Time to Act on DV Family Harm

Family harm is not just about physical abuse

The latest information and report into domestic violence is yet another one that will have many crying out ” but what difference will it make”.

The problem is that across the U.K. the police in spite of previous reports continue to be deluged with domestic violence incidents.

The question is should we now start talking more about family harm incidents rather than a more narrow domestic violence definition.

The reality is that family harm has morphed from what we called domestic violence or even further back in time domestic violence disputes.

Family harm can be anything from verbal argument to a full on physical altercation. 

We know that almost all family harm incidents the police are called to are not the first to have occurred inside that family home. 

Police generally get called when things have reached a crisis point and where, in a lot of cases, if cannot be dealt with between the parties.

It is also true to say that the police are finding more and more children are calling them as they feel concerned about the developing situation between the adults in the family surrounds. 

Adults behaving badly in front of their children, to the point where the child feels the need to call the police, is something as a community we need to all be concerned about.

We know children learn good and bad from their parents or carers.

Imagine being a child and seeing your parent(s) or carers arguing and or having a full on physical fight.

Imagine how scary that must be for a child.

What follow is even scarier as that child grows up thinking that is how life is, and the next generation of an abuser in a family is born.

This needs to stop, and only adults can make it happen.

Adults behaving badly front of children need to consider and examine their actions.

Their behaviour needs to stop, and very quickly.

Imagine how a child feels seeing police coming into the family home and maybe taking the aggressor off to the cells.

If the child is the caller to police in the first instance, they will be blaming themselves for making the call of that I have no doubt.

If there is a need to have a family disagreement sorted the sorting out must not occur in front of or within hearing of a child. That is an absolute given.

One thing I am absolutely certain about is that when abuse and violence is going on inside a home where there are young people or children of any age, they are most definitely looking and listening. 

They may not say much but they are taking in everything that is going on.

Only time will tell how what they see and hear affects them in the long term.

Adults must learn to act like adults in front of children or young people when the disagree over something and not display or carry out acts of aggression, especially when there are child witnesses.

So let’s accept the latest report but only and I stress only if it is going to lead to the implementation of policies that are effective in protecting children from family harm.