Board of Cuan is Appointed; Success of Parental Alienation Day April 25

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Board of Cuan

We wrote about the launch of Cuan, the new DSGBV agency, in early March

Since then further developments have come to light.

Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe has been appointed first CEO of Cuan for a 5 year term.

The Agency has a budget this year of approximately €59 million. With over €47 million of that dedicated to the provision of supports and services and over €6 million allocated for prevention and awareness raising initiatives. We are told that Cuan will drive delivery of safe and accessible refuge accommodation, which is set to double to 280 units nationwide by the end of 2026; however no refuges for male victims are planned or exist currently.

The Board of Cuan was appointed earlier in April.

An open competition for Board Members was advertised by State Boards.

The new Board Members, who were appointed following an open and competitive process, and who will report to the Minister for Justice are:

Professor Caroline Fennell – Chair; Sarah Benson; Molly Buckley; Denise Charlton; Vivian Geiran; Conor Hanly and Claire Loftus.

NISVS 2015

Comment: If there are to be members of NGOs for women on the board then equally NGOs for men should be represented. This is not what happened.

Two appointees in particular are certainly problematic: Sarah Benson and Denise Charlton both of whom are connected closely with Women’s Aid. Benson is current  CEO of Women’s Aid and Charlton was a previous CEO. These appointments are unlikely to instil public confidence in the Board.

These can surely not be regarded as  impartial since both have a long track record of activism and are veteran radical feminists. In addition Molly Buckley  is a founding member of Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service (ODVSS) where she has been Chairperson for 20 years. She is no doubt competent in her area but again can hardly be regarded as an impartial member.

Board Imbalance

Nobody from Men’s Aid or anyone with a track record of working for the interests of men is on the board. The composition of this Board is hugely important given the many sensitive decisions it will have to deal with, not least the dispensing of the €47m for support services that Cuan is allocated this year. This was long a contentious issue in the past when allocations for services for males were grotesquely unfair.

Partner Abuse Vol 3 No. 2 2012

There are presently about 39 local organisations, call centres, or refuge centres supporting female victims of domestic violence throughout the state. There are in addition sixteen rape crisis centres. There is just  one underfunded  organisation, Men’s Aid supporting male victims of domestic violence. There is no call centre for male victims in the greater Dublin area where c.1.5 million people reside. Can we expect this Board to improve the dismally inadequate services for male victims given that the Minister stated in her opening address that more than 40% of victims are male?

But there are other policy decisions the Board will have to deal with such as the sexual abuse of children, of boys in particular, what resources are allocated to it and how it is dealt with; whether to recognise Parental Alienation as a real form of abuse. Will the Board regularly  inform itself of developments in the field by consulting with experts, by holding seminars?

Domestic Sexual and Gender-Based Violence is a fraught area whose nature is disputed, whose strands arouse strong feelings, in which the figures for victims remain contested and where ideology and evidence are intertwined.

Was an open and competitive process the right manner in which to make appointments given the disparity in services for men and women  which exists? Hardly. This is a very sensitive area not to say one which is highly political. It was here that a judicious hand was needed to ensure balance, fairness  and that no one interest was over represented. There are dozens of support organisations for women in the DSGBV sector as stated above. There is just one support organisation for men so the field is ludicrously one-sided. For this reason alone an open competitive appointment process was  unlikely to result in a Board which would inspire public confidence.

Parental Alienation Awareness Day 2024

Announcement from DAVIA following PAAD April 25:

Parental Alienation Awareness Day 2024 was a stunning success. In addition to all the media efforts, rallies, and conferences in 18 countries we made progress in the political arena:

  1.  In early April, lawmakers in Romania approved a new law designed to curb Parental Alienation:–1278224
  1.  Last week, in a repudiation of Reem Alsalem’s recent visit to the United Kingdom, three public figures made statements affirming the pernicious effects of Parental Alienation:

We are planning to do a press release this coming week about PAAD, highlighting its international scope. One major event took place in Argentina:

The Union Latam and False Allegations Observatory held the First International Congress on Scientific Evidence Protecting Childhood, April 25-26 in Argentina. The event was conducted in Spanish. Here’s the link:  Bill Bernet was  one of the speakers.

 The Anti-Alienation Project

The full panel discussion video, with Dr. Jennifer Harman’s awesome introductory lecture, had its premiere on YouTube on Parental Alienation Awareness Day. In the discussion which follows six persons who experienced alienation from a parent talk about what happened,  their feelings and how they were impacted. They tell of the shock of finding they were manipulated.

Here’s the link to the full panel discussion:

and a trailer of the video:



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