Wrekin Housing Group (WHG) is taking action to recognise the signs, and offer support, to parents suffering abuse from their own child by signing a government-backed covenant; the first housing association to do so.
The Child to Parent Abuse Covenant (CPAC) has been launched by not-for-profit organisation PEGS, and is backed by the Department for Work & Pensions. Signing CPAC signifies an organisation’s commitment to supporting any staff and volunteers experiencing Child to Parent Abuse, as well as any of their service users.
WHG, who provide affordable homes for 28,000 people across Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire, and Staffordshire, is the first housing association in the country to sign up to the covenant.
Wayne Gethings, WHG’s group chief executive, said: “Child to parent abuse (CPA) can have a truly life-changing impact on those suffering from it.
“We’re hugely proud to be the first housing association in the UK to pledge our commitment to the Child to Parent Abuse Covenant. It shows we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace where those affected by CPA can feel safe and supported, in line with our value of Everyone Matters, and our vision to make a difference to people’s lives.”
Michelle John, founding director of PEGS, added: “Signing the covenant is an important step for organisations as it shows their willingness to recognise CPA as a form of domestic abuse, and to listen to the parents who are impacted by abusive behaviour displayed by their child.
“So many parents talk to us about the isolation, guilt and shame they feel – by making it easier for them to approach organisations, and by talking openly about CPA, we really can make a difference. Sometimes simply having someone who will listen non-judgementally and believe what they are being told makes all the difference to a parent who has been suffering in silence, feeling unable to do anything about the physical, financial or verbal abuse they are facing in their own home.”
WHG says it has been following the “valuable” work of PEGS since its inception, as the organisation supported Michelle John through its Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme.
Child to parent abuse is estimated to impact between 3% and 10% of families in the UK, but it remains a largely hidden form of abuse. Behaviour can include physical, financial and verbal abuse, and can have a profound impact on the health, relationships and careers of those suffering.
PEGS provides support to parents, trains professionals, raises awareness and influences national policy. Since the organisation became operational in April 2020, it says its team has helped more than 1,500 individuals through peer support, advocacy, virtual drop-in sessions, and confidence and coping technique courses.
Main image: The Wrekin Housing Group’s Mandy Parkinson and Sam Hine at a PEGS event
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