I have written in the past about work taking place in the state of Victoria, Australia, both in terms of research and government policy. You can read about the work the Adolescent Family Violence Research team here, and the 2016 Royal Commission on Family Violence here. (Although set up specifically by the Victorian government, there was a hope that relevant measures might be adopted more fully by the federal government.)
It was very encouraging last week to see the press release from the Victorian government concerning the announcement of $1.35 million over 2 years to strengthen work addressing the reduction of adolescent violence in the home. This will go towards programmes across three sites, which seek to access help for young people in areas of their lives impacting on the use of violence; in strengthening family communication and relationships; and crucially, intervening early to offer help before violence is entrenched and serious. The funding announcement has been welcomed by groups such as that in Geelong, which runs the Step-Up, Building Healthy Relationships programme, and which last year offered support to 96 families.
Where governments understand the issues there is real hope for funding and change. Sadly, this is not the case everywhere, and continuous budget cuts (for instance in the UK) not only slow down the development of support services, but also risk decimating what early help there is.
I am often asked how I come across the news, articles and publications that I tweet and blog about, in relation to child to parent violence (CPV). My original rationale for this site was along the lines of “I do it so you don’t have to”, but of course things are never that straight forward, and the truth is much more like “we do this together”. But here goes: Continue reading
“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
This article was originally published on the Australian Government website: Australian Institute of Family Studies, Child and Family Community Australia on December 8th 2015.
Jo Howard describes the issue of adolescent violence in the home, and how it differs to adult family violence.
Adolescent violence in the home has many similarities to family violence, but there are some key differences.
Adolescents who abuse their parents use similar strategies to violent men to gain control and power. They often coerce, threaten and intimidate, destroy property and possessions and physically assault their parents. Global research indicates most victims are mothers and most offenders are males – a gendered presentation similar to adult family violence (Howard 2011). However, female adolescents are also offenders and fathers and other family relatives may be victims. Continue reading
News in Britain this week of the appointment of Seema Malhotra as shadow minister to tackle violence against women and girls, is presented as demonstrating a growing commitment in this country to combatting both domestic violence and related issues. At the same time, we have seen the launch of the No More Deaths campaign to put family violence at the top of the state election agenda in Victoria, Australia, where it is recognised that women and families have been failed over and over again by prevailing attitudes and culture, themselves embedded in official responses. (also here) Continue reading
I have recently come across the following resources, that may be of interest or use in work with parent abuse.
With Meerkat Brain, Jane Evans offers an easily digestible explanation of the neuroscience of why individuals are not always able to respond to instruction or reproof, and why traumatised children will need particular understanding and care. This is one of a number of similar models of brain operation, but one that people are reporting to be especially helpful.
Secondly, This video will change you in exactly 60 seconds, from BVC Network with thanks to Laurie Reid who brought it to my attention. Clearly there are many influences in a child’s life and no straightforward causal link between parent and child opinions or behaviour, but anyone who has watched a child teetering on high heels, following round with a dustpan and brush, or picking up a briefcase to head off “to work”, will attest to the power of imitation. Furthermore, previous exposure to, or the witnessing of, domestic violence is known to be the most frequent single issue in the background of families where children are violent to parents.
I’ll take the opportunity to link again to an animation from AVITH, which gives a very accessible overview of adolescent violence in the home for use with parents particularly, but would be helpful for anyone wanting to learn more. The film was made for use in Australia so the final advice may not be directly applicable to other situations. You can download it on the front page of the website.
Please do comment with other video resources which you have found and would like to share as useful in thinking about parent abuse or adolescent violence in the home.