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Separated Father Starves Himself to Criminalise Parental Alienation

London born Archie Ssan, a separated father in his fifties, completed the seventh day of his hunger strike at five o’clock yesterday. Recording his vital statistics each day in the public eye on Facebook and reiterating the purpose behind his actions, he stealthily and determinedly sticks by his pledge to make a significant difference to the current status quo.


Parental Alienation has always been an issue in that families often hit their own interrelationship crisis, where a child may reject a parent for an hour after being scolded, for a day whilst being grounded, or even for years if there is a big fallout. Also, even without the courts help, there has always been the tugging and warring of parents, with children in-between taking the slack, when families have deteriorated leading towards breakup. However, there has been a marked increase in Parental Alienation: The Family Courts and associated services such as Cafcass and Social Services involve themselves in such a way that alienators are able to forge a deceitful path ahead and eradicate children’s parents from their lives entirely. What is more alarming is that there is a reason for this, used repeatedly and that is ‘the risk of future emotional harm.’ A parent will lose access to their child based on an assertion made by Cafcass, Social services and/or Guardians, that should that parent remain in the child’s life, it is likely that the child will suffer emotionally.

In the event that there has been a provable form of abuse towards a child, the path ahead is generally fairly simple, but there are so many cases where one parent is accusing the other of unprovable abuse, neglect, deceitfulness and so on – and the family court has to make decisions based on a collection of subjective opinions, rather than fact. How easy it is for one parent who is generally better at verbal communication and at lying, to present themselves in court in such a way as to be more believable than their timid, yet honest ex-partner.

I have heard tales from many parents relating to their Cafcass telephone interview. Many recall being character assasinated within the first few minutes of the call. I have wondered whether Cafcass take the tack of aiming to disarm parents before they interview them and in this light, they therefore seek to put prepared parents at a disadvantage before they start to ask the relevant questions pertaining to their case. In any event, Cafcass generally speaking, do not appear to begin the call aiming to ensure the parent knows what is going on and feels comfortable.

Social services often repeat that they are there for the children and will just as often denounce any responsibility towards supporting the parents. Even in instances where the court orders that Social Services must mediate between two separated parents and help them to make right choices regarding contact, Social Services may decline to act, leaving the parent who is being denied the contact they should be having according to a legal order, no choice but to return to court. Even then, Social Services is known to fabricate historical events and courts will accept Social Services allowing a parent to breach a court order, if Social Services feel that it is in the ‘best interest of the child.’

Guardian’s work with the Services and are there to speak up for the child. However, many a time a guardian, a Cafcass representative, a social worker, do not speak up for the child/children at all but show bias in favour of the parent who has successfully won them over – and not just for a moment, but throughout a whole court case, in the hope that their favoured parent will win the case. So an absent parent may have not just one battle to win, but the same battle several times over, in that Cafcass, Social Services and the guardian, may all favour the other parent and fully support them in making distance between their ex-partner and their child – and all based on one parent being a top manipulater and alienator and each service, being unable to see the wood for the trees.

Parental alienation, supported by The Family Courts, is criminal. There are many groups, petitions, marches, brave antics, letters and EDM’s making a noise about Parental Alienation and crying out loudly for it to be stopped. Archie Ssan, who has spent many years working to be reunited with his son, is all to aware that Parental Alienation has not disappeared and so just over a week ago today, he started his current hunger strike in a bid to demand that the Government criminalize Parental Alienation NOW.

I have researched hunger strikes and sadly they have not succeeded politically in the past. Personally speaking I feel that Archi is better for the movement alive – than dead and martyred to a cause that needs consistent pushing – and men like Archi are committed to facilitating much-needed change. However, I have respect for Archi Ssan and his choice, so as long as he continues his ordeal, I feel strongly that anyone and everyone that understands the true destructive nature of Parental Alienation, joins with me to support him too.

You can support Archi Ssan by:

  • Commenting on his Facebook page where he is recording his daily hunger strike. Archi Ssan Facebook
  • Writing to your local MP about Archi and asking him to support an urgent motion to criminalize Parental Alienation.
  • Writing to the authorities related to the Family Courts and highlighting what Archi is doing and why.
  • Going to your local paper of even national papers, and bringing public attention to what Archi is endeavouring to achieve and how. 
  • Contacting Avaaz, Change.org and/or 38 Degrees to enlist their support and/or creating your own petition publicising the problem of Parental Alienation.

Parental alienation steals lives, leaves children in the hands of their abusers, wrecks families, allows children to be treated like cattle, creates addictions and mental illness, pushes parents towards criminal activity and suicide, overwhelms the family court process – and has to be stopped as a matter of emergency. 

Please do not just pass by this opportunity to join together with Archi Ssan in strength and solidarity.

Thank you for reading. Comments welcome.

Sarita Perrott, The Way We Can Become, (2017, November, 27), Another Angle For The Brave.