The June screening of the Channel 5 documentary My Violent Child, which attracted over 1.5 million viewers (available here till June 2015), stirred up some very mixed feelings. There is evidence (comments to Channel 5) that many families found it helpful in showing something of what they were themselves experiencing, thus validating their concerns and fears around living with violent teens. The Southampton practitioner and team featured have received many referrals and have developed their work further as a result. Yet other practitioners were seriously concerned by the possible effects of filming vulnerable young people, including graphic footage of their violent and abusive behaviour, as well as the shortage of positive, constructive answers for families shown in the film. I have blogged about this previously here.
Discussions with Popkorn TV, who made the programme, suggest that they share the concerns about the absence of answers. In the light of the positive responses they have received to the production, they are now developing the programme into a series of three further programmes, which they hope will give a more rounded view, including different aspects of abuse and a wider range of interventions. They have asked that anyone interested in taking part in the new series, either as a practitioner or family, or simply finding out more, should contact the production team. Contacting them commits you to nothing further unless you choose to proceed. You can do this by emailing me and I will pass your details on.
The programme certainly worked to keep the topic of parent abuse firmly in the media and in the minds of the viewing public. I hope that there will be other opportunities to do this in the next months, with a number of conferences coming up as well as launch events planned (more on this another time). Details of conferences can be found as always on the Events page. I try to keep this up to date but regularly hear of other events that I have missed. Please let me know if you want anything advertised – of if you would like to write a review of an event you have attended.