A Shropshire based social enterprise is shining a light on a formerly-hidden type of domestic abuse.
Michelle John – founding director of PEGS - began offering support to parents, carers and guardians experiencing Child to Parent Abuse just over two years ago, helping more than 2,000 individuals in that time.
The organisation has also trained frontline professionals across the UK (including police officers, charity volunteers, and social workers); consulted on the development of regional and national policy and frameworks; helped write the Home Office CPA guidance for the Domestic Abuse Bill document; launched a DWP-backed Employer Covenant; and raised awareness through print, radio, broadcast, digital and social media.
“CPA impacts at least 3% of UK households – probably more, yet the true prevalence and impact is unknown due to a history of under-reporting and lack of research. We now have dedicated researchers and campaigners who are helping to highlight the issue – but there is a long way to go before CPA is known about, and understood, on the same scale as intimate partner domestic abuse.
It has a profound impact on individuals, families, and society as a whole – with parents being verbally or physically attacked, some every single day; being forced to reduce their hours or give up work; experiencing financial abuse, coercion, control and even sexual abuse. Roughly every 19 days in England and Wales, a parent dies at the hands of their child.
We support any parent being impacted by CPA (regardless of the age of their child, including adult offspring), while working alongside other organisations who directly support the children. We always listen to, believe, and empower parents who share their experiences with us – providing safe spaces for them to share what’s going on behind closed doors.”
And PEGS is growing - they have just received a £300,000 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to support the growth of their work. The money will help PEGS to open a new hub, take on additional staff, and to support an increase in services such as calls, drop-ins, advocacy, workshops and programmes.
As part of their mission, PEGS is set to host the first-ever Child to Parent Abuse Awareness Day this autumn (Friday 14th October) – they’re inviting individuals and organisations to help spread the message by hosting an event, posting on social media, or sharing information with their colleagues or friends.
Anyone who’d like to host an event can email PEGS to receive a resources pack. If the event will be open to the public, PEGS will share the details on their website and across their social media. You can also download a graphic here that you can share on social media to raise awareness for CPA Awareness Day.
To find out more about the social enterprise, which supports parents across the UK and has its headquarters in Shrewsbury, simply visit their website or search PEGS Support across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.