Understanding CAPVA: a rapid literature review

Last week saw the launch of a report commissioned by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Office and produced by Respect, Understanding CAPVA – a rapid literature review of child and adolescent to parent violence and abuse (CAPVA). I was privileged to co-author the report with Dr Vicky Baker, who recently completed her PhD at UCLan, exploring young people’s accounts of using violence and abuse towards parents.

One of the purposes of the review was very explicitly to identify gaps in knowledge and provision, with a view to exploring how these needs should and could be met. The report is in two parts, looking first at our understanding of the issue – what we know, what CAPVA looks like, who it effects and some of the theories about how it comes about; and then in part 2, how it is addressed. Finally there are a significant number of recommendations made, both in terms of further research and, importantly, in the way it is gripped by government in departmental oversight, funding and provision.

The recommendations section is not insignificant! In some ways it’s frustrating to think we are still here in making some of the requests after so many years of pressure and campaigning. For instance, the call for a nationally agreed terminology and the proper collection of data seem to have been around for ever. Recommendations about the type of response needed though are becoming more refined as we learn more and have opportunities to work with colleagues to examine how we can work together and what this should look like and include.

One recommendation covers the importance of updating the Home Office Guidance which was originally written and published in 2015. Thankfully this is now well underway and we look forward to seeing the final document (in the next year?)

Obviously I commend the report to you! It is hopefully easy to read, despite covering so much ground in significant detail. It should be of interest particularly to commissioners and policy makers, as well as those within central government whose remit covers any aspect of family life; but the overview of the literature on this topic makes it an important summary for all involved in supporting families, whether in management or on the frontline.

The full report is here.

The Executive Summary is here.

You can read Vicky Baker’s PhD thesis here.

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