On Thursday, May 11, 2023, the Autonomous Women's Center (AWC) held an expert meeting on The concept of "parental alienation" in the context of violence in an intimate partner relationship. The meeting was held online and was attended by 24 representatives of women's organizations from Serbia and the region.
Anita Lauri Korajlija, professor of the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, and Siusi Casaccia, a lawyer from the Forum of the Association of Women Lawyers, member of the EWL Observatory for Violence Against Women and coordinator of the Women's Lobby, spoke about the concept of "parental alienation" from a scientific and legal perspective.Anita Lauri Korajlija spoke about why the concept of "parental alienation" is problematic as a diagnostic, scientific, and psychological construct in clinical assessments or expert opinions and court decisions based on the use of this term, focusing on the unscientific nature and misuse of this concept, especially in the violence in an intimate partnership context.
Italy is one of the few countries that legally limited the application of this concept in cases where there was violence in the partner relationship and banned using the term "parental alienation." Lawyer Siusi Cassacia spoke about the Italian experience, the concept application in court proceedings in Italy, and the consequences of such practice.
Participants from Croatia showed they have more experience with misuse and the negative consequences of this concept in social protection and judicial practice than participants from Serbia. The Autonomous Women's Center (AWC) will continue to address this topic and support further education. All the meeting participants were provided with the reference literature. They also exchanged other relevant information and sources.
The exchange between representatives of women's organizations from the region (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania) and an opportunity to hear the problems in applying the concept concerning existing standards (conventions, resolutions, practice of the European Court of Human Rights ) was crucial for meeting participants.
Expert meeting The concept of "parental alienation" in the context of violence in an intimate partner relationship was organized within the Strong resistance movement of women defenders of human rights for the protection of women victims/survivors of gender-based violence and their children project, funded by the European Union.