Tag Archives: Jane Evans

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 Originally made to raise awareness in the training of foster parents, ReMoved shows the devastating emotional impact on children of living with domestic violence.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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Parent abuse, news around the world

Florida State Senator, Geraldine Thompson, announced a bill this week to give protection to parents experiencing violence and abuse from their children. If passed, it would become the nation’s first parent abuse law. The bill, SB-904, Abuse of a Parent, which has already been filed would define parent abuse, make it a reportable crime and allow for criminal penalties. Homer Hartage, former County Commissioner and founder of the Parent Abuse Action Coalition has campaigned for better protection with the family of Rosemary Pate who was killed by her son in 2013. There is increasing awareness that this is not a small problem. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 1,645 parents in Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties were victimized by their children — physically or sexually — in 2012, the latest statistics available. There has some been concern aired that legislation and criminalisation will not better protect families on its own, but should be accompanied by therapeutic interventions such as treatment and counselling. You can read the news coverage here and here. Continue reading

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For shame

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

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