By Michela Nacca
Lawyer and President of “Maison Antigone”
manager of The Court Said Italy
Since about twenty years in Italy was introduced the pseudo-theory PAS, still today some Italian universities teach it under its original name (PAS) while many others the year renamed differently, but continuing to teach its substance. Those who teach PAS / PA are legal psychologists, forensic psychiatrists and lawyers engaged in defending men accused by former partners – mothers of their children – of mistreatment and incestuous sexual abuse.
I personally, as a lawyer, I first encountered this diabolical trial strategy in 2003-2005. At that time I thought that the Judge, the social workers, the psychologists involved in the case had all gone crazy. What was the need for the Judge to hire an Office Technical Consultant (CTU) to establish that the abusive father had no parenting skills and therefore the children should be entrusted to the mother: a good doctor and a very empathetic mother? Up to that moment, in the judicial cases I dealt with, the Judge had always decided the children’s foster care by studying the documents, the complaints, the medical certificates of the emergency room, and questioning the witnesses of the violence.
The violent behaviors in that specific case were serious, had been repeated almost daily over the years, directed not only towards the mother but also towards young children, but above all had been committed even before witnesses outside the family, so they were proven. Among these witnesses was also the priest of the parish community frequented by the family, who had helped the woman and the children to escape. Everyone was ready to testify, even the parish priest himself had given his name so that he could be questioned by the judge. But that time the judge behaved differently. He did not summon the witnesses indicated in the courtroom. He completely ignored the documents presented by the woman. She did not question the 10-year-old boy about the parents’ and father’s behavior. Instead, the Judge appointed a psychologist as an Office Technical Consultant to assess the parental ability of the father and mother. I thought it was all a waste of time, because the facts were obvious: at that moment I was still confident about the outcome of the technical advice. Instead, the psychologist began to evaluate only the mother’s parenting skills, debasing every behavior in an unreasonable and incredible way, taking for granted the parental fitness of the father who was never questioned. The judge’s counselor psychologist ignored every story of violence and was very careful not to ask anything about it and to reprimand her mother when she began to explain the violent and dangerous personality of the man. The outcome of the Report considered the mother unsuitable, just because this woman asked for protection for her children, claiming a sufficient adequacy of the father. The situation was Kafkaesque and absurd. At the time I was handling the case for the nullity of the couple’s marriage before the Ecclesiastical Courts, as the woman had asked me. If in front of the Italian civil court the paternal violence was completely denied, in the ecclesiastical court fortunately the investigation proceeded in the normal way and the violence was confirmed and proven by documentary and witness evidence acquired by the ecclesiastical judge and the causes of that violence, dependent on a narcissistic, paranoid and aggressive man, were explained by a Psychiatric Judge Consultant. Therefore, while in the Italian Court still debated in a crazy way the custody of the two minors, forced to attend the father and next to be removed from the mother, the judgment of the ecclesiastical court instead came recognizing the nullity of the marriage bond for inability ‘of the man to assume the marital and parental burdens. In the Italian ecclesiastical courts the PAS had not had access (and so I hope it has remained until today). At that time, that man, probably irritated by the outcome of the ecclesiastical sentence, was no longer able to contain his aggressiveness and so a few days later he attacked in a very dangerous way the psychologist who had been appointed by the Judge to realign/reset the children and bring them closer to their father. This outbreak of violence saved the children, who were entrusted to the mother, and finally social workers, psychologists and judges had to surrender, withdrawing the accusations of PAS and recognizing the inability of that father.
Only when the violence was acted directly on the operators of the Court forced the same operators to recognize the paternal violence!
After that case it became more and more frequent, over time and years, to verify the use of the trial strategy based on PAS/PA pseudo-theory in Italian courts, by lawyers of fathers denounced as abusers. Today there are hundreds of children forced every year who are snatched away from protective mothers and are entrusted back to abusive fathers, even if convicted. In fact, Italian Judges have been induced by legal psychology, spread through some Italian universities and professional training courses, to believe subconsciously at first and then openly that paternal violence is not dangerous for children, while the request for protection of mothers who ask for justice would be dangerous!
Even the Italian Supreme Court, after having repeatedly reaffirmed the ascientificity of Pas (Parental Alienation Syndrome) and PA (Parental Alienation), but in May 2020 with order no. 9143/2020 and referring to the right of “bigenitoriality” has confirmed the total and prolonged detachment of a child of 6-7 years from the protective mother and the placement of him with his father: a father denounced and with 3 referrals to Judgment for mistreatment and injury. Father and son were put together in an “educational structure” precisely to prevent any violent acts of the father on the child. The mother was judged inadequate because she was “not resilient” to violence. On October 2, 2020, the Strasbourg Court condemned Italy for the abnormally high number of dismissals of complaints for domestic abuse: dismissals that depend on that culture of denial of violence!
