Tag Archives: CPV

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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Compassion and responsibility

On Monday night the BBC aired Responsible Child, a drama, based on a true story, directed by Nick Holt. The programme had been heavily trailed, and so it is not offering too many spoilers to say that twelve year old Ray, the main character, is involved in the murder of his stepfather, and the story follows his trial in the adult court in the context of his early life. Children’s services and education do not come out of it particularly well. Rather the compassionate responses are those of the legal team and a particular member of staff at the secure unit where Ray finally ends up.

What we are shown is a deeply empathetic young man, trying to care for his mother and young siblings and devoted to his elder brother, his thoughts and concerns always for someone other than himself. We are encouraged to consider how much his previous experiences should determine our responses to him. Should he be in an adult court at all? How much did he really understand what he was doing? And how does our growing understanding of brain development – particularly the parts that govern thinking and reasoning, forward planning and impulse control – affect our thinking about this issue?

Why am I writing about this here, when the drama is so clearly not about a young person’s violence and abuse towards their parent in the way we have come to think about CPV?

  • Firstly, the most important challenge of the drama is about how we construct a young person’s understanding and intent, and that is a theme that does come up again and again within child to parent violence.
  • Next there is a reminder of the harm caused to children and young people living with domestic violence and abuse.
  • As we are encouraged to question whether the age of criminal responsibility in Britain is too low, it’s worth thinking about both of these in terms of the debate about lowering the age at which young people come within the Domestic Abuse legislation.
  • And finally a challenge to us all in the way we see and care for children and young people.

It’s nearly the end of the year, we’re all tired, I’m not going to unpack it any more than that now; just to thank everyone for your amazing commitment to the cause, and your insights and work throughout 2019. Many people are profoundly grateful to you!

 

If you are interested in reading further, Kathleen Heide has written extensively about children who kill their parents (here and here ), and Amanda Holt has more recently examined the overlap with child to parent violence, and with adult-child to parent violence and parricide. (here and here )

Responsible Child is available to view on iPlayer until 15th January 2020.

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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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CPV: Everyone knows someone affected (probably)

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a colleague about our separate work around child to parent violence (CPV). As we rounded things up, a third person, who had been listening in, asked if they might make a comment. They told of a friend’s difficulties with their child, and commented that they had not thought about it in these terms before. I wasn’t surprised. Almost without fail, when I talk about my interest and work, whether at a conference, a party, to someone I know or a complete stranger, someone will seek me out later – ask for my contact details, request a private conversation, or perhaps share their own experience there and then. Barbara Cottrell first recorded this same experience in her book, When Teens Abuse their Parents. I have heard of similar experiences when a media outlet has covered this or another aspect of family violence. Suddenly there is much to-ing and fro-ing in the corridors, as reporters or other staff find someone safe to disclose their concerns to. Continue reading

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CPV, starting to count at last!

On August 7th, The BBC published a story on their website – and also covered it on national and local radio – titled Domestic Violence: Child-parent abuse doubles in three years. The BBC piece is clear and succinct, with a straightforward laying out of the statistics, comments from Young Minds and the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), a brief case study concerning a parent of an 11 year old girl and the help received from the Getting On Scheme in Doncaster, and a short video highlighting the work of Break4Change in Brighton. The figures were obtained through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the police for the period 2015 – 2018, for records of adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA). Of 44 forces contacted, only 19 collect the data in a way that is able to separate out APVA specifically. Continue reading

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CPV: when it’s too shameful to speak the words …

Joining a growing library of leaflets and booklets designed to help parents understand and obtain help around child to parent violence, is a publication from South Tyneside Adults and Children Safeguarding Boards. Ranging from a simple one page leaflet, to more comprehensive booklets, these publications typically give information to parents and carers to help identify whether they might be experiencing abuse, explanations of why abuse might be taking place as well as steps they can take to minimise it, and local or national contact details. Continue reading

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CPV around the world: discussion and support.

I keep my eyes on a number of websites, discussion forums and journals, looking for content about child to parent violence. If you haven’t come across the website, Raising Devon, from Keri Williams, it’s well worth a look for information, comment and colour about living with children with conduct and attachment disorders in particular. Continue reading

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