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Disattachment Syndrome

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 10:26 am Mon 7th February 2005

It seem that New Zealand is following UK in this new syndrome. CYFS has already win a landmark decision concerning this from Judge Ellis in the Family Court in July 2004 in Wellington.

The new syndrome was started by Dr Danya Glaser from the UK. She has stated in her reports that over 50% of the population of New Zealanders suffer from this.

CYFS now has the power to remove any child they believe suffers from this syndrome whether the facts are right or not.

The Syndrome is that the parents are disattached from their children and can not recognise or take their clues from the child. They put their own interests first.

I am defending against this in the High Court next month.

Anyone got any new points that could be helpful in the defense.


More information:

Quoted in Judgments From the Family Court

Judge Ellis noted he was troubled by the use of terminology such as “abuse” and “neglect” throughout the case. He acknowledged that Tina and Michael in fact loved their children very much and had done their best for them, given their own personal history and experience.

“It is abhorrent to suggest they have deliberately set out to deprive or abuse the child in any way.”

“There is no evidence here of physical beating, but there is compelling evidence of serious and long-term damage being done to children in this family,” said Judge Ellis.

Dr Danya Glaser

Shelley Stevenson, Associate of Rainey Collins recently attended the New Zealand Law Society Family Law Conference called “Raising the Standard” held in Auckland.

Dr Danya Glaser, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist from the prestigious Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London gave an address on the definition, recognition and treatment of emotional abuse and neglect in children. A day long workshop run by Dr Glaser in Wellington immediately after the conference was also attended by Shelley. Shelley, paediatricians, family lawyers and other professionals from around New Zealand gathered in Wellington for the workshop.

Visiting expert Dr Danya Glaser told an international family law conference in Melbourne in October 2002 that Parents who use children “as footballs” in acrimonious separations are guilty of a form of emotional abuse.

Dr Glaser, a consultant to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, whose work has been cited by the courts, said that emotional abuse often overlapped with physical, but could also occur on its own.

Some of the major categories of abuse were:

  • Unresponsive, emotionally neglectful behaviour, the most important example being mothers suffering from post-natal depression.
  • Perceiving one’s child as worthy of punishment, describing them as “a bad apple, bad gene or a chip off the old block”.
  • Acting inconsistently with children (for instance, making threats but never acting on them) or exposing them to inappropriate concepts.
  • Failing to recognise a child’s individuality or boundaries, as in the family law example.


  1. My friends child is about to be adopted as a result of her local social services dept using Danya Glaser as an expert witness. The reason for removal of child is “emotional Abuse” Please reply

    Comment by Jane Coomber — Thu 15th September 2005 @ 8:31 pm

  2. Jane, I am guessing that your friend lives in the UK?

    The most effective support will come from someone with knowledge of the local scene – one place to start looking would be this site:
    Parents Against INjustice

    Comment by JohnP — Fri 16th September 2005 @ 2:26 pm

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