I did a YouTube Live last night (replay below) and posted beforehand the title – Are Family Courts Biased? Little did I know what a response that would receive!
Many people felt that it was a stupid question and I have to take their point. I have seen over and over again the poor decision making in so many cases which can only come down to bias.
However some people felt that I was being exploitative in choosing to cover this topic and to that I implore them to watch the video below.
There was no animosity between the sexes and it was an equal spread of men and women who had been falsely judged by the system. Parental alienation is NOT about gender. It is about a psychological condition. Mental health has nothing to do with gender either.
I do understand though why people assume the gender bias and I am not saying it doesn’t exist as I know it does but the purpose of the Live was to show that there is much more at play in parental alienation cases than just gender stereotyping.
There are availability bias, anchoring effect and base neglect biases. And many, many more. And every single individual involved in the case has their own set of bias. So it is impossible to remove bias from the family court arena.
What we can do however is encourage professionals to reflect upon their own practice more often. Why did they make that decision? What influenced them to see it that way? What would happen if you reframed the case slightly? And that is what the training I do with NAPARRC is all about. Helping professionals to consider their own practices and giving them a different perspective.
The missing piece
Hardly any professionals will have any understanding of narcissism and personality disorders. Which is why there are so many parental alienation cases which are “stuck”. Narcissists are master manipulators and can literally wrap professionals around their little finger. I have known professionals commit what can only be described as career suicide solely on the orders of the narcissist. They will use our natural bias (which we all have) to their advantage. Women will play the “damsel in distress” card. Men will play the “knight in shining armour” one. They play it so well that everyone falls for it. Hook. Line. And sinker. So the process remains stuck because the targeted parent keeps fighting, and rightly so, and the alienating parent keeps lying.
So for me the key here is education. Educate all professionals involved in work with children and families, from midwives to judges, on the tactics used, motivations and and impact of narcissistic abuse. Sadly, many more cases will fall through the cracks before this happens but the more we talk about the issues, the more likely the big decision makers are to start listening. Hence the reason for my “Are Family Courts Biased” Live last night.
Please do let me know your thoughts on this though. Do you think I was right to do the Live or was a “stupid idea”?
If you would like any help with parental alienation or narcissistic abuse please do contact me.