Category Archives: Research

CPV, Home to School and Back Again

This is the second in a recent series of guest posts. Nikki Rutter writes about the overlap between violence and abuse from children in education settings, and in the home. Nikki is an ESRC-funded Doctoral Researcher at the department of Sociology at Durham University. Her research interests include: Child-to-parent violence, domestic abuse, violence against women and girls, grounded theory. She is a member of Durham University’s Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), and Communities and Social Justice Research Group at Durham University. You can contact Nikki on twitter. See more details of her work on the CPV Research Directory.

 

Child to parent violence is often viewed as a pattern of behaviour that exists solely within the home; however, there are examples whereby children who are violent within the home are also violent in other environments. In my own research – into pre-adolescent CPV – parents often talk about their relationship with school, and how interactions with school can directly relate or influences their child’s violence:

  • School can be a trigger for anxiety related aggression from the child;
  • Phone calls from school can cause anxiety within the caregiver, and friction within the home;
  • Issues within school can cause a Coke bottle effect which spills over into the home environment;
  • One in four teachers experience violence from pupils each week.

Children with social, emotional, and mental health needs are more likely to display violent and aggressive behaviours. Children with these needs are more likely to be excluded from school; which can also increase incidents of violence within the home. The Conservative manifesto outlined that the education department would give Head Teachers more powers to discipline pupils, by making exclusions easier, and there will be an increase in funding to expand alternative provision, for those children who are excluded. One in four teachers are assaulted by pupils each week, so it is important that schools are a safe place for all. However, excluding these pupils is a reactive response to a complex issue and could result in an increase in incidents of violence, for those already experiencing CPV.

Whilst there are many individuals, and organisations who are working to support those families living with, and managing CPV, there is very little policy guidance for those with pre-adolescent children. Educators are expected to manage complex behaviours reactively; which can just result in children who are already struggling with managing these huge emotions within their tiny bodies; these children are excluded from school and made to feel rejected are then being sent home.

Everyone says the children don’t come with a manual, they don’t. We still, however, expect families to instinctively know how to support tiny children with giant, overwhelming emotions. Families do not exist in a vacuum, nor do schools. To support these children to develop strategies that are more helpful, or healthy than violence we need to be supporting families, as well as supporting schools, to support the child.

CPV needs to be less about who is accountable, or responsible for the child; it is not about laying the blame at anyone’s door. CPV responses should be a multiagency, multidisciplinary collaboration in promoting and developing healthy strategies within the child, so they can manage their emotions proactively, and feel secure with their environment. We cannot do this alone.

 

These are important issues, particularly the need to understand and respond to CPV within a multi-disciplinary framework.

Many thanks to Nikki for her contribution.

If anyone else would like to write a guest post, please do contact me!

 

 

 

 

 

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The New Research Page

Many thanks to all those who have sent me details of the research they are currently or recently engaged in. I have started to rebuild the Research page, which will now include “Research Requests” and also the Directory. You will be able to see who is engaged in research in the field of child to parent violence around Britain particularly, but also further afield. There will be links to contact details, title of the work and more information about the projects themselves, as well as publications. I hope that this will be informative to those thinking of work in this area, and encouraging to the rest of us!

The directory is far from comprehensive as it stands, and there is more work still to do before it is as I want it, but it’s a start. Please do contact me if you would like to be included; and of course if you would like to place a request for participants or information regarding your work.

Thanks!

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Survey: Working with adolescents using violence in the home (Victoria, Australia)

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare are consulting with organisations working with adolescents aged 11 – 18 who are using violence in the home. The purpose of this project, funded by Family Safety Victoria and being conducted in collaboration with Domestic Violence Victoria, is to better understand the nature of adolescent violence in the home and the approaches that work.

As part of this project, they want to develop a better understanding of the young people who engage in violent behaviour against other family members, including current practice issues, what works, practitioner levels of knowledge and confidence in working with these young people and their families, and training/resource needs. They are seeking this information initially through a short survey and then through face to face consultations.

(Please note this survey is now closed.)

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CPV Research Directory

There has been some interest expressed in the development of a CPV research directory. I find it incredible that only ten years people were finding it difficult to source very much literature around the issue of child to parent violence and abuse, and yet now we have research taking place at different levels, in different disciplines, in many universities across this country and around the world. A number of students have commented that it would be useful to know of other research taking place as they embark on their own studies, whether to deepen the conversation, to share findings and insights or to ‘plug in to’ a wider community.

Over the next months I propose to contact academics and students that I know to start building up a directory which would include:

  • Researcher’s name, discipline and university
  • Research title
  • Papers already published
  • Contact details if agreed

I will then start to rebuild the Research page on my website to include this new information. I already know from social media that there is far more work going on than I was aware of, and so if you don’t hear from me but would like to be included in this, please drop me a line via my contact page.

Is this something that sounds useful to you? How would you personally make use of it? Would you like to be included? Do you know of anyone else that you could point this way? Get in touch – I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

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Supporting research into child to parent violence

From time to time I am approached by individuals conducting research in this field, with a view to broadening their reach in attracting participants, or in assistance in completing surveys. I am always happy to help where I can, and to this end, I want to bring your attention to some work being conducted by Fiona Creevy, a PhD Researcher at the University of Huddersfield.

Fiona is investigating “child-initiated family abuse” from the parents’ perspective. Her work is concerned with the views of parents (and those in a parenting role) experiencing violent and/or abusive behaviour from their children under the age of 18. She is using an online questionnaire, accessed via a number of websites which offer advice and support to parents and families. Continue reading

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Confined Spaces, an interview with Sophie Cero

Do you like your art calming and reflective, or maybe you enjoy the challenge of something complex and abstract? For thousands of years, artists have used their work to comment on the human condition, and to explore ideas of power, truth, and reality. Nevertheless, you might be thinking, “but what can art tell us about child to parent violence?”

What I like about any new way of looking at things is that the questions are slightly different, the insights often trip us up and change the direction of our thoughts, and we can be left with new questions that we hadn’t even thought of before! So I was excited to come across artist, Sophie Cero on twitter and to hear about her work exploring child and adolescent violence towards parents. Sophie kindly agreed to be interviewed for Holes in the Wall. Continue reading

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Violence against Grandparents: Finding out more 

I am very pleased to post this information and request from Dr Amanda Holt, who has been instrumental in bringing about wider knowledge and understanding of child (and adolescent) to parent violence. She is now about to begin some research into violence and abuse towards grandparents, from their grandchildren, and is interested to hear from practitioners, and ultimately grandparents, with awareness and experience of this.  

As Helen impressively documents, there is a useful research literature developing on adolescent-to-parent violence/abuse, and this is giving us some insights into who, where, how and perhaps why we are seeing this problem across a range of families. However, there is very little research into violence against grandparents, yet I am hearing from practitioners that many grandparents attend CPV support programmes because they are experiencing violence from their grandchild. Many of these grandparents are involved in kinship care arrangements with their grandchild(ren), whether arranged formally (e.g. through a Special Guardianship Order, for example) or informally. A recent survey of 101 kinship carers in Australia found that nearly half (46%) of carers (the majority of whom were grandparents) reported violent behaviour from the child they were caring for and which, in 89% of cases, was directed towards them. As with CPV, verbal abuse, psychological abuse and physical aggression were all reported and the impacts mirrored those commonly experienced by parents who experience violence from their children: stress, mental health problems, physical health problems, additional family conflicts and social isolation. Continue reading

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