In February, four members of the National Association of Alienated Parents (NAAP) set off from Órzola to walk the whole length of Lanzarote to Papagayo. Their aim was not just to raise funds and awareness, but also to spend some active quality time on a spectacular island.
Parental alienation is a recognised syndrome in which children unjustifiably reject one of their parents. It normally occurs following a separation or divorce, and is especially prevalent when legal proceedings are involved. The typical pattern is when a custodial parent manipulates the other parent into holding negative or hostile attitudes towards the other parent.Read more...
The NAAP stress that this is not a family rights issue, but instead a mental health problem that affects not only the children involved, but also the alienated parent, who may suffer depression and even suicidal behaviour. The association campaigns against “harm to our children and the grief and trauma inflicted on us by being erased and removed from our children’s lives.”
NAAP offer a helpline and online discussion groups for alienated parents, and are also actively involved in lobbying, with the hope that the CAFCASS, the UK’s Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, will take the issue of parental alienation more seriously.
NAAP co-founder Andrew John Teague told us “It was definitely an enjoyable walk. We did three days of walking, from north to south through the Timanfaya volcanoes. On the first day we saw thunder, lightning and rain, which was actually pretty refreshing, but that’s me – I love the rain.”
Andrew was joined by NAAP campaigner Nik Parikh and Brandon and Jonathan Wilkes. Andrew said said “The guys were great, all from different parts of the UK. We felt very welcomed by the people on the island and enjoyed the food. The guys also enjoyed the night life and hospitality. Myself, I thought Lanzarote was a stunning place, full of so many scenes and mesmerising coastal areas.”