In the Daily Mail newspaper was a news article about Child to Parent Violence to many this may sound shocking, but it is actually a very common problem Since about 2007 I have focused heavily on supporting parents and families with challenging teens and sometimes younger children that are violent to their parents. In many cases the families are single parent families where the mother has experienced prior domestic abuse, and now they have a child behaving in a similar way. In 2015 I attended a pan-European two day conference in Brighton looking at the latest research on this topic and the research in tackling this issue, the conference also looked at how widespread it is and how under reported it is.
This is an issue that needs addressing more than it is being addressed currently. There are changes to the law which will make anyone over 10 years old able to be prosecuted for domestic abuse. This may well lead to many children entering the criminal justice system for their violence and control of their parent. What I would like to see is more out there to help these families, to hopefully prevent these children being criminalized by helping them stopped doing the behaviour they are doing and helping parents manage the behaviour and turn things around at home.
There are a few good and effective parenting/family programmes out there which can help, but these don’t run wide enough and don’t get enough funding or staffing to run often enough. The best ones are a Non Violent Resistance Parenting course running that addresses Child to Parent Violence, and Break 4 Change which started in Brighton and the original course and variations of it now run around the country. These courses have now also started to roll out through Europe. Break 4 Change is the course I run. The version I run is based on the Brighton version but has been tweaked based on learning from all the times we have ran it since 2012. It has parents and the main focus child on the course together, they are in separate rooms, there is a room for the children and one for the parents, and they have a video dialogue and both groups address the home issues. Hopefully there will be more support available for families in thus situation in the future to help the children, who are still children in need of help and support regardless of what they are doing, and support for parents. What are your thoughts on this, and on children being able to be prosecuted for domestic abuse?