Families rallied outside the Wake County courthouse to raise awareness about parental and grandparent alienation.
RALEIGH, N.C. -
A rally to raise awareness about parental and grandparent alienation was held outside the Wake County courthouse Thursday.
According to the legal definition, parental alienation is "a form of emotional child abuse where a custodial parent belittles or vilifies the other parent to the child."
Alienated family members from all over the state, as well as Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee stood in front of the Wake County courthouse asking lawmakers to pass legislation that that requires joint custody for responsible parents and visitation for grandparents.
"They should not hate or have some kind of contempt or fear of that side of the family for unjustified reasons," said supporter Joe Barrow.
Family Access-Fighting for Children's Rights President Elaine Cobb added, "It's wrong -- it's abuse, child abuse, it's family abuse. Children should be allowed to access to all their family, not just who people choose. ... Children are not pawns, they're not property. They are human beings."
Some of those who traveled to Raleigh came from as far away as California to push for the change.