The normalization of paternal violence in Italy is complete and normativized today. Even the Supreme Court, while recognizing paternal violence, has not evaluated the danger and risks to the mental and physical health of the child, punishing the mother.
Three years ago, to counter this madness, I founded an association called “Maison Antigone” with other professional women and mothers who are victims of domestic violence.
Every day for three and a half years we publish articles on our websites and write posts on fb, give interviews to the press, organize and participate in conferences and training seminars, we write petitions and start media campaigns.
We have launched a questionnaire among mothers who are victims of institutional violence.
In recent years we have started training courses on Feminicide and violence against women and minors for high school students.
We intervened assiduously on the ICD 11 platform to discuss about the inclusion or not of Parental Alienation, highlighting the scientific studies and judgments of international higher courts that have unmasked the pas/pa recognizing it as ascientifica.
In January 2019 we were audited before the Justice Commission 2 of the Italian Senate, during which we filed a 240-page report.
A few days ago we started a web TV program where we explain that Parental Alienation is ascientific and that it has never really been accepted by the international academic community, neither in the DSM nor in ICD 11, despite the contrary statements of the supporters of Parental Alienation. We indicate american, canadian, british, australian, etc. scientific studies, we help mothers to understand that they are suffering Institutional Violence (also called Legal Harassment or DV by Proxy), that is, that they are victims of real violence and that they have not gone mad. We suggest trial strategies and help them find scientific studies that they can use in their defensive memories to demonstrate the groundlessness of “pseudo-theory” and “junk science” PAS/PA.
Every day I listen to mothers who call me from all over Italy: Italian and foreign mothers who ask for help. Hundreds are the cases that I have collected: stories of children already victims of violence, taken away from protective mothers and entrusted to violent, abusing, even convicted fathers.
We are studying, with hundreds of university Professors and world experts, how to help the Courts to regain the right way to proceed, eradicating the pollution caused by the pseudo-theories supported by the defenders of abusing fathers. These hundreds of Professors, Academicians and Experts from all over the world provide us with their studies and we ask them what we need to win this momentous battle against women and children. Studies by Joan Meier, Linda Neilson, Simone Lapierre, Julie Doughty, Nancy Erickson, Jean Mercer, Bob Geffner and many others. Studies that we provide and point out to mothers, lawyers and psychologists.
We are helping mothers, journalists, politicians, psychologists and lawyers to bring out these stories of “evil justice”. We met the Italian Press Agency DIRE in February 2019 and since June 2019 this press agency has started to systematically tell these cases of malice affecting mothers and children and to publish their stories every day.
In September 2019 the mothers we are helping finally constituted the first Mothers’ Committees and Movements. Then followed other movements and associations of mothers victimised in Italian courts through the use of pseudo-theory Parental Alienation and the law on “bigenitoriality”, which requires the custody and contact of violent fathers with children victims of their abuse.
Finally, some women Congresswomen are beginning to understand that the system of foster care courts and criminal courts has been seriously polluted, causing distorted and unfair sentences and archiving of allegations. The Honorable Member of Parliament Veronica Giannone, with whom we work assiduously, in a year has presented 30 parliamentary questions on cases of children taken away from mothers and entrusted to fathers of which the children told serious violence.
After the Grevio Commission in January 2020 noted the numerous and serious violations of the Istanbul Convention by Italian Courts, against women and children victims of domestic violence, the Feminicide Commission composed of Senators and Parliamentarians has acquired 571 court cases to study the discrimination implemented in italian courts.
In Italy we are finally beginning to question and denounce the distortion taking place in the courts, but in the meantime children continue to be taken away from protective mothers and exposed to new dangers, while a group of psychologists and forensic psychiatrists, lawyers and even judges supporting Parental Alienation, and even before the PAS, has published a Memorandum that, with great irrationality and inability to scientific reflection, accuse Maison Antigone and Mothers’ Committees and Movements to make misinformation and indirectly even terrorism. An absurd and incredible accusation, seriously defamatory, because everything we write and do is supported by serious international scientific and academic studies and evidence.
Since last year, with Natalie Page’s authorization, I have opened and managed the social profile of The Court Said Italy, continuing the battle for Justice that unites us.
We are creating a strong network of mothers and scientists, professionals and experts from all over the world to stop the Institutional Violence taking place in all Western countries.
Why is this important?
Because we are facing an epochal crisis that could compromise future welfare and social peace, instilling in the new generation a cult of male violence against women and children.
The supporters of PAS/PA at a conference in April 2020 in Dublin declared that, according to their estimates, there are 50 million European children and young people victims of parental alienation. Children who, according to the PAS/PA protocol, will have to be taken away from protective mothers -women who rebel against violence and denounce paternal abuse – and will be entrusted exclusively to denounced and even condemned for mistreatment and/or abuse. 50 million future European citizens at risk of serious physical and psychological trauma.