UK folk, and particularly those based in London, may be interested in a debate tabled for Wednesday 21st February in Westminster Hall, at the House of Commons.
From 4 – 4.30pm a debate on child to parent violence is listed, raised by Toby Perkins MP, member for Chesterfield.
Mark D’Arcy, reporting for the BBC, writes, “Labour MP Toby Perkins wants to point out that social work and other systems are configured to deal with violence by adults against children, rather than cases where the child attacks the parent. He has a number of cases from his constituency which illustrate the problem.”
Debates can be watched on Parliament TV, and a transcript will also be made available. Attendance at Westminster Hall debates is free of charge to the public, but places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis. Anyone wishing to attend should first read the information on the Parliament website.
When authors discuss the different ways in which child to parent violence and abuse presents, it is common to include sexual abuse in the list; and yet it is difficult to find anywhere in the literature where this discussion is expanded. I know from conversations with adoptive families that the issue is very much alive, and extremely painful to discuss. While many families fear that a request for help will result in the instigation of a child protection investigation, this is an area where alarm bells will certainly be ringing straight away. How to respond though, in a way that maintains the safety of all involved, while not further traumatising either the young person or the parents, is rarely interrogated. A recent conversation with a friend undertaking a PhD at Bournemouth University has encouraged me that more information and greater discussion may be on the way!
For many people, talking about sex and sexualised behaviours can be very challenging—let alone discussing inappropriate sexualised behaviours. When we then add sexually inappropriate behaviours from an adolescent who is also violent towards their parents, it becomes impossible for many to even think about, let alone talk about. The potential consequence of this silence can add to further isolation, fear and guilt for those experiencing adolescent-to-parent violence and abuse (APVA).
In 2015, The UK Home Office published an information guide on APVA. It mentions adolescents who present with heightened sexualised behaviours as a risk factor sometimes present when working with APVA. However, the notion that adolescents may present sexually inappropriate behaviours towards their parents or that they may intimidate their parents, remains under-discussed. The question then arises, is it under-discussed because of rarity, or is it under-discussed because of the difficulty of understanding how this might occur?
I hope to address this problem in my PhD research currently under way.
Louise Oliver, PhD Student in Bournemouth University
At the end of 2016, Al Coates and Dr Wendy Thorley put out a survey to start exploring families’ experiences of child to parent violence, particularly within the adopter community. I was pleased to publicise it, and have since shared the reports (here and also available on the CEL&T website) which were generated from their enquiries. While it was acknowledged that there was nothing ground-breakingly new in their findings, the work was important in opening up the discussion and allowing it to move into a broader range of meetings and departments. Whether as a coincidence or a direct result, the last year did see significant increases in the open acknowledgement of this issue.
Building on this previous work, Al Coates and Dr Wendy Thorley have now designed a new, more comprehensive survey to be disseminated among all communities across the UK and beyond. It is for any families experiencing child to parent violence and aggression, whether birth family, kinship carers, foster or adoptive parents, Special Guardians or any other relevant relationships. Within the first days that it was online, they have already received over 100 responses and so there are high hopes that the data extracted will give a fuller, more comprehensive picture of the experience of CPVA and its impact on families’ daily life, informing the design of support and training needs.
You can read more about this new survey, and take part, via Al Coates website, or the CEL&T website.
Please take a moment to look at the survey, to complete it if relevant to you, or to pass on to other who might be interested. The survey is open until February 5th.
Writing in the Metro last week, Soaps Editor, Duncan Lindsay revealed an interesting up-coming plot line in the soap, Hollyoaks.
Hollyoaks spoilers: Son and mother domestic abuse storyline revealed for Imran and Misbah Maalik. Duncan Lindsay for Metro.co.uk Wednesday 6 Dec 2017
The Maalik family in Hollyoaks are to find themselves at the centre of a hard hitting storyline next year which will see troubled teenager Imran lash out at his mum Misbah after constantly feeling isolated and sidelined in favour of his other siblings – and the unsettling incident won’t be a one off, with the domestic abuse set to get increasingly worse. Since his arrival in the show, it has been clear that Imran feels pushed out of the family somewhat – particularly due to his mum’s ongoing worry for Yasmine and her heart condition. The suicide of his father hasn’t helped Imran’s state of mind and as another situation opens up in the New Year, he will start to physically and emotionally abuse Misbah. The long running story will focus on how Misbah will try to deal with the frightening situation – torn between protecting her fragile son and also ensuring that she remains safe, she will gradually see the root of Imran’s actions but will it be too late to send him away from the destructive and violent path he finds himself on? Misbah will also need to hold down her high pressure career at the hospital while keeping the abuse a secret from the rest of the family – but could this situation destroy the Maaliks for good? Continue reading
Part 2, this week, from Lee Hollins. In this blog Lee further develops the understanding of restraint, with the concept of “safe and therapeutic holding”; and explains how they can be introduced as an aid to keeping children safe. Many thanks to Lee for writing these two blogs. It’s always good to hear from someone else, bringing as it does a greater breadth to the discussion and to our knowledge and understanding.
Safe and Therapeutic Holding – Lee Hollins
Following on from the last blog which charted the evolution of ‘restraint’ and ‘physical intervention’ techniques, I pick up on a discussion that took place at the recent ‘Child to Parent Violence in adoptive and foster families’ conference. Continue reading
In November I was privileged to chair a conference in London about child to parent violence in adoptive and foster families. The day had been crafted to follow a narrative as we explored the effects of trauma for the child and then for the whole family; different insights into law and practice; and finally a session on how to respond when things really kick off. This came in part as a response to discussions I and others had been having about the training available for families in how to keep children safe. I know that some people had found this difficult or impossible to access, and so we were pleased to be joined by Lee Hollins of Securicare and Amanda Boorman of the Open Nest, who, between them, have done much to open up this topic and provide some answers. Following on from the conference, Lee has written 2 guest blogs for us, the first here and the second to follow in a week or so.
We Need To Talk About Restraint – Lee Hollins
Restraint. It’s word that conjures up many images in the minds of many people. Mostly bad, and often in the minds of practitioners working in the field of fostering and adoption. That’s why we need to talk about it. The recent ‘Child to Parent Violence in adoptive and foster families’ conference chaired by Helen was just such an opportunity. Continue reading