With every step, Mayra and Lupe claim the memory of their sister. Director and producer Christy Wegener joins her at her home in Texas on her trips to Washington to meet with congressmen at demonstrations that have brought hundreds of people together in Vanessa’s honor. The two sisters have become a symbol against silence in the face of what is happening in the US Army. Thanks to them, many victims of Fort Hood, the military base with the most cases of sexual assault in this country, have been encouraged to tell their stories and report them.

The perseverance of the Guillén family managed to solve their case and pass a law named after them to protect victims of sexual violence in the armed forces. Amanda Mars visited the Fort Hood military base in Texas in June 2021 to reconstruct Vanessa’s story. You can read the report with photos by Mónica González here.

About the word “soldier”

A few days ago we published a story about a contingent of women who joined the Colombian army after more than 20 years of only men joining. The word “welded” in the note elicited an unexpected reaction from some readers. “What a fat (sic.) mistake they are trying to call our SOLDIERS soldiers based on gender ideologies,” claimed one reader on Twitter. In this context, we share the column written by Álex Grijelmo, responsible for the EL PAÍS Style Book, on the use of the word welded, which although not in the dictionary is possible and advisable. You can read it here.