Parental Alienation is child abuse.
Parental Alienation is caused when one parent or other significant adult turns the child against the other parent or family members. Some authors liken this effect to be the same as induction to a cult where degradation, manipulation and brainwashing are staples. Children walk a tortuous road when they are forced to choose between parents.
Rejected, alienated, estranged and erased from children’s lives, heartbroken parents live with guilt, grief, and shame on a daily basis as fingers are pointed, backs are turned and children suffer. Alienated parents are condemned by innuendo and by maligning. When searching for an attorney, educator, psychologist, or clergy understand that there are comparatively few with expertise in parental alienation.
The ISNAF organization, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is here to…
…provide support, education, and resources to families affected by the alienation dynamic;
…advocate for change in the legal, mental health, and judicial system; and
…ultimately eliminate the existence of parental alienation.
International Support Network for Alienated Families (ISNAF) was founded in 2008 by Karen Lebow. Karen Lebow, a loving mother and a social worker with two master’s degrees and an honorary doctorate, became an alienated parent. For the past 30 years she has helped families who were in tough situations. Despite her background she came up empty without anyone to turn to when she became an alienated parent. At the suggestion of Dr. Amy Baker, she started a support group.
The first meeting took place in a living room in Santa Clarita, California. In attendance were Karen and two other alienated parents. Another person called in by phone from out of state. The group agreed that they wanted a safe place to address the loss of their children and work towards reintegration. They also wanted referrals to informed attorneys, therapists, and information on the court system and to combat the stigmas, and lack of social and legal support which alienated families often experience.
Just two years later In November of 2010 the group became a network. By December the group became a 501c3 and, their mission emerged. The group adopted the name ISNAF – the International Support Network for Alienated Families. Their membership now extends from Mexico to the Canadian border. People from other states and from other countries have benefited from being a part of this wonderful organization. ISNAF’s first major conference, Parental Alienation: A Community Responds, also in November of 2010, established ISNAF as an educational presence in the community. The attendees reflected a wide-range of geographic areas family configurations, and professions. The acknowledged experts attending included attorneys, educators, clergy and mental health specialists. The keynote was Amy Baker, PhD. The turnout, and the heartfelt reaction from attendees of the conference, was phenomenal and demonstrated that ISNAF is definitely on the right track. The network has continued to grow and has hosted several conferences, workshops, support group meetings and in 2014 a Symposium and Colloquium.
We are happy to announce that after seven years of alienation from her daughter, Karen Lebow has reunited with her and continues working toward a healthy happy life together. This is a great story of hope, education and commitment. Karen continues her therapy business in Southern California and is proud of the continued efforts and inroads ISNAF continues to work toward.