The Home Office has launched a Call for Evidence to help inform the development of the next Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy for England and Wales (2021 – 2024). The consultation runs for 10 weeks, closing on 19th February 2021. This will be the third iteration of the VAWG strategy, and although the first 2 have included mention of child and adolescent to parent violence, the content and resulting action has been disappointingly little so far. (See more in my blog posts about this here and here.)
There is a move to consider Domestic Abuse crimes specifically and separately in a consultation to follow Royal Assent of the Domestic Abuse Bill next year. However, it is recognised that this will also be included within the VAWG strategy. Views are sought from those with lived experience of, or views on crimes considered as violence against women and girls. This includes those involved in research, in preventative work, or in the development of and provision of services. The government is particularly interested to hear from those who feel under-represented in previous strategies, or whose needs are not currently supported.
This will be an excellent opportunity to attract further attention to the issue of child and adolescent to parent violence at higher strategic level, so please do consider taking part. While we would want to divert young people from the criminal justice system in terms of response, there are many instances where actions might be considered crimes, and parents choose to involved the police for their own safety and that of their young person. It is currently through police data that we are building a picture of the range and prevalence of behaviour; and with ongoing work training police in recognising and responding to C/APV it is arguably even more important that it gains greater recognition at government level.
There are a number of ways to submit evidence, which are all outlined on the relevant Government website pages, but the easiest way is to complete the public survey.
The Home Office published its latest VAWG Strategy papers this week, with the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls 2016 – 2020 Strategy Refresh, and the Ending Violence against Women and Girls Action Plan 2016 – 2020 Progress Update. Once again, I was disappointed to see that there was no mention of children’s and adolescent’s violence and abuse towards their parents, though not entirely surprised since it is has not featured as a specific issue since 2014, and only one line mention in 2016. The irony is that, at a local level, many areas are now developing their own strategic response; but by omitting this aspect of violence and abuse from central government documents – and thinking – it remains invisible, unconsidered, and unimaginable for too many people. Continue reading
Last week, on International Women’s Day, the Government published their revised VAWG strategy, Ending Violence against Women and Girls, to run from 2016 to 2020. Much trumpeted by the government, the strategy was also met with approval by crucial organisations such as Women’s Aid and Safe Lives.
With the input of £80 million, a focus on early intervention and prevention services, improvements in commissioning services with a National Statement of Expectations, and addressing the behaviour of perpetrators, it seems a little churlish to be writing anything negative. Nevertheless, we must remember that this comes against a background of savage cuts to services over the course of this government, which has seen closures in refuges across the country, with the loss of support for women which must be made good before any real gains can be claimed. Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham and shadow minister for preventing abuse and domestic violence writes in the Huffington Post that warm words are simply not enough. Continue reading
The revised edition of the Home Office’s ‘A Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls’ Action Plan (2014) has just been published and now includes specific references to child to parent violence, with two actions (reference 63 and 139) ‘Develop and disseminate information for practitioners working with children and families on how to identify and address the risks posed by adolescent to parent violence’. These are new and fall within the joint remit of the Home Office and Youth Justice Board, to be addressed by December 2014 and April 2015 respectively. Continue reading
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