“An orphan of a living father, it’s unacceptable”- Erasing Dad Documentary

Erasing Dad is an Argentinian documentary released in 2014, focusing on fathers fighting to see their children. As an alienated father myself I found the film difficult to watch at times, but compelling.

The documentary follows numerous fathers as they fight an outdated and corrupt judicial system. Although the documentary focuses on the Argentinian judicial system, there are clear parallels for alienated parents across the western world. All the fathers that are featured are victims of parental alienation. The film also features interviews with various professionals that admit with some astonishing pride that they prevent fathers from seeing their children, even when there is no proof that any visits will harm the children. It is perhaps the inclusion of such candid admissions that made the documentary so controversial upon its release. Numerous organisations and professionals tried to have it banned, and delayed its release date. However such controversy created more publicity for the documentary.

In an example of empathy for his alienated child an alienated father asks the question “how can you imagine your mother is going to lie to you?” Another alienated father recounts how he was told by his ex “you leave home and I’ll do anything I can to prevent you from seeing the girls. I’m gonna cross you off as a dad.”

A Criminal and Family Lawyer then highlights the biased legal system “it’s not that he [the father] can’t see him [the child]. But with the protection of the legal system, the application of the laws makes the child an orphan of a living father, it’s unacceptable.”

The issue of gender stereotypes was explored in more detail with Erin Pizzey, the founder of the first shelter in the UK for female victims of domestic violence. Talking of her setting up of her refuge approximately 40 years ago she states “as I took the women in, I looked at the first 100 women that had come in with their children. And of the first 100, 62 could be described as violent as the partners they had left. So it never has been a gender issue. These lies, false figures and statistics have been disseminated internationally through the western world. And men have been deemed as perpetrators, not because they happen to be violent, but because they happen to be men.”

In an attempt to challenge such stereotypes the film returns to the aforementioned Criminal and Family Lawyer who makes the point “we need to not seek explanations for people’s behaviour based on their gender, because that’s a violation of basic human existence rules.” In highlighting a corrupt, outdated and unjust system the same Lawyer goes on to state “a lot of people make a lot of money out of this [high conflict separations]… So the prolongation of the conflict, leads to a huge amount of people living off many unresolved cases. The delay in solving these cases is always to the detriment of the children.”

Towards the end of the documentary an alienated father exclaims “it makes you very angry, so much injustice, so much suffering in vain.”

Following the release of the documentary and the subsequent controversy and public outrage it generated, Argentina passed a joint custody law and several other countries passed legislation against parental alienation.

Unfortunately at the present time parental alienation continues to not be recognised by any government authority in the UK. For me, this brings to mind the quote by Benjamin Franklin “justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

Despite attempts from opponents of the filmmakers to have the documentary removed from YouTube, it is still free to view:

The makers of Erasing Dad are currently seeking support to make a follow-up documentary called Erasing Family. This story will be told from the point of view of children and show that fathers, mothers, and entire families, are erased by family courts. Show your support by visiting their website at www.erasingfamily.org.

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