(Screenshot. See below for link to the interview).
This week saw huge progress in the drive to make child to parent violence less of a hidden problem, with a headline story on Monday’s Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC2, presented by Joanna Gosling.
A film, produced by West Midlands journalist Noel Phillips, led the story, and there was studio discussion from me, alongside Ann Ramsden of the Rosalie Ryrie Foundation and Seamus Oates, Executive Head Teacher of TBAP, representing the Youth Justice Board. The Family Lives helpline was offered for anyone seeking more support or information, and Anastasia de Waal chair of Family Lives answered questions throughout the day on local radio stations also picking up the story. If you listen to local radio you may also have heard stories from other families experiencing violence, and local practitioners discussing their work.
The film features interviews with a mother whose son was eventually removed from the home following violence to her, two young lads speaking candidly about past violence and abuse towards their mother, interviews with Cherryl Henry-Leach, leader of the Doncaster programme – Getting On, and Peter Jakob of Partnership Projects.
I have been asked about the figure of 4 million families being affected, offered by Noel Phillips early on in the film. This comes from the 2012 4Children report, The Enemy Within, based on a YouGov survey, which asked families about their experience of conflict and violence.
We are all very excited to have been involved in this, and look forward to further development of these stories being taken up in the same way in the future.
Today see the roll out of the welfare benefits cap across England, Wales and Scotland. What we are supposed to expect is that this will encourage families to find work or move to a different, cheaper area to live. Sadly, what we may see is a rise in violence and family break up. The Enemy Within, the 2012 report from the charity 4Children, using data from a specially commissioned YouGov Family Violence survey, highlights redundancy, long-term unemployment and serious financial worries as the major contributory factor in family violence. The dual pronged budgetary cuts to benefits and funding of services are thus especially worrying. Continue reading
Looking back over the last year, I was re-reading my post of January 1st 2012, which I concluded by saying
As we enter the new year, the task before us is to clearly and honestly set out the facts of parent abuse, without resorting to scare mongering and without blaming one side or another; and to do so in a way that politicians, policy makers, practitioners and public all come to recognise that abuse for what it is, and seek to support the whole family to turn their lives around.
2012 certainly proved to be an interesting and exciting year in the field of parent abuse work as people got to grips with the task at hand! Continue reading
The UK charity 4Children issued a press release yesterday with the publication of their new report, The Enemy Within. As part of their Give me Strength campaign, 4Children commissioned YouGov to survey parents with children under the age of 18. “The report reveals the way in which children and parents can be both victims and perpetrators of family conflict – with the evidence suggesting that violence is more widespread within the family than was perhaps previously thought.”
The full report can be downloaded from the 4Children website or here. The recommendations are particularly positive, with their call for a redefinition of violence within families, a refocussing on the whole family and the raising of awareness among professionals of the extent of the problem, among others.