Parental alienation group gets proclamation from Governor
A statewide group working to reform family law is laying down roots in Central Georgia while making moves at the State Capitol. The group, called The Georgia Parental Alienation Awareness Organization secured a proclamation from Governor Nathan Deal on Thursday.
Parental alienation is an issue that's just beginning to gain awareness according to members of the group. It's when one parent gets custody of a child, and through negative comments and characterizations, the child begins to form unjustified hatred and a strong dislike for their mothers or fathers. Parental alienation can make a rejected parent's access to their children difficult and sometimes even impossible.
"It makes me very sad, it makes me mad," said Brenda McIntyre, a Centerville woman, who is leading the charge for parental alienation awareness in Central Georgia.
The only times McIntyre regularly sees her two kids is shuffling through old photos. The self-proclaimed victim of parental alienation says after her divorce eight years ago her ex-husband began funneling his dislike for her through the couples then 5-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.
McIntyre says she was characterized as a lunatic. She was arrested twice. Once for trespassing as she tried to pick her children up from her ex-husbands home, and another time for making harassing phone calls, trying to contact her children. In both instances the charges were dropped because McIntyre says she was just exercising her custodial rights.
"It's ridiculous," McIntyre said.
Searching for support ... McIntyre eventually became connected to the statewide group Georgia Parental Alienation Organization,
that traveled to Atlanta last week seeking a proclamation from Governor Nathan Deal to recognize parental alienation as a growing problem in the state.
Hilary Crowe, who spearheads the group out of Loganville says she asked the Governor to set aside one day as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. He gave her a week.
"By him signing the proclamation it's that one giant leap we need to get local senators and local legislators attention," Crowe said.
Crowe's group hopes to create legislation giving parents equal rights in custodial matters, and they want people, specifically judges, to recognize that parental alienation is real, and it's wrong.
"This will lead to other opportunities for parental alienation awareness in the state, and it's a way to reach out to others in the state that may not know about parental alienation, or know that they're experiencing it," Crowe said.
Crowe says the group is quickly expanding as people realize they're victims of parental alienation, but most members say the real victim's are the children.
"You want them to have a healthy psychological disposition, and to do that you need both parents involved in their lives," said Bill Moore, an advocate for family law reform who's longstanding group has merged with the Georgia Parental Alienation Organization.
While the group is gaining momentum, McIntyre says she's doing what she can. She's created a Central Georgia chapter for parental alienation awareness, and plans to hold regular meetings.
If you or anybody you know is a victim of parental alienation and you want to make a difference, McIntyre's says she wants to hear from you.
You can reach her at: (478) 333-6100 or email@example.com
She has also event planned for her chapter.
April 16: Mayor Harley presenting proclamation making April 25 Parental Alienation Awareness Day in Centerville
April 20: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Bubbles of Love event at Rozar Park in Perry
April 20: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bubbles of Love event, FBC Centerville
April 25: first meeting of Middle Georgia Regional Chapter of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (location to be determined).