Some reading for you to occupy the next weeks and months!
There is a lot of interest at the moment in developing an improved understanding of, and response to, child to parent violence and abuse from within the police and youth justice services. See for instance the work within the N8 Policing Research Partnership in England, and also from the state of Victoria in Australia. Another important read from Australia is the PIPA project Report, Positive Interventions for Perpetrators of Adolescent violence in the home. The PIPA project aims to improve evidence regarding:
- legal responses to AVITH as it presents in different justice and service contexts
- the co-occurrence of AVITH with other issues and juvenile offending
- current responses and gaps in service delivery.
With the police at the forefront of responding to family violence, this is the field where there is readily available (and relatively easily retrievable) data; but also where families in crisis are likely to end up, recognising that many will hold off calling the police until the situation is extreme. However, with a poor or inappropriate response, there is concern that families may be placed in further danger.
So far we have confirmation again of a link with previous experience of domestic / intimate partner violence or other experience of trauma, and of neuro-diversity or poor mental health; of boys and young men accounting for around two thirds of serious incidents; and of a tendency to go on to cause harm to others in future relationships. Some interesting contextual discussion too from Australia about where families live – rural versus urban environments.
In terms of the way forward, there is a clear call for specifically developed responses, acknowledging that nothing we have at the moment is appropriate for this very particular situation. Responses need to recognise that young people may be simultaneously a victim of harm whilst also using it themselves in their close relationships. Furthermore, the earlier we act the better, given that by the time young people come to the attention of the police services, their patterns of behaviour may be well established and highly risky.
There is a wealth of information contained in all the reports. Please do read them for the detail.
While the police and judicial services are one part of the response for families, there are many other services which are called upon by families experiencing CPV. It would be good to see these services undertaking a similar analysis with service development for the future.
As we move in to uncertain times, I welcome any contributions to this blog! Think of it as the ideal platform for the conference speech you have been unable to give, or the perfect place to launch your research findings. Whether you are concerned about the increased difficulties for families in accessing help, or you want to celebrate good practice, please do get in touch!