I have recently come across the following resources, that may be of interest or use in work with parent abuse.
With Meerkat Brain, Jane Evans offers an easily digestible explanation of the neuroscience of why individuals are not always able to respond to instruction or reproof, and why traumatised children will need particular understanding and care. This is one of a number of similar models of brain operation, but one that people are reporting to be especially helpful.
Secondly, This video will change you in exactly 60 seconds, from BVC Network with thanks to Laurie Reid who brought it to my attention. Clearly there are many influences in a child’s life and no straightforward causal link between parent and child opinions or behaviour, but anyone who has watched a child teetering on high heels, following round with a dustpan and brush, or picking up a briefcase to head off “to work”, will attest to the power of imitation. Furthermore, previous exposure to, or the witnessing of, domestic violence is known to be the most frequent single issue in the background of families where children are violent to parents.
I’ll take the opportunity to link again to an animation from AVITH, which gives a very accessible overview of adolescent violence in the home for use with parents particularly, but would be helpful for anyone wanting to learn more. The film was made for use in Australia so the final advice may not be directly applicable to other situations. You can download it on the front page of the website.
Please do comment with other video resources which you have found and would like to share as useful in thinking about parent abuse or adolescent violence in the home.
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
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.
Filed under Discussion, Film
There’s been a bit of a theme going on it seems lately about shame.
Today I have been re-reading Lynette Robinson’s Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Report, Interventions and Restorative Responses to Address Teen Violence Against Parents, and the accompanying comments by Terry O’Connell, Director of Real Justice (both available here) Lynette writes about the high level of shame experienced not just by the parents throughout their experiences, but also by the young people regarding their behaviour, and the difficulties of moving on from this position if we do not give people the tools to work with. Continue reading