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Daria Sukharchuk is a journalist based in Berlin, where she works as a news anchor for Russian-language OstWest.tv. Her writing has appeared in Motherboard and ZEIT Online, Cosmopolitan, as well as Afisha (Moscow's leading city magazine). She specializes on the topic of human rights, migration, and mental health.
She has her BA in Chinese history, and, never having forgotten her history background, has also contributed to the educational project1917.com.
What is "parental alienation"? Is it legal to force a child to live with a parent they don't want to be with and force them to completely cut off the connection with the other one? Turns out, these methods are supposed to cure the so-called "parental alienation syndrome". The term coined by a psychologist who later had his license revoked.
The "syndrome", however, continues to exist as a powerful defence tool for conflicted custody trials that allows the parent accused of abuse to downplay the accusations and keep the custody over the children regardless.For someone not very familiar with the system of the family courts in the US, these ideas might sound outlandish. But, according to the investigation by the Center of Investigative Reporting, this notion of "parental alienation" has allowed a whole industry of "reunification camps" -- essentially, training camps that force unwilling children to spend time with the parent they don't want to be with, and force them to cut all ties with the parent they prefer.
Reveal is a podcast series by the Centre of Investigative Journalism, each episode focuses on a specific investigation.