Tag Archives: domestic abuse

Understanding CAPVA: a rapid literature review

Last week saw the launch of a report commissioned by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Office and produced by Respect, Understanding CAPVA – a rapid literature review of child and adolescent to parent violence and abuse (CAPVA). I was privileged to co-author the report with Dr Vicky Baker, who recently completed her PhD at UCLan, exploring young people’s accounts of using violence and abuse towards parents.

One of the purposes of the review was very explicitly to identify gaps in knowledge and provision, with a view to exploring how these needs should and could be met. The report is in two parts, looking first at our understanding of the issue – what we know, what CAPVA looks like, who it effects and some of the theories about how it comes about; and then in part 2, how it is addressed. Finally there are a significant number of recommendations made, both in terms of further research and, importantly, in the way it is gripped by government in departmental oversight, funding and provision.

The recommendations section is not insignificant! In some ways it’s frustrating to think we are still here in making some of the requests after so many years of pressure and campaigning. For instance, the call for a nationally agreed terminology and the proper collection of data seem to have been around for ever. Recommendations about the type of response needed though are becoming more refined as we learn more and have opportunities to work with colleagues to examine how we can work together and what this should look like and include.

One recommendation covers the importance of updating the Home Office Guidance which was originally written and published in 2015. Thankfully this is now well underway and we look forward to seeing the final document (in the next year?)

Obviously I commend the report to you! It is hopefully easy to read, despite covering so much ground in significant detail. It should be of interest particularly to commissioners and policy makers, as well as those within central government whose remit covers any aspect of family life; but the overview of the literature on this topic makes it an important summary for all involved in supporting families, whether in management or on the frontline.

The full report is here.

The Executive Summary is here.

You can read Vicky Baker’s PhD thesis here.

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In July, the Government published the draft statutory guidance on Domestic Abuse with a consultation period ending on 14th September 2021.

The key objectives of the guidance are to:

  • provide clear information on what domestic abuse is in order to assist with its identification
  • provide guidance and support to frontline professionals, who have responsibilities for safeguarding and supporting victims of domestic abuse, for example through outlining relevant strategic and operational frameworks
  • improve the institutional response to domestic abuse by conveying best practice and standards for commissioning responses

The guidance extends to England and to Wales insofar as it relates to reserved or non-devolved matters in Wales. 

You will find links to various versions of the draft guidance and information on how to submit a response. 

Child/adolescent to parent violence is specifically mentioned on pages 20 – 23, including an illustrative case study; and there is discussion about age on page 36, the impact on a child of living with domestic abuse from page 59; and chapter 5 deals with multi-agency cooperation. However, there is real value in reading the whole document, with a recognition of the many different vulnerabilities experienced by families, and multiple points of discrimination and stigma. 

Whether or not CPV should be considered as a form of DA remains a contentious issue, but, nevertheless, it is contained within the Act and strong arguments have been made regarding the connections with DA. So regardless of whether you feel this is the right place for a response to be sited, please do take the time to read the draft guidance and consider whether there are comments you can usefully make to improve the document – and policy and practice – as it stands. 

Thank you!

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A response to the proposed changes to Domestic Abuse legislation in Britain

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

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Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: HM Government Consultation

The UK Government is consulting on proposed changes to the law on domestic abuse. The consultation runs from March 8th to May 31st, 2018, and you can access the consultation documents, published by the Home Office here. As well as the full version, a shorter document can also be viewed. Continue reading

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Domestic Abuse: Responding to the #WholeFamily

I was privileged to be asked to speak at the DVCN conference, organised by Standing Together, this Tuesday in London, opening up the issue of child to parent violence to an audience very familiar with the issue itself, but not necessarily aware of the range of circumstances in which children and young people might exhibit abusive behaviour, or the types of help available. It felt particularly apt to be talking about the Mapping Project, when an analysis of the findings so far has shown that domestic abuse agencies are the most likely to be offering support programmes to families. Indeed a number of the conference delegates were from agencies offering specialist work, or from parts of the country where work is already established. This represents quite a movement from a previous focus on adult perpetrators, which had the effect of making the issue of violence from children even more invisible. Continue reading

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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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A brighter future for families experiencing child to parent violence

Continuing a mini series of interviews about different projects around the country, I have been speaking with Sian Taylor at Wish for a Brighter Future in Bristol.

Wish header

 

Wish for a Brighter Future (WISH) has been in operation since 2003, when a small group of Hartcliffe residents identified a need to provide domestic abuse support in their community. WISH worked for many years supporting men, women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse (DVA) within the local community before developing their parent abuse project. They found their understanding and experience of DVA were vital in making the transition from domestic to parent abuse support. While the original expectation was that the work would be with young people, delivering domestic abuse prevention work through education and group work support – and the funding* supported this plan – once the doors opened the organisation was inundated with referrals for parent abuse, and for the last year this has been the sole focus of the work. Continue reading

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The Fast TRaC programme as a response to parent abuse

I was interested to meet Emily Alison at the recent CAADA conference where she was delivering a seminar on the new Fast TRaC programme she has developed for Trafford YOS, working with young people using violence to parents.

Emily has significant experience both in Britain and in USA in the probation services and in developing work around domestic abuse and violent offending. Her original Healthy Relationships Programme came about to fill a gap in preventative work for young people who had witnessed DA, following a realisation that teens were taking on the abusive behaviour once the perpetrator had left the household. Designed to build resilience and coping mechanisms, and to offer alternative models of thinking and behaviour, there is also the recognition that young people can not always wait until the experience of domestic violence is removed from their lives before receiving support; and that early intervention can help prevent patterns of violence transmitting to the next generation. The Healthy Relationships package has now been running for over 10 years, and the programmes are used by over 40 agencies in the north west of England, particularly within the education sector. Continue reading

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Safeguarding children exposed to domestic abuse

I spent yesterday at the Community Care Live 2014 conference and attended a very interesting presentation from CAADA (Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse): Safeguarding children and young people exposed to and experiencing domestic abuse. Continue reading

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Parent abuse coverage during the international week to end violence against women

BBC Radio Northants provided a comprehensive backdrop to the NADA (Northamptonshire Against Domestic Abuse) Domestic Abuse Conference which took place in Kettering on Wednesday 27th November, during this International End Violence Against Women week. Stuart Linnell used his breakfast show to introduce the issue of parent abuse and to interview parents as well as keynote speakers at the conference. You can listen again here for the next few days. Continue reading

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