Parental alienation, family violence and family law: Part two

In her 2023 report entitled, “Custody, violence against women and violence against children”, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls, Reem Aslalem, describes parental alienation as a “discredited and unscientific pseudo-concept” that serves as a tool for abusers  “to continue their abuse and coercion and to undermine and discredit allegations of domestic violence…

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Parental alienation, family violence and family law: Part one

Woman looks out window

The terms parental alienation syndrome (PAS) and its more recent iteration, parental alienation (PA), have been creating challenges in family law cases involving parenting claims since at least the 1990s. Initially proposed by American psychologist Richard Gardner, PAS was his response to what he claimed were false allegations of child sexual abuse brought by mothers…

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Criminalizing coercive control: Part two via Law360 Canada

Over the past 40 years, we have seen the many ways in which the criminal law has failed survivors of IPV. Criminal law interventions and initiatives – new laws, changes to laws, new court processes, education for those who implement and interpret the law, different approaches to bail and to punishments for those found guilty…

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Criminalizing coercive control: Part one via Law360 Canada

We’ve heard a lot about coercive control in the past few years. Its first big appearance in the legal world came with the 2021 revisions to the Divorce Act which included, among other changes, a definition of family violence that included the phrase “a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour.” Coercive control is a term…

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Addressing the issue of parental alienation

What is parental alienation? Parental alienation (PA) has been a challenging issue for decades for many women leaving abusive partners. In recent years, the use of PA claims has risen. A common claim by an abusive partner is that the mother is intentionally alienating the children from him when, in fact, she is engaging in…

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Legal information sessions

We offer opportunities for Ontario women to learn about family law. These sessions are currently provided by video conference. Our workshops are free and confidential. Early information session Our early information session is a two-hour session. This session is for women who are in the early stages of their family law process dealing with violence…

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How to assist a woman with a parenting plan

Two women talking at a table

A parenting plan is a written document describing how your children will be raised and how parenting and decision-making will work after you and your partner separate.    A clear and detailed parenting plan will minimize your former partner’s ability to find loopholes to exploit to exercise power and control over you and the children.…

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It’s not too late to make a big difference in the lives of women and children this year

Thanks to YOU, Ontario women were able to access the support they needed for their family law issues and receive important information about ongoing changes to court operations over the last year. This means that more women had a better understanding of their legal rights, the family court process, and their legal issues. Women were more empowered to speak in…

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Keira’s law – an important advancement in law when it comes to judicial education on issues of intimate partner violence

Keira’s law is an important advancement in the law when it comes to judicial education on issues of intimate partner violence. Federally, the Judges Act requires that the Canadian Judicial Council consider providing continuing education on intimate partner violence and coercive control in intimate partner and family relationships. In Ontario, the Courts of Justice Act…

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