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
Returning to the topic of themes that emerged from the recent conference on domestic violence by children against parents, in Nottingham, I’d like to look at 2 more ideas that caught my attention.
Launching the conference, Jo Sharpen, from AVA, described it as very timely, and indeed, throughout the day, speakers referred to a series of events that support our focus on the issue of child to parent violence at this time. The changed definition of domestic violence in England and Wales (with the publication of the Home Office Guidance to which AVA contributed), was highlighted and declared helpful in recognising that under 18s could be abusive, though bringing parent abuse within the domestic violence umbrella was also considered problematic, because of the important differences between CPV and IPV and the potential criminalisation of young people (see my earlier post for more details). March also saw the publication of the UK Government Action Plan: A call to end violence against women and girls, and the launch of the EVAWGUK policy. Though parent abuse is sadly still not specifically mentioned, it does offer opportunities to discuss the issue more widely. Continue reading
In my last post I referred to the emergence of a number of themes through the day as we met last week in Nottingham. I want to return to one of these now, namely the issues around conceptualising child to parent violence as domestic violence.
This is something that has been covered by a number of people in the past (e.g. Holt or Hunter, Nixon and Parr), but it keeps re-emerging for a number of reasons. Firstly, much of the work being developed in Britain at the moment is taking place within agencies also dealing with adult intimate partner violence, forcing the issue as adjustments are made to approaches or expectations. Secondly, the change in definition of domestic violence within Britain to include perpetrators aged 16 upwards, has been hailed by some as a positive move, allowing the open discussion of the topic in a new way, and the recognition within policy of the reality of parent abuse. Continue reading