A statistical increase – is this good or bad?

Some statistics reported from NSW this weekend in terms of violence towards parents.

According to the latest Bureau of Crime statistics, assaults against a family member by children – as young as 10 – have jumped from 1041 in 2007 to 1302 in 2011 – representing eight per cent of all domestic violence cases in NSW.

We are not to know of course whether this represents a real increase in abuse, or whether we should feel more positive about an increase in reporting and logging of incidents. Whether parents decide to call the police at all will depend hugely on their own experience of support and the local policies and response record. Some people would argue strongly that police involvement can be more damaging.

Set against that, it was interesting to read about the response from  The Benevolent Society  in Campbelltown, who have a project working with children to restore respect and trust in family relationships following domestic violence (same news article). With research showing a strong link between experience of domestic violence and later violence by young people towards their parents, this is a clear-sighted demonstration of preventive work.

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