provide clear information on what domestic abuse is in order to assist with its identification
provide guidance and support to frontline professionals, who have responsibilities for safeguarding and supporting victims of domestic abuse, for example through outlining relevant strategic and operational frameworks
improve the institutional response to domestic abuse by conveying best practice and standards for commissioning responses
The guidance extends to England and to Wales insofar as it relates to reserved or non-devolved matters in Wales.
You will find links to various versions of the draft guidance and information on how to submit a response.
Child/adolescent to parent violence is specifically mentioned on pages 20 – 23, including an illustrative case study; and there is discussion about age on page 36, the impact on a child of living with domestic abuse from page 59; and chapter 5 deals with multi-agency cooperation. However, there is real value in reading the whole document, with a recognition of the many different vulnerabilities experienced by families, and multiple points of discrimination and stigma.
Whether or not CPV should be considered as a form of DA remains a contentious issue, but, nevertheless, it is contained within the Act and strong arguments have been made regarding the connections with DA. So regardless of whether you feel this is the right place for a response to be sited, please do take the time to read the draft guidance and consider whether there are comments you can usefully make to improve the document – and policy and practice – as it stands.
The Home Office has launched a Call for Evidence to help inform the development of the next Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy for England and Wales (2021 – 2024). The consultation runs for 10 weeks, closing on 19th February 2021. This will be the third iteration of the VAWG strategy, and although the first 2 have included mention of child and adolescent to parent violence, the content and resulting action has been disappointingly little so far. (See more in my blog posts about this here and here.)
There is a move to consider Domestic Abuse crimes specifically and separately in a consultation to follow Royal Assent of the Domestic Abuse Bill next year. However, it is recognised that this will also be included within the VAWG strategy. Views are sought from those with lived experience of, or views on crimes considered as violence against women and girls. This includes those involved in research, in preventative work, or in the development of and provision of services. The government is particularly interested to hear from those who feel under-represented in previous strategies, or whose needs are not currently supported.
This will be an excellent opportunity to attract further attention to the issue of child and adolescent to parent violence at higher strategic level, so please do consider taking part. While we would want to divert young people from the criminal justice system in terms of response, there are many instances where actions might be considered crimes, and parents choose to involved the police for their own safety and that of their young person. It is currently through police data that we are building a picture of the range and prevalence of behaviour; and with ongoing work training police in recognising and responding to C/APV it is arguably even more important that it gains greater recognition at government level.
There are a number of ways to submit evidence, which are all outlined on the relevant Government website pages, but the easiest way is to complete the public survey.
I am pleased to bring you this post from Neil Blacklock, Development Director at Respect, who has been following recent developments in Northumbria.
In November 2015, in Northumbria a mother was murdered by her 16-year son. The resulting Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) reported that safeguarding structures designed to identify and protect victims of domestic abuse were not attuned to pick up and respond to Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA) and that agencies had not fully understood the risk that her son posed. Continue reading →
The UK Government is consulting on proposed changes to the law on domestic abuse. The consultation runs from March 8th to May 31st, 2018, and you can access the consultation documents, published by the Home Office here. As well as the full version, a shorter document can also be viewed. Continue reading →
I am very happy to support the dissemination of this survey from the London Safeguarding Adolescents Steering Group, developed to inform improvements to the safeguarding of young people aged 10 – 17. If you are engaged in work with young people in London, please do read this letter and complete the survey.
Please note that this survey is now closed, but I have kept the links here for the interest of those involved in work in this field. Continue reading →
I have blogged in the past about the use of section 20 of the Children Act 1989 with families experiencing violence and abuse from their children. I know that this is an area of practice that is fraught with disagreement and potential misuse; and it has been the subject of legal discussion too of late (see here for example).
Your Family, Your Voice, an alliance of families and practitioners that has been developed by Family Rights Group to counter the stigma and negative presumptions about families whose children are subject to or at risk of state intervention, have launched an inquiry into the powers and duties which exist under section 20. You will find information about the aims of the inquiry, what form it will take, an invitation to take part – including information about focus groups – and full briefing notes on the NIROP pages linked below. Please do check it out, and contribute to the inquiry if you are affected by any of the issues.
“Of course I knew it was a very serious and extensive problem, but I don’t think I realised the dimensions and the scale of it“, the words of Justice Marcia Neave, who was the head of Australia’s first royal commission into family violence, which reported at the end of March, after a mammoth 13 months, during which the commission heard evidence from more than 200 stakeholders to come up with a final list of 227 recommendations. The commission was set up by the government of Victoria specifically, but the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, promised to accept every recommendation, and it is hoped that the federal government will also act in areas over which they have jurisdiction, such as the Family Law Act. Continue reading →
With the input of £80 million, a focus on early intervention and prevention services, improvements in commissioning services with a National Statement of Expectations, and addressing the behaviour of perpetrators, it seems a little churlish to be writing anything negative. Nevertheless, we must remember that this comes against a background of savage cuts to services over the course of this government, which has seen closures in refuges across the country, with the loss of support for women which must be made good before any real gains can be claimed. Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham and shadow minister for preventing abuse and domestic violence writes in the Huffington Post that warm words are simply not enough. Continue reading →