Parental alienation campaigner Andrew shows his true colours
The long trek had taken its toll but Andrew John Teague fulfilled his pledge to victims of Parental Alienation to walk from his home in Swansea to London and take their fight to the seats of power.
And only weeks later he is back with a lonely daily vigil on the steps of Swansea family court.
Andrew had walked in to London ahead of schedule and estimated with practice marches he’d clocked-up more than 500 miles.
He said, afterwards: “My feet are blistered, my shins are a pain, so are the tops of my legs and the front and backs of my feet … my feet absolutely hate me.”
But the walk has been undermined on social media by people who claim it was only being made on behalf of fathers facing parental alienation.
However, Andrew has been wearing different coloured shirts along the way to make a silent statement about who the syndrome causes heartache for.
He has worn pink t-shirt to represent daughters and granddaughters, blue for sons and grandsons, white for mums, black for dads and red for grandparents and extended families.
Now as part of the on-going battle to bring parental alienation to the public eye – and to highlight the fact that the syndrome affects all members of families, Andrew is wearing a different coloured t-shirt every day on the court house steps.
He said: “People need to know that parental alienation doesn’t have just one victim … everybody in the family suffers, from the perpetrator to the victim, the child, the grandparents, everybody. I know a few people have got the wrong of the stick and said we’re only fighting for fathers … we’re not, we’re fighting for ALL victims.”
The London march was the culmination of a year-long campaign by the 20,000 members of D.A.D.S and other groups in the UK – and across the world – to get the Parental Alienation recognised as a criminal offence.
Andrew said: “Changing laws doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and sadly its our children who suffer.
“We need to educate people and we need to push for reform. It boils down to our rights as parents and the rights of our children to be in a loving relationship with both the people who brought them into the world.”
Just over a year ago Andrew, his partner Sophie David and a group of people who had lost contact with their children, got together and began fighting back, fighting the parents who alienated them, fighting the social workers who stack the odds against them, fighting the courts which are guided by the social workers and fighting the indifference their plight is met with by society.
The first thing they did was set up the Facebook page, D.A.D.S (dads against double standards) and their social media quest to tell the world had begun. Many other groups across the UK and the world are making their own protests
Members of D.A.D.S have been carrying out major campaigns including The Shirt off My Back where campaigners gather outside their local court house and leave a shirt festooned with the names of parents who have lost contact with their child as a protest.
Dozens of court houses across the UK have become focal points for these peaceful protests.
Parental alienation happens when a child, usually one whose parents are in a high-octane separation or divorce, allies himself with one parent and rejects the other without justification.
The real tragedy is that parental alienation can damage the mental health of children who can be riddled with guilt, sadness, low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence.
The new DVD will focus on the damage parental alienation has on the minds of children.
Andrew said: “We have got some of the UK’s leading experts in parental alienation on board and they are helping us in many ways but one of the main focuses at the moment is to get this educational video made so we can tell those in power in their own homes and their offices exactly what this awful syndrome does to our children.”