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May: hooray, fashion lives again!


By now I was getting itchy fingers. Plotting my next move (a useful summer dress? A new spring coat?), I felt somehow paralysed, like I couldn’t buy anything, and ended up making a totally unplanned impulse buy: a pair of silk hemp gold cargo pants from A Perfect Nomad. Not exactly everyday wear or even that versatile, but the joy! And sometimes fashion is just for that.

August: a forced error

uicidal’ is how Jenny felt when her eight-year-old daughter was taken away from her last year. She was told there would be no communication between them for six weeks. ‘I don’t think there is anything more devastating than being separated from your child,’ she says.

Who had ordered this separation? A religious cult? Was Jenny a neglectful mother? No, it was a UK family court that had found her guilty of ‘parental alienation’ – deliberately turning her daughter against a father from whom Jenny was estranged.

In high-conflict separations, where differences cannot be resolved through mediation and a battle for parental residence ensues, this concept is increasingly being introduced by legal teams. Shockingly, says the BBC, which aired its programme Mums on the Run: Failed by the Family Court in autumn, parental alienation has led, in

Ssome cases, to children being forced into contact with convicted paedophile fathers. An England-wide survey by Manchester University was revealed in the BBC report. The 45 mothers of the children in the study all detailed serious health problems (which they attributed to the stress of court proceedings) including miscarriages, heart attacks and suicidal thoughts. The concept has been cited separately in the deaths of some women.

The phrase ‘parental alienation’ was first coined in the 1980s by controversial US psychiatrist Richard Gardner. He claimed that some women in divorce cases were brainwashing their children to believe their fathers had abused them, recommending reprogramming by forcibly removing the child from its mother for a period of time.

Sarah (an insider high up in the family court judicial system) says that, despite the findings in the survey and the BBC report, parental alienation ‘does actually happen on the ground’, adding, ‘There genuinely are some women who maliciously set out to cut





dmg media (UK)