I am constantly told that we should be raising public awareness through the media, those of you who know me that for the last 8 years that is what I try to do, but it is not that easy!
As we have been established now for so long, I am frequently asked to do articles, interviews or to ask grandparents if they would be willing to tell their story, so it is the journalists ect who ask me, not the other way around.
Over the 8 years there have, I hope, been some really good interviews and the responses we receive is always overwhelming, my only reason for ever taking part is to let grandparents who find themselves in this horrible situation that they are not alone. It certainly is not because I like doing it or as has been said in the past that I do it for me. Why on earth would I do that?
As we have membership now of well over 2,000 we are a powerful group, a group of experts.
Obviously the work we did with Esther and The One Show was very important, and certainly Esther did and continues to give me excellent advice, which I try hard to keep in mind.
When you are approached by the media it comes in lots of different ways, it can be direct phone calls, emails, or indirect ,so a media consultancy acts, if you like as a go between. However it happens it is always time consuming and emotionally very draining.
Time and time again, after hours of calls, emails, lots of waiting about, rearranging appointments, making plans it falls apart right at the last moment.
Sometimes having been through the, you can do this, you won’t be able to do that, please don’t wear jeans, it never sees the light of day.
On occasion, you will be told at the very last minute, that the person who has alienated your grandchild,needs to be informed of what you are doing, it is called ‘a right to reply,’ it is almost a throwaway sentence right at the end of an email, then they will ask how they can contact that person. It is a legal requirement, apparently.
Needless to say, those of you involved in estrangement will totally understand that, that can’t happen. I can just see the reaction of those who receive such a letter, but most importantly the effect it could have on our grandchildren, it would most definitely rebound on them, and that is what I really care about.
So, this is the real reason why the truth about Parental Alienation/estrangement, denied contact whatever we want to call it, for parents and grandparents is not getting across to Jo Public, and as far as I can see, never will.
I for one am not going to become anonymous, to change my name or have my back to any camera, so please don’t think the BGSG aren’t trying everything we can to get the truth out there, we are.
If you are asked to do anything for the media, make sure you fully understand it is you doing them a favour not the other way round, do it under your terms not there’s, without you they have no story.
Don’t think they are actually that interested in you as a person, they are doing their job and filling a space or slot.
Finally, always ask a few questions right at the beginning,” Does there need to be a right of reply?” “Are you going to tell me what to wear?” ” Are you paying travel costs?” and anything you have concerns about.
Having said all of that there are some journalists,presenters and producers who have shown me extreme empathy and concern, to whom I am eternally grateful, thank you.