Tag Archives: domestic violence

“My Violent Child”

In February this year, I wrote about a meeting I had had with Nick Poyntz, from Popkorn TV, to discuss ideas about a forthcoming documentary dealing with child to parent violence. I am pleased to say that this programme has been made and is to be aired on Channel 5 at 9pm, Wednesday 18th June, My Violent Child. Continue reading

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“The family unit is supposed to be a safe place”

Mapping support for parents

News at last about the mapping project I have been talking about for ages!

A group of interested people is now meeting regularly to try to get his moving. We aim to produce some sort of directory of all the services across the country supporting families experiencing child to parent violence, by the end of the year. It is not clear at this point what form this will take or who will be able to access it initially, but this is huge progress. Between us we know of a considerable number of projects and services working with parent abuse across the country, but no doubt there are many we are missing. It would be great to make this as comprehensive as possible. If you know of services in your area, or indeed elsewhere, please do email me via the Contact page. Thanks. Continue reading

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Understanding trauma as a precursor to parent abuse

Reading around, and attending conferences recently, I have been impressed with the work of practitioners in the area of early childhood trauma, such as Jane Evans and Kate Cairns. Understanding of the physiological impact of stress, fear and uncertainty makes sense of children’s later behaviour, when apparently innocuous events can trigger responses which may not even be understood by the child themselves. This is particularly pertinent to the field of parent abuse where it has been suggested that almost half of abusing young people have experienced domestic violence in their past or current home life.

Watching film such as this, makes it all the more real. Originally made to raise awareness in the training of foster parents, ReMoved shows the devastating emotional impact on children of living with domestic violence.

ReMoved stands as a powerful and eloquent call for early intervention to enable children to be safe, and to come to terms with their experiences.

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Early Intervention Foundation report into the impact of Domestic Violence

The importance of intervening early on to support families experiencing domestic violence was underlined again last week with the launch of the report from the Early Intervention Foundation, Domestic Violence and Abuse, which considers the impact on children of witnessing such violence. It’s hard to believe that we once minimised the harm of such experience, provided children were in another room at the time. The children themselves could have told a different story of course. While recognising that progression from witness to perpetrator is far from inevitable, the report warns of the dangers of not intervening, and urges work to enable children to process their experiences and make more healthy relationships for themselves. Previous experience of domestic violence has been found in many studies to be strongly correlated with parent abuse, though by no means the only or greatest cause. Continue reading

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Parent Abuse: the victim / perpetrator problem

When I speak with people about children’s violence to parents, the question of terminology regularly raises its head: How helpful is it to talk about ‘victim’ and ‘perpetrator’ in cases of parent abuse? So this post has been in the making for some time, but was finally brought into being after I was sent a link to a piece in the Sheffield Star last week. It may be lacking a few references so please feel free to comment on this with links to relevant articles.

The news piece itself is very clear in identifying the 20 year old man as the perpetrator of violence, and the mother as the victim. We may agree or not that the judge overstepped the mark in his summing up; but read through to the comments stream and a dissenting voice emerges – as well as a reminder not to jump to conclusions without knowing all the circumstances. Continue reading

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Welcoming in a new era

As the new Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, takes up her post this month, it looks as if her appointment may herald positive moves within the parent abuse field.

As she drew near to the end of her term as London’s Chief Crown Prosecutor, Saunders spoke in an interview of the disturbing scale of abuse perpetuated by teens against their parents and seen in the courts, with news that more than 50 boys and girls aged 13 or under, and nearly 850 older juveniles have been prosecuted for domestic violence in the past three and a half years in London alone (includes parent abuse and teenage relationship abuse). This follows the publication of the findings of the Oxford University based research which found 1892 incidents of  violence in the home (including damage to property) by 13 – 19 year olds reported to the Metropolitan police between 2009 and 2010 (and here). Saunders was at pains to state that such abuse was not confined to one section of society, but drew attention to the issue of nurturing as linked to the apparent growing lack of respect within families. Continue reading

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That thing …

… 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

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Addressing parent abuse through Juvenile Family Courts in USA

This piece from the Orlando Sentinel on 4th October, reporting on responses to parent abuse following the death of Rosemary Pate at the hands of her son, has popped up a number of times in the last week, cross-posted in different places. It was good to see the topic of parent abuse getting a good airing after an earlier item appeared in the same paper in a couple of months ago (see my post of  24th August); and encouraging to see a call for early intervention to prevent abuse before it reaches this stage. 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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Silent Cries: a child’s account of living with violence

Amongst the many factors that have been identified with regard to children’s violence to parents, the experience of living with domestic violence has been found to have significant prominence. Yet the way this influences children’s behaviour is itself multi-layered and will vary from family to family.

The normalising of violence, anger and disdain for the parent who failed to protect themself or the children, “stepping up to the plate” once the abusive adult is no longer in the household – these are the links commonly cited, but we hear less of the child who fights back at the time in attempts to protect one parent from the other. A book, which I was sent this week, opens up this aspect of parent abuse, in what the Yorkshire Post described as “an intensely moving account” of domestic violence through the eyes of a child. Continue reading

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