Florida State Senator, Geraldine Thompson, announced a bill this week to give protection to parents experiencing violence and abuse from their children. If passed, it would become the nation’s first parent abuse law. The bill, SB-904, Abuse of a Parent, which has already been filed would define parent abuse, make it a reportable crime and allow for criminal penalties. Homer Hartage, former County Commissioner and founder of the Parent Abuse Action Coalition has campaigned for better protection with the family of Rosemary Pate who was killed by her son in 2013. There is increasing awareness that this is not a small problem. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 1,645 parents in Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties were victimized by their children — physically or sexually — in 2012, the latest statistics available. There has some been concern aired that legislation and criminalisation will not better protect families on its own, but should be accompanied by therapeutic interventions such as treatment and counselling. You can read the news coverage here and here.
Congratulations to Emilia Henriques da Silva and Jacques-Yves Mistretta of Paramita Entertainment, whose short film The Lost Soul, about a teenager’s violence towards his mother, has been put forward at the Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York, 14th to 20th March. The hope is that this prestigious event will enable the company to move forward with the production of the full length film. You can read more about the film and about Paramita Entertainment here.
Good luck to PAARS for the opening of their new offices in Enfield tomorrow. Details on their website. Don’t forget to send photos!
NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) published guidance this week for health and social care organisations on responding to domestic violence and abuse. Incredibly, there is currently no training for professionals in how to respond to this common issue. Under the new guidelines, training will be made available for health care professionals so that they can recognise the signs of domestic violence and abuse and ensure that those affected are aware of the help and support available to them. More information in this news briefing.
Published last week, by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, is a beautiful book for children aged 2 – 6 years old who have lived with domestic violence, to help them name their feelings and start to understand their difficult situation. How are you feeling today Baby Bear? by Jane Evans, an expert in parenting after trauma, includes guidance notes for professionals and carers as well as follow on activities. Jane recognises the importance of working very early with children if recurring patterns of family violence are not to be repeated. Jane is currently involved in supporting parent abuse work in Bristol, UK and in writing further books. She also has a conference coming up in April, details of which can be found here.
There are many other conferences and training events being organised of late, some open to all and some catering to particular local authorities’ needs and development plans. Don’t forget to check out the training and events page on this site, or contact me if you have events you would like me to advertise. Similarly, it would be interesting to hear about other projects happening around the world. I know there has been interest in Holes from across the globe. Please do get in touch and share your findings, your plans or your needs!