“Because there are teenagers who abuse their parents.”

I was sent a link to this clip of a Spanish TV programme a few weeks ago. I have been trying to get a translation and still hoping that someone can help with this.

With the figure of 5,000 complaints of violence from children to parents received by prosecutors in 2012, Para Todos La 2 presenter, Marta Caceres, introduces a discussion with Jordi Royo of Amalgama 7 and Javier Urra of Centro Recurra and Director of the Pursue Ginso programme (both Clinical Psychologists) about the issue of child to parent violence.

The discussion draws attention to the many ’causes’: biological as well as cultural and family driven. Some children have been bullied at school and then become abusive when they return home at the end of the day. Mothers and grandmothers are identified as the most at risk. Different facets of abuse are recognised, including blackmail of parents.

It is acknowledged that the abuse may not be identified as such by either party – for a variety of reasons. Finally the need for respect between parties in the home is highlighted as a prerequisite for healthy family relationships.

It is great to see this discussion taking place on mainstream television. Understanding of, and response to, the issue of child to parent violence in Spain has been developing apace, at the forefront within Europe. I am particularly interested in the impact of culture and patterns of family life in the way parent abuse is recognised and responded to across different nations. I know this is also something that is being considered by the Daphne RCPV project and other interested parties. While the act of abuse may be similar, the visibility or context may well differ. Nevertheless, the commonalities in understanding family pain and rebuilding healthy relationships give us pointers to the underlying issues across nations and systems.

Meanwhile, in Britain I have been contacted by the BBC who are investigating the possibility of a television programme of their own here about child to parent violence, looking both at the reality of the situation for families and the effectiveness of support programmes in bringing about change. This is the latest in a long series of requests from the media, and researchers are particularly interested in speaking to agencies working in the field. It may be that some people feel more comfortable speaking to the BBC? On that note I came across a link to the 2010 programme ‘I Hate Mum‘ this week. Made by ZKK for the BBC, it showcased the work of Greenwich CAMHS with families where children were violent to parents.

I am also in touch with someone in Western Australia who is helping make a documentary about parent abuse. As soon as I have more details I will post the links.


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