I am pleased to bring you this post from Neil Blacklock, Development Director at Respect, who has been following recent developments in Northumbria.
In November 2015, in Northumbria a mother was murdered by her 16-year son. The resulting Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) reported that safeguarding structures designed to identify and protect victims of domestic abuse were not attuned to pick up and respond to Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA) and that agencies had not fully understood the risk that her son posed. Continue reading
The 10th Respect National Practitioners Seminar took place in London last week.
In the morning we were treated to an excellent presentation from Carlene Firmin on her research into peer on peer abuse. Unlike the other presentations, Carlene’s will not be available on the Respect website as the research is still ongoing, but much of her work can be found on her own website, MsUnderstood. There were many points at which she could have been talking about child to parent violence – so many cross overs. I will have to give this some more thought, but to be going on with:
- Peer on peer abuse straddles many different concepts and fields and so remains hidden.
- The importance and power of friendship groups as young people move into adolescence.
- The offer of parenting programmes because that is what is available rather than making a proper assessment of need.
- The problems that arise when violence becomes normalised.
- Limitations to changing individuals without wider social change.
- Issues around child protection and safeguarding.
The overall tone was optimistic however. As we learn more we have more opportunities to intervene earlier. Continue reading
The Respect Young People’s Programme (RYPP) has been running for just over a year now, and so it seemed like a good time to catch up with the director of the programme to hear how it’s been going. RYPP is an intervention for 10-16 year olds and their parents where the young person has used violence or aggressive behaviour towards a parent. Many thanks to Neil Blacklock of Respect, who has written this End of Year Report, with especial attention to lessons learnt. I was particularly interested to read about the management and organisational lessons, as this is an area which we do not address so often. 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