On 18th and 23rd March 2015, the University of Oxford and Home Office launched an information guide for service managers and practitioners on how to respond to adolescent to parent violence and abuse. This effectively concluded an 18 month journey which involved working closely with Government departments, and representatives from both the academic community and 3rd sector.
In September 2013, Rachel Condry and Caroline Miles presented their findings of their 3 year research project into adolescent to parent violence at St Hilda’s College. Many practitioners attended, and I was invited as the policy lead for domestic abuse at the Youth Justice Board. During the course of the day, practitioners welcomed the findings and the evidence base that the study provided, but repeatedly called for guidance to be issued by central Government on how to respond to this complex issue.
As policy lead at the Youth Justice Board, I made a commitment to taking this request forward. Consequently, in November 2013, I chaired a meeting in London between the YJB, the Home Office, and leading academics and representatives from the 3rd sector including AVA (Against Violence and Abuse), and Respect. We met to discuss potential ideas and agreed that we would pull together an information guide for front line practitioners and service managers on how to respond to APVA. We wanted to ensure that the advice was sector-specific and as hands-on as possible. We therefore needed to ensure that the right people were sat around the table. Eventually, the group grew in size and we had representatives from the College of Policing, Department of Health, Department of Education, Home Office, Youth Justice Board, and Housing. We also invited leading academics in this area, including Dr Rachel Condry, Dr Caroline Miles, Dr Amanda Holt and Dr Paula Wilcox. It was also important that the 3rd sector had an input into the document. As a result, Helen Bonnick of Holes in the Wall, Joanna Sharpen from AVA, Julia Worms from Respect UK and Gudrun Burnet from Peabody Trust provided an invaluable input and perspective.
As the group and its remit grew, it became apparent that the YJB should no longer be the lead agency in this work. They had played a crucial role in kick-starting the work; but the Home Office as policy lead for domestic abuse needed to take the project over. Therefore, in 2014, the Home Office agreed to include an objective relating to APVA in the Violence Against Women and Girls Action Plan https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181088/vawg-action-plan-2013.pdf and committed to leading on the production of the information guide.
Since this time, I have left the YJB, and commenced working for the University of Oxford as a knowledge exchange officer to see the project through to its conclusion. We have continued to work very closely with the Home Office and other partners to produce the document. Following months of hard work, and around 25 re-drafts, we are finally here!! Attending the launch events, and receiving extremely positive feedback about the Information Guide from professionals has made all the hard work worthwhile. Then finally seeing the document published on the Home Office website at the end of March was a great moment.
To see the APVA Information Guide, click here: