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
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
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
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
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
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
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
… When you do or think something and suddenly everyone else is doing the same? Well it’s been that sort of day!
Following the presentation of the key findings and recommendations on Thursday, Professor David Gadd of Manchester University received coverage across a number of radio stations for the From Boys to Men Project, which examined why some young men go on to become perpetrators of domestic abuse, and what can be done to prevent this. The research found strong correlations with past experience of domestic violence in the home, but David Gadd made it clear that this did not amount to causation. The authors of the research call for the development of preventative work in schools, with work on violence and abuse included in sex and relationship education. Continue reading
When I undertook my Masters study in 2004 – 6, one of the people I interviewed was a police officer, who described his sense of frustration at the difficulties in responding to incidents where parent abuse could be clearly identified. Pretty much everything I had read online or in the literature had suggested that the police hadn’t a clue, sided with the young person, maybe arrested the parent and certainly had nothing useful to offer; so it was interesting to sit down with someone and hear the other side. He identified a system of adhoc responses depending on the awareness of the individual officer, and then nothing concrete to offer, nowhere to refer on to as there was no agency taking responsibility for meeting the needs of families where children’s violence to parents was an issue. Continue reading