Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem Published on April 13, 2023 and Submitted to the UN Human Rights Council
This report was presented at the UN General Assembly UN Human Rights Council Fifty-third session on June 23, 2023 #HRC53
Summary: The present report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem, is submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to resolution 50/7. The report addresses the link between custody cases, violence against women and violence against children, with a focus on the abuse of the term “parental alienation” and similar pseudo-concepts.
Agenda item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development Custody, violence against women and violence against children – Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem
“The report demonstrates how the discredited and unscientific pseudo-concept of parental alienation is used in family law proceedings by abusers as a tool to continue their abuse and coercion and to undermine and discredit allegations of domestic violence made by mothers who are trying to keep their children safe. It also shows how the standard of the best interest of the child is violated by imposing contact between a child and one or both parents and by prioritizing it, even where there is evidence of domestic violence. Predominantly as a result of the lack of training and gender bias and of access to legal support, the custody of children may be awarded to perpetrators of violence, despite evidence of a history of domestic and/or sexual abuse. The risks of such consequences are compounded for women from marginalized groups in society. The report elaborates on systemic issues that lead to additional barriers to justice. Judges and evaluators need to move away from focusing on the identification of behaviours that are contested within the discipline of psychology and towards a focus on the specific facts and contexts of each case.”