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Investigating adolescent family violence in Victoria : understanding experiences and practitioner perspectives Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Karla Elliott and JaneMaree Maher

By: Fitz-Gibbon, Kate.
Contributor(s): Elliott, Karla | Maher, JaneMaree.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Melbourne, Vic : Monash Gender and Family Violence Research Program, Monash University, 2018Description: electronic document (82 pages) ; PDF file.ISBN: 978-0-9953934-4-8.Subject(s): FAMILY VIOLENCE | ADOLESCENTS | CHILDREN | HOMICIDE | PARENT ADOLESCENT RELATIONSHIP | PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIP | PARENTAL ABUSE | PARRICIDE | SIBLING ABUSE | YOUNG PEOPLE | AUSTRALIA | VICTORIAOnline resources: Click here to access online | Access the website Summary: This project draws on the insights of 120 people who have experienced adolescent family violence and 45 Victorian experts, service providers, general practitioners and health service providers to provide new insights into the nature and impact of adolescent family violence, the adequacy of current criminal justice, service and therapeutic responses, and the needs for future practice and policy reform. While primarily Victorian focused, the findings are relevant to all Australian jurisdictions and comparative countries. Adolescent family violence describes violence perpetrated by young people against family members, including parents, siblings, carers and other members of the family. Adolescents who use violence in the home engage in a range of different strategies to control, coerce and threaten family members that create harm. Our participants had experienced a combination of physical violence, property damage, verbal abuse, coercive and controlling behaviours, and financial abuse. In some cases, physical violence was used to achieve broader goals, such as to change the household rules, to avoid household tasks, to frighten and achieve control over members of the household, or to extract money from a parent. Verbal abuse and coercive behaviours were used in many incidents to establish power and control over a parent and/or sibling. For many affected parents the early stages of victimisation were fraught with concerns over what distinguishes ‘normal’ adolescent tantrums from behaviours that constitute abuse. While for some incidents of abuse were isolated and occurred infrequently, for other parents the violence became part of their everyday lives. The findings of this project support previous research that concludes that adolescent males more commonly use violence in the home than their adolescent female counterparts, and mothers are more likely to be victimised than male adults within the home. This is not to overlook the experiences that were shared through our survey of males who had experienced adolescent family violence as victims and parents who had been victimised by their adolescent daughter but rather to highlight the importance of gendered understandings in this area. A number of service providers who participated in this research noted that the types of violence committed were influenced by gender, with girls more commonly using verbal violence and property damage as mechanisms for control, while male adolescents were more commonly reported using physical violence. (From the Executive summary). See the project website for more information and other publications. Record #5963
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This project draws on the insights of 120 people who have experienced adolescent family violence and 45 Victorian experts, service providers, general practitioners and health service providers to provide new insights into the nature and impact of adolescent family violence, the adequacy of current criminal justice, service and therapeutic responses, and the needs for future practice and policy reform. While primarily Victorian focused, the findings are relevant to all Australian jurisdictions and comparative countries.

Adolescent family violence describes violence perpetrated by young people against family members, including parents, siblings, carers and other members of the family. Adolescents who use violence in the home engage in a range of different strategies to control, coerce and threaten
family members that create harm. Our participants had experienced a combination of physical violence, property damage, verbal abuse, coercive and controlling behaviours, and financial abuse. In some cases, physical violence was used to achieve broader goals, such as to change the
household rules, to avoid household tasks, to frighten and achieve control over members of the household, or to extract money from a parent. Verbal abuse and coercive behaviours were used in many incidents to establish power and control over a parent and/or sibling. For many affected
parents the early stages of victimisation were fraught with concerns over what distinguishes ‘normal’ adolescent tantrums from behaviours that constitute abuse. While for some incidents of abuse were isolated and occurred infrequently, for other parents the violence became part of their everyday lives.

The findings of this project support previous research that concludes that adolescent males more commonly use violence in the home than their adolescent female counterparts, and mothers are more likely to be victimised than male adults within the home. This is not to overlook the experiences that were shared through our survey of males who had experienced adolescent family violence as victims and parents who had been victimised by their adolescent daughter but rather to highlight the importance of gendered understandings in this area. A number of service providers who participated in this research noted that the types of violence committed were influenced by gender, with girls more commonly using verbal violence and property damage as mechanisms for control, while male adolescents were more commonly reported using physical violence. (From the Executive summary). See the project website for more information and other publications. Record #5963