So the last few weeks have been pretty hectic following the announcement on February 26th, of the grant awarded to the University of Brighton for research into child to parent violence. The significant media interest in the issue of child to parent violence mirrors what was seen in Melbourne, following the announcement there of the development of the Keeping Families Safe project. It seems likely that there will be further coverage in national papers, local radio, women’s magazines and perhaps even television in the near future. With the conference coming up in Nottingham this week, which will include a presentation of interim findings from the work being undertaken at Oxford University by Rachel Condry and Caroline Miles, it is an exciting time to be involved in the raising of awareness or indeed in the implementation of work with families experiencing this type of abuse.
Obviously I’m not seriously arguing that all this media attention means the work of raising awareness about child to parent violence is complete, satisfying though it may be to see the issue brought more into the public domain. Opening up a discussion nationally will be immensely helpful to all those who have struggled to name what they experience or witness, and will support further lobbying for policy and resources. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go before there is anything like adequate support for families, particularly at this time of budget cuts.
In their paper examining the response to parent abuse within the youth justice system, Rachel Condry and Caroline Miles draw attention to the need still for a solid evidential base before it is possible to engage with policy makers on an issue such as adolescent to parent violence. This evidence is being collected – and we will hopefully hear more about it on Thursday. The launching of the Adfam /AVA report at the House of Commons last year was also groundbreaking in bringing the matter right into the heart of the decision making process. We will be hearing more from the author of that report as well in Nottingham.
You might guess that I’m quite excited about the last weeks and the conference coming up! I’ll be gathering lots of materials and ideas and posting more from this event towards the weekend, so watch this space.