If you’ve not come across child to parent violence before; if you don’t know anyone affected; it’s easy to misread the signs. Sadly, we have come to accept that adults can experience intimate partner violence. Folk may not all fully understand what is going on and why, but they get that it happens. So when you hear shouting and screaming noises through the wall from the neighbours, or when you see bruises, it would be natural to draw that conclusion.
A friend brought this series, and particularly this film, to my attention recently. Passengers, part of the Moving On series, runs with that idea and briefly explores the secrecy and shame felt by mum, Helen, and the trouble that is caused to her new relationship when neighbour, Ronnie, tries to get involved to support her. There’s an added dimension in that Ronnie is suffering from dementia, but he knows – and we do too – that this is for real. There’s a happy ending (spoiler alert!) following some home truths and an intervention from social services. Fifteen year old Connor is angry. He gets over it. It might feel a bit trite but let’s be thankful that this family managed to find effective help and a positive way through!
You might find it useful for starting a discussion about assumptions, or about the best way to intervene and offer support.
Passengers, Moving On, Series 7, Jimmy McGovern, LA Productions drama for BBC 1, Simply Media, 2016