Looking back over the last year, I was re-reading my post of January 1st 2012, which I concluded by saying
As we enter the new year, the task before us is to clearly and honestly set out the facts of parent abuse, without resorting to scare mongering and without blaming one side or another; and to do so in a way that politicians, policy makers, practitioners and public all come to recognise that abuse for what it is, and seek to support the whole family to turn their lives around.
2012 certainly proved to be an interesting and exciting year in the field of parent abuse work as people got to grips with the task at hand!
Publications ranged from individual articles and chapters, through a themed issue of Social Policy and Society, and culminated in Amanda Holt’s book in December. Reports from 4Children and Adfam/AVA, amongst others, highlighted important issues as well as presenting a challenge for the future. The launch of the Adfam/AVA report in the palace of Westminster brought the issue of parent abuse right to the heart of government.
In Britain a separate broadening of the definition of domestic violence by the government brought hope of future wider acknowledgement and action on parent abuse. I have noted an ongoing interest in the subject from students completing their degree dissertations. There have been approaches from television and local radio exploring the possibility of covering the topic, as well as mentions on national radio.
New projects have been established and developed. An increase in training opportunities and practitioner groups around the country means that workers across the board are meeting up and sharing knowledge and experience, despite budgetary constraints. Against this positive and encouraging backdrop however we continue to see an increase in reports of violence, a tendency by those in power to stigmatise and blame parents for the difficulties they face, and reports at the end of the year of two tragic killings of parents by their children.
I am pleased to be able to bring all these things together in one place to assist in developing a greater awareness, nationally and internationally. While most of my information is UK based, I know that this blog has followers around the world: in the States, Australia and the far east, and I would love to feature more news or information from other parts of the globe. What has become evident in the last year is how vast a task this is and how it could easily become a full-time job in itself if I was to do it as well as I would like – so this is a cry for help!
Please continue to send links, information, resources and encouragement. Please recommend this site to friends and colleagues. But what would be great would be to hear from other contributors, whether with a recommendation of an article, a training course or a few lines reviewing a conference; or perhaps as a guest blogger with a more detailed comment on an event or policy. I would like to post something at least once a week. With your help I can make this happen!
While I wait with bated breath – A Happy New Year; and success in 2013 in all your endeavours!