child holding stuffed bear

Are You & Your Child Victims of Contemporary-Type Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy?

Many of you have heard about Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSP). It is a complex form of child abuse when an adult creates the appearance that his or her child is ill by fabricating evidence. The “evidence” is typically achieved by the adult inducing symptoms in the child resulted in a false claim being confirmed by a medical professional. This can be done in many ways such as restricting diet, giving the child medicine that mimics symptoms of certain illnesses. Probably one of the most well-known and recent cases is Gypsy Rose Blanchard. She was forced to use a wheelchair and treated for illnesses such as leukemia and muscular dystrophy that she never had for years. Unfortunately, rather than going to the proper authorities, Gypsy murdered her mother and ended up in prison. I am not here to judge the guilt or innocence of Gypsy Rose, but rather to bring awareness that Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy exists and has manifested into another form commonly found in divorce cases, and custody or visitation disputes. It is referred to as contemporary-type MSP1, which can result in serious parental alienation and major trauma to a child. This type of alienation involves false allegations by the parent to whom the child is aligned resulting in the child being manipulated into believing he or she has been sexually abused by the other parent.

The problem with parents creating this contemporary-type MSP is not only hurting the child and the alienated parent’s relationship, but it is also causing undue traumatic mental and physical abuse to the child. The accusing parent will stop at nothing to convince everyone that the child is being abused by the other parent. They have no problem with multiple sexual assault exams on the child and continuous police interviews. Some take it even further and place the child in therapy that focuses on sexual experiences. This behavior is much like the classic MSP parent that welcomes continuous painful tests, unnecessary hospitalizations, and surgeries for his or her child. In both types of MSP, the parent is determined and will stop at nothing to keep the allegations going and “proving” that the abuse occurred. Another method used is taking the child from professional to professional until he or she finds one that will confirm and validate the abuse allegations. If the professional does not agree, the parent will reject any opinion that does not align with the abuse claim.

When a child is making a statement they have been sexually assaulted, the courts do not take it lightly. The child’s voice is heard whether they are speaking for themselves, social workers, or other professionals are speaking for them throughout the proceedings. If you and your child are victims of alienation due to contemporary-type MSP, you must seek legal counsel immediately. Not only are you being falsely accused of sexually abusing your child, but also these allegations and sometimes convictions have many other far-reaching effects on one’s life such as requiring you to register as a sexual offender, limiting employment opportunities, and many others. You must protect your child from further trauma and get them away from the abusive parent. Contact Kevin Hickey Law Partners to help you defend yourself against these charges and free your child. We will help ensure that the child is examined by an unbiased party that can testify under oath. However, a classic move on the abuser’s part is to refuse any additional examinations in order to protect the child from further trauma. Contemporary-type MSP is a very serious case of parental alienation and you need someone that isn’t afraid to fight and stand up for you. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414 and the Northwest Arkansas office is 479.802.6560.