Tag Archives: APV

Familial IDVAs

IDVAs (Independent domestic violence advisors) are front line practitioners with specialist training in delivering practical and emotional support to victims of domestic abuse, and their children. While the vast majority of clients will have experienced violence and abuse from a partner or ex-partner, a small percentage of the work involves what is termed “familial violence”, and I was pleased to be able to speak with 2 Familial IDVAs recently to hear more about what they are able to offer.

Patience and Susie are based in the Stronger Communities Directorate for Southampton. Theirs is an ‘adult service’ and so they support a range of individuals where there has been what they term COPA (child on parent abuse), POCA (parent on child abuse), sibling abuse, or abuse to grandparents, as well as honour-based abuse; all where the perpetrator is over 16 years of age. Those using harmful behaviour are mostly male, and a mix of adolescents and men in their 30s and 40s, with the vast majority of the work involving abuse from men to their mothers. There is often a link with intimate partner violence, in that the perpetrators ‘ping-pong’ between the homes of their partner and their parent. They work with an average of 75 – 100 high risk cases a year referred through the MASH (multi-agency safeguarding hub), using tools from their IDVA training, and from specialist adolescent to parent violence (APV) training, in their case provided by AVA.

While some of the skills are transferable, there are very different dynamics with APV and so it is important to have this broader understanding and perspective. 

Familial IDVA work is short term – around 4 months though sometimes longer – and involves the offer of emotional support, risk assessment and safety planning, and then referral on to a more appropriate service. It is notable that issues of love and guilt are frequent themes which come up in the emotional support work, and the victim will often be concerned to find help for their child and to enable them to remain safe together. The work is solely with the adult victim, but ideally they would work in conjunction with others offering a service to the perpetrator, and there is frustration that this is not always possible or available. If the adult victim is not identified as vulnerable in their own right, or the young person is similarly not considered vulnerable, then it can be difficult to access support from Children’s or Adults’ Social Care for instance.

Despite these frustrations however, both Patience and Susie reported tangible benefits which are experienced by those they support. For many, them “just being there” no matter what, being non-judgemental, and listening helps victims to keep going, to remain safe, and to develop greater self-confidence. They recognise the privilege of being allowed into people’s lives and are keen to emphasise the importance of viewing the victims as the experts in their situation – rather than rushing in with ideas and suggestions. So they seek to help their clients find their own solutions, reflecting on what has already been tried, rather than suggesting lots of new things themselves. 

Is this a role that could be rolled out more widely?

It is often said that our understanding of children’s violence towards their parents lags a long way behind that of intimate partner abuse, and yet we have seen a tremendous increase in interest and awareness over the last 10 – 15 years. Many things work together to discourage those experiencing CPV from coming forward for help – the stigma, lack of awareness, poor resource provision, but the situation is improving and we will undoubtedly see a rise in the demand for help. In an ideal world we would see a range of services to meet the needs of many different family configurations and situations, with expertise spread evenly around the country and throughout different sectors. In the meantime, it is encouraging to see a growing and widening appreciation of the pain and harm caused through CPV, and an increasing group of practitioners trained to provide a service within their field of work.    

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Two new films from the APV project

The APV (Adolescent to Parent Violence Project) website has two new films on the home page, which were created to publicise and promote the research project and findings from Rachel Condry and Caroline Miles.

The first, Investigating Adolescent Violence towards Parents, charts the journey of the three year project from inception to publication of the Information Guide in conjunction with the Home Office. The second, Designing in Impact, looks at the importance of having an end goal from day one.




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A problem the size of Wales

Two eagerly awaited (by me) reports were published last week, coincidentally, both examining the issue of children’s violence to parents as experienced in Wales.

Beyond the Adoption Order (Wales): Discord and disruption in adoptive families, by Professor Julie Selwyn and Dr Sarah Meakings at the University of Bristol, is an important follow up to the report on adoption disruption in England last year. Very similar findings to the England report were found. All cases of disruption included APV,  typically emerging around the age of 13 years. Experiences of support from agencies, family and friends are examined throughout the process. Extensive recommendations are included at the end. Since the time of the report, Wales has established a National Adoption Service. Continue reading

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Information Guide: Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse

The second of two launch days for the Interim Information Guide: Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse took place in London on Monday. (The first was in Manchester last week.) Despite the short notice, brought about by looming general election clogging up the works of the Home Office, there was an excited and positive response both days from the 100+ delegates from across management, commissioning and frontline services. Continue reading

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Parent abuse: looking back, looking forward

It is the traditional time for looking back – and looking forward – a time when many of us reassess our hopes and dreams, and make new plans for the future. I recently wrote a guest blog for the Oxford APV website, looking back over the last ten years of work in this field. I don’t want to rehash what I wrote there – go take a look – but here are some more musings and a bit more detail to some earlier hints for the direction of my work in the coming months. Continue reading

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Parent abuse: Looking back over the last ten years.

The folks at the Adolescent to Parent Violence project based in Oxford, which reported in 2013, have recently been having an overhaul of their website. The plan is to feature regular guest bloggers and I was privileged to be asked to write the first post. You can see catch it here: Looking back over 10 years of work in the field of Parent Abuse.

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Leeds Practitioners’ Forum on Child-to-Parent Violence

I was very disappointed not to be able to attend the Practitioners’ Forum at Leeds University, but thrilled to present this review of the day from Dr Sam Lewis, which also gives links to all the presentations.

On 15th July a Practitioners’ Forum on Child-to-Parent Violence (CPV) was held in the School of Law at the University of Leeds. The event, which was organised by the University’s Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS), Leeds Youth Offending Services (YOS) and Wakefield Troubled Families Scheme, attracted over 100 delegates from different agencies and areas. Continue reading

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The Respect Young People’s Programme: one year in.

The Respect Young People’s Programme (RYPP) has been running for just over a year now, and so it seemed like a good time to catch up with the director of the programme to hear how it’s been going. RYPP is an intervention for 10-16 year olds and their parents where the young person has used violence or aggressive behaviour towards a parent. Many thanks to Neil Blacklock of Respect, who has written this End of Year Report, with especial attention to lessons learnt. I was particularly interested to read about the management and organisational lessons, as this is an area which we do not address so often.  Continue reading

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Adolescent Violence to Parents Conference report

The Adolescent Violence to Parents (APV) conference held this week (September 23rd 2013) in Oxford was an important landmark in terms of knowledge and understanding, as the findings of the three year ESRC-funded research led by Rachel Condry and Caroline Miles were presented to a packed audience of over 130 people.

This represented the first large scale analysis of police data on APV in the UK, looking at all cases reported to the Metropolitan Police, and defined as constituting a criminal offence, between April 2009 and March 2010 (n=1892). The research looked at victim, offender and incident characteristics and then considered how adolescent violence to parents should be understood and addressed within the field of criminology in the future. Continue reading

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New Adolescent Violence to Parents website goes live

I was really thrilled this week to see the new website from Rachel Condry and Caroline Miles at Oxford University.

This website has been developed from the ESRC-funded research project ‘investigating Adolescent Violence towards Parents’ based in the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. The site shares findings from the project and draws together knowledge and experience of APV from research, policy and practice. 

As well as disseminating the research findings, the site will provide an important place to link to the forthcoming book from the research.

Practitioners and researchers will be meeting together in Oxford on September 23rd for the release of the research project findings. I look forward to attending and posting more news from this important gathering.

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