PE01790: Parental and familial alienation

People Communities

Petitioner: Samantha Kerr


Date Lodged: 03 March 2020

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to recognise parental and familial alienation as a specific and serious form of pathological psychological child abuse. 

Petition History:

SPICe Briefing (88KB pdf)  


3 September 2020: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the Scottish Government recognises parental alienation may occur and will train Child Welfare Reporters to identify situations where a child has been turned against a parent; training requirements will be set by regulations and there will be a full public consultation on these criteria which the petitioner can input into. Official Report of Meeting 3 September 2020

Written submissions 

PE1790/A: Petitioner submission of 24 February 2020 (134KB pdf)

PE1790/B: Petitioner submission of 26 February 2020 (126KB pdf)

PE1790/C: Petitioner submission of 28 February 2020 (62KB pdf)

PE1790/D: Petitioner submission of 6 March 2020 (87KB pdf)

PE1790/E: Petitioner submission of 7 March 2020 (143KB pdf)

PE1790/F: Petitioner submission of 10 March 2020 (138KB pdf)

PE1790/G: Petitioner submission of 12 March 2020 (121KB pdf)

PE1790/H: Petitioner submission of 12 March 2020 (74KB pdf)

PE1790/I: Paul Anderson, Forever Fathers and Alienated Parents Support Ireland Submission of 16 March 2020 (96KB pdf)

PE1790/J: Petitioner submission of 23 April 2020 (144KB pdf)

PE1790/K: Petitioner submission of 17 May 2020 (108KB pdf)

PE1790/L: Minister for Community Safety submission of 12 August 2020 (75KB pdf)

  • Should parental and familial alienation be recognised as a specific and serious form of pathological psychological child abuse?
  • Do frontline services require more training on recognising the signs of parental and familial alienation?
  • Should there be specific funding for early intervention referrals to specialised family practitioners?


Parental Alienation is the single biggest threat to the psychological and emotional health of our nation's children. Quite simply parental alienation is child abuse. And it rips families apart. It is non gender specific in that it can be perpetrated by both women and men, both Mums and Dads. Children alienated and separated from a parent often then become alienated in turn from that parents family, one half of their own family. In my personal experience its not fit for purpose. The Scottish Parliament also needs to recognise that parental alienation can involve the alienating parent using false allegations of abuse or domestic violence against the other parent to coercively control the alienated parent. Womens Aid don't accept this fact, even when an alienated Mother is coercively controlled by an alienating Father. Parental Alienation needs to be recognised for the severe form of psychological and emotional abuse it is. Now.

Martin Baker

21:13 on 28 Feb 2020

Parental Alienation should be recognised by the judiciary across the world as a crime on children and adequate measures should be adopted to avoid it.

Som Khare

17:25 on 17 Feb 2020

Therefore case specific models of commissioned intervention are those that are adapted to the therapy requirements of the child and family. To do otherwise is to risk further harming already abused children and parents.

Samantha Kerr

8:13 on 16 Feb 2020

IT IS WELL KNOWN in this field that generic therapies fail alienated children and families and that adapted therapies that fit the dynamic are those that demonstrate clear resolution of the psychological splitting that underpins parental alienation.

Samantha Kerr

8:06 on 16 Feb 2020

False allegations of domestic abuse are often used to initiate and coverup Parental Alienation in a relationship breakdown. Parental Alienators who make false allegations and perpetrate PA do not want PA recognised as they may be prosecuted in future for offences. Parental Alienation can be very subtle & often the perpetrator comes across as the Victim and a Good Parent. This ensures the State Departments inability to cope with complexity of PA.

Samantha Kerr

17:22 on 15 Feb 2020

If you have never heard of Parental Alienation (PA) these are some reasons why Family law cases are heard in private recorded on camera to protect the privacy of the family. Only officers of the court, the parties to the case, legal representation, witnesses, expert witnesses etc. will be in the courtroom while the case is being heard.

Ken Thomson

17:06 on 15 Feb 2020

Please help to stop family alienation

Salifu Joof

18:56 on 13 Feb 2020

Parental Alienation breeds a generation of damaged children. If we are serious about tackling crime, mental health, suicide among others, this problem must be addressed soon rather than later.

Joseph Mandava

18:33 on 13 Feb 2020

Parental Alienation is absolutely out of control in Scotland. The refusal of the Scottish Government to recognise it places Scotland as a joke nation in the eyes of the rest of the developed world, and the developing world where it is recognised and already legislated as a criminal offence in many countries. It is totally destructive and detrimental to the wellbeing of the children subjected to it - and it is a clear instance of the one of the worst forms of psychological child abuse!

Dr Will Kay

18:30 on 13 Feb 2020

Bout time this awful venomous situation is addressed and dealt with, all parents should have by law 50 50 access to their children and their upbringing, the injustice is immense and unless it is proved a person is a risk to their children then this alienation should be dealt with by law, the costs of parents going to court is extortionate and help should be available to arbitrate in disputes and both parties by law have to attend or get arrested, instead of dragging on for years through courts and having to pay huge legal costs, just get the parents sat down and sort out visitation agreements, that is what is best for the children

Lillian Cummins

2:15 on 07 Feb 2020

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