Coinciding with the third reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill in Parliament, Caroline Miles and Rachel Condry argue that, as it stands, it represents a missed opportunity in the development of understanding of and provision for families experiencing adolescent to parent violence. (published July 6th 2020)
- The Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-2021 covers violence and abuse from children (aged 16 and over) towards their parents but stops short of identifying violence from children towards parents as a specific subtype of domestic abuse.
- The omission risks adult to parent violence remaining an invisible phenomenon that is not readily identified, recorded or counted, and also misses an opportunity to develop a national policy response.
- The Bill creates an offence covering 16-18 year old perpetrators but no guidance as to what police powers should be used to deal with domestic violence and abuse by children, especially when perpetrated towards parents.
- There needs to be a coherent and strategic police response to adult to parent violence, which addresses the needs of parents but also recognises the safeguarding needs of adolescents.
Read the full blog on the University of Manchester website here.
Filed under Discussion, Law
These comments are my own and do not necessarily represent those of other parties working and interested in the field of child to parent violence.
I have used the terms adolescent to parent abuse (APA), adolescent to parent violence (APV), child to parent violence (CPV), and parent abuse (PA) interchangeably, except where this has been made clear, to reflect the different usage at different times and by different people.
This week the Government published their landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, alongside the response to the Consultation, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse. The Consultation looked at four specific areas:
- promoting awareness
- protecting and supporting victims
- transforming the justice process and perpetrator response
- and improving performance.
The Consultation Response and the Bill have been welcomed by many, particularly for the inclusion of economic abuse within the definition, recognition of the harm afforded to children and young people affected by domestic abuse (DA) within the family, for the protection afforded to victims and witnesses in court, and for the commitments to secure tenancies for those being rehoused. Nevertheless, there has been significant concern expressed about the need to translate words into actions, with adequate funding of services. Particular interest groups have rightly pointed out areas where they feel commitments could have been stronger, or where a change of direction is needed. Continue reading
Filed under Discussion, Law
Well, it’s been an interesting year, culminating in a hectic last few weeks!
Thinking about what to write today I flicked back through old reports, including that written by Parentline Plus ten years ago, “You can’t say go and sit on the naughty step because they turn round and say make me”. In some ways it feels as if nothing has changed, the same stories from parents, the same understanding of background risk factors, the same difficulties in accessing help. But what does feel different is the volume of coverage, and the gradually changing tone. Continue reading
I’ve read a number of useful papers and other documents recently, which I have tweeted and also added to the Reading List page, but I thought it worth bringing them all together here as well.
“Am I Really a Bad Parent?” from Nancy Brule and Jessica Eckstein, looks at a communication management model of stigma and explores how parents’ responses to abuse can be understood within this framework. It has some cautionary reminders about the search for causes of adolescent to parent abuse, and also some comments on the impact on siblings. There is not so much written about this aspect of family interaction and so this is a welcome inclusion.
Caring for those who care for violent and aggressive children, is a paper from Adapt Scotland. There are some statistics relevant to the Scottish situation, but the remainder of the paper gives a very concise and helpful understanding of aggressive behaviour in children. Adapt Scotland offer trauma and attachment based mentoring and therapeutic work for families and professionals.
Supporting Adolescents on the Edge of Care. The role of short term stays in residential care, is an evidence scope from Dixon, Lee, Ellison and Hicks for the NSPCC and Action for Children. It asks what is meant by the term “edge of care”, considers different models of residential care, both in Britain and elsewhere; and looks at the usefulness or otherwise for young people (and families) of such an experience. With much debate around the use of Care for children who are violent towards their parents and other family members, I found this an interesting paper to read.
I will continue to publicise other reports and papers as I come across them, and always welcome suggestions and recommendations!
Two recent things of interest from Amanda Holt:
A journal article looking at similarities and differences between adolescent to parent and intimate partner violence; and a seminar addressing this issue at Oxford Brookes University last month. You can hear Amanda and see the slides from this presentation here.
A double treat today from bits and pieces I picked up last week.
First, the opportunity to study for a PhD in adolescent to parent violence with Amanda Holt, at Roehampton University from this September.
More details on this available here.
Secondly, news that Coronation Street will feature a storyline about child to parent violence later this year.
As soon as I hear more detail about the timing of this I will be sure to let you know!
I have recently been sent links to new and additional published articles in the field of adolescent to parent abuse; and have updated the Reading List page accordingly.
A paper by Caroline Miles and Rachel Condry, Adolescent to parent violence: the police response to parents reporting violence from their children, further develops the discussion arising from the findings of their three-year research project. This paper specifically examines police responses and suggests a way forward that offers support and restorative action for families. (Abstract here.)
Declan Coogan has a paper entitled Responding to Child-to-Parent Violence: Innovative Practices in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, in the Health and Social Work Journal, Special Issue: Child and Adolescent Health. (Abstract here) He considers obstacles in the recognition of, and response to, child to parent violence, and proposes the Non Violent Resistance Programme as a positive way forward.
Sally Donovan’s second book about the experiences of adoptive parenting, The Unofficial Guide, offers a further raw and powerful account of living with children traumatised by earlier life. She offers practical steps and guidance for parents, but the book is well worth reading for anyone involved in the adoption or CPV field.
I’ve also tidied up the links to the Family Lives / Parentline reports as I have been told they have been difficult to find on the website. Hopefully that is now improved.
Please do let me know about any other books or articles to add to the list. It is not exhaustive by any means, and certainly does not include early work, which I should get round to adding at some point!
In the meantime, Happy Reading!
A couple of reviews for Amanda Holt’s text, Adolescent-to-Parent Abuse: Current Understandings in Research, Policy and Practice, have been brought to my attention recently.
Janet Jamieson has a review in the journal Youth Justice, and Sarah Galvani in Social Work Education: the international journal.
Both are very positive, commenting on the dearth of available literature, and drawing attention to the usefulness, to those from many backgrounds and fields of work, of the text itself.
The top story on the Radio Sheffield breakfast programme yesterday morning (October 3rd) was to do with the launch of a support group for parents being abused by their children in the Sheffield area. Toby Foster gave a very sympathetic hearing to “Anne”, who established the group to reach out to parents in the same position as herself. She has a son, now 14, who has been violent towards first his sister and then herself and others since he was 7 years old. He now has a diagnosis of Aspergers, but Anne stressed that violence to parents was not only perpetrated by young people with health issues. Continue reading
I was interested to be sent this fact sheet recently, by Heather Nancarrow, Director of the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research, CQ University. The leaflet was produced to support parents who might be experiencing abuse from their children, with clear outlines of what counts as abusive behaviour, recognising how parents may be feelings and reminding them of their right to live free of abuse and violence. It is distributed (among other places) to police stations, one of the key places parents may first seek help. The addresses and contact details are of course only relevant to Australia, but the information given is useful to all; and the layout and presentation very attention grabbing.
It was one such leaflet that prompted this article in the Gladstone Observer, on May 31st.
The reporter took the opportunity to interview a police officer and a youth worker involved in supporting parents, as well as Nancarrow. Parents are urged to start disciplining their children early, recognise the signs of parent abuse, and to come forward for help if necessary. The article is a little confused in its structure, but its good to see the issue of child to parent violence receiving attention and recognition in the media again.