A new report, commissioned by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Office and written by Respect, calls on the government to create a national policy for addressing child and adolescent to parent violence and abuse (CAPVA), which would provide guidance to agencies, services and practitioners supporting families experiencing this form of family abuse.

In recent years, the body of work around CAPVA has grown, but it’s still relatively unacknowledged and under-researched. The report, a literature review conducted by CAPVA specialists Dr Victoria Baker and Helen Bonnick, was created to give policy makers and practitioners an overview of the subject and its main issues, along with the current approaches taken to intervention and the gaps in the evidence base.

The review identifies key recommendations for where future research efforts and funding should be directed to fill gaps in knowledge and to improve policy and practice in this area. 

Among these is a key recommendation that the government create a national CAPVA policy to guide work in this area. This should be developed by a panel of research and practice experts, representatives from statutory agencies, and families with experience of the issue. The report goes on to say that, to increase the profile of CAPVA and to ensure it connects into policy development across government, the issue should be fully integrated within the national VAWG strategy

Another key recommendation is for a Home Office-led consultation to establish a nationally-agreed term for, and definition of CAPVA. This would provide a “common language” for the term, enabling professionals to identify and monitor cases more easily, and helping families access the support they need. The report recommends that this be addressed as quickly as possible, and notes that the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Office should be resourced to coordinate the consultation process.

Read the full report and recommendations here, and the executive summary here.

Respect is a registered charity in England and Wales, number 1141636, in Scotland, number SC051284 and a company, number 7582438. Registered address: Hubhub, 20 Farringdon St, London EC4A 4AB
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