Text taken over – Polyclinic for the Protection of Children and Youth of the City of Zagreb
For the past three days, Croatia has hosted the 3rd European Conference with the International Participation of EAPAP (European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners), which was organized by the Polyclinic for the Protection of Children and Youth of the City of Zagreb in the form of a webinar.
With local experts in the field of health, social care and justice (like Gordane Buljan Flander, Marine Ajduković, Renate Šantek, Lane Peto Kujundžić), experts from all over the world took part – like Jill Salberg, Jennifer Harman and Kelley Baker (SAD), Wilfred von Boch-Galau (Njemačka), Benjamin Bailey and Inbal Kivenson Bar-On (Izrael), Marina Walter and Thomas Demessence (Switzerland), Sandra Inês Feitor (Portugal), Brian Ludmer (Kanada), (USA), Karen and Nick Woodall (Engleska), Mirela Badurina (BiH), Sara Jerebic (Slovenija), Milica Pejović Milovančević and Teodora Minčić (Srbija) and Simona Vladica (Rumunjska), Sietske Dijkstra (Nizozemska) and Claire Francica (Malta).
The participants of the conference are united in the message – the treatment is in what we do, not in what we say, and they assessed the conference at the beginning of the reform of harmonization of best practices in dealing with cases of alienation. Their goal is to ensure that the guidelines for work are internationally harmonized, that respect for alienation is respected by the judiciary, and that all experts in the system connect and communicate and respond in a timely manner, as this is a prerequisite for interventions to protect abused children.
Prof. dr. sc. Gordana Buljan Flander speaking at the closing of the conference, she said: “As has been said many times in the last few days, as experts we often feel lonely and attacked working on cases of alienation.We all face similar problems and challenges, but we also live one mission and one goal, and that is to protect children. Without exaggerating, I firmly believe that together we create history and the future. ” In her address, the director of the Polyclinic especially emphasized the quote of dr. Sc. Benjamin Bailey, an expert from Israel, who participated in the conference, and said that he reminded her of the time of raising public awareness about the problem of sexual abuse of children in Croatia 30 years ago.”He said that this is not a short race, but a marathon. And I firmly believe, today more than ever, that we can run it, “she said.
Karen and Nick Woodall, experts from the UK, in their conclusions stated that this conference has paved the way in reshaping the tasks of experts that once concerned proving alienation in court, and today is aimed at treating relational trauma.
“Relational trauma in divorce and separation of parents is a hidden abuse of children, and its recognition is essential to shed light on cases. Since children abused in divorce have been ignored for too long, it is time to recognize the harmfulness of this practice. This region is a leader in the world in dealing with this problem, and we are extremely honored to be able to hold this conference in Zagreb with our partners, the Polyclinic for Child and Youth Protection of the City of Zagreb “- said Karen and Nick Woodall.