The following is the definition of child to parent violence and abuse that we use on this website.
Child to parent violence and abuse is an abuse of power through which children & young people aged 18 years of age and younger coerces, controls or dominates others in the family. It is a pattern of harmful acts through which a child or adolescent gains power and control over family members through threats or use of physical, psychological and/or financial abuse/ violence. If parents/carers feel they must adapt their behaviour due to threats or abusive/ violent behaviour by a child or adolescent, then there is child to parent violence.
Background to the development of NVR in Ireland
While working as a social worker and family therapist with the community based Mater Misericordiae University Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in north Dublin, Declan Coogan adapted the Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) model (Omer 2004; Weinblatt & Omer 2008) in response to the needs of families and services in the mid-2000s, with the support of Haim Omer. Between 2013 and 2015, the EU co-funded Responding to Child to Parent Violence Project involved 5 nations exploring the problems of child to parent violence and developing research and interventions to respond to these problems. Based in the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, Declan Coogan and Eileen Lauster were the people who led this project in Ireland. Part of the work of this project involved providing a 2 day practitioner training programme for the adapted NVR model. This led to the emergence of community partnerships throughout the west of Ireland and the delivery of and research on the 2 day NVR training for practitioners programme in different parts of Ireland. Local practitioners joined with Declan and Eileen at NUI Galway in facilitating the first international conference in Ireland on “Responding to Child to Parent Violence – Innovations in Practice, Policy and Research” on 12-13 June 2013. The success of and interest in the conference led to the development of the Mid-West Responding to Child to Parent Violence Committee which included practitioners from a range of agencies working with children and families in the community and staff members from NUI Galway. Following the completion of the EU co-funded RCPV Project in 2015, Declan and Eileen continued to provide NVR training throughout Ireland and elsewhere in response to request for training from practitioners and researchers. At the same time, Declan, Eileen, Catrina Scalan, Tara Kelly, and others continued to promote NVR and develop professional networks supportive of NVR in Ireland and further afield.
As interest in the NVR model of intervention developed throughout Ireland, Declan, Eileen and experienced practitioners/ trainers (such as Rosemary Fox, Maurice McKoy, Alan Quinn, Tara Kelly, Catrina Scanlan, Marian O Dowd and Madeleine Connelly) developed a protocol whereby people who were interested could avail of training so that they could also provide training in NVR in response to local need. It was agreed that anyone recognised as an NVR trainer by this group would have attended the two day NVR training for practitioners, then implemented NVR in their work, then co-trained with an experienced NVR trainer on two separate occasions and would have access to other members of this group for support and consultation.
More information about the Steering Group of NVR Ireland can be obtained by contacting Declan or Eileen.