Project conference in Bulgaria a big success

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The Responding to Child to Parent Violence project team held a successful two-day conference in Smolyan, Bulgaria, home to one of the project partners, the XXI Century Rhodopa Mountain Initiative NGO. Partners from Spain, Sweden, Ireland and England all travelled to take part.

Conference participants discussed the problem of child to parent violence across partner countries, and took part in training sessions developed by  XXI Century Rhodopa Mountain Initiative and Brighton and Hove City Council  on the two intervention models that the project is evaluating:  Break4Change (Brighton and Hove City Council) and Non Violent Resistance (National University of Ireland, Galway). The conference was attended by local social services, NGOs, police and academics and participants engaged in some lively discussions. As a direct result of the conference, partners in Bulgaria are considering how they could implement their own specific intervention programme to combat this emerging social problem.

Participants reported that child to parent violence is an issue that is present but hidden and stigmatised in Bulgaria, echoing experiences in the UK, and that local services are adopting a preventative focus to tackle the problem. Where a parent reports a concern, an investigation involving the police, local municipality, general practitioners, social workers, NGO workers and a school representative is undertaken and a coordinated response is put into place.

Dr Paula Wilcox, Principal Investigator on the project, said:

“The conference was a big success and it was wonderful to see such a broad range of professionals represented. We all have a lot to learn from each other and our Bulgarian colleagues contributed a great deal to exciting discussions and plans for the future.“

The Responding to Child to Parent Violence project is an EU Daphne III funded action research project led by the University of Brighton’s School of Applied Social Science.

Child to parent violence is defined as “any act of a child that is intended to cause physical psychological financial damage to gain power and control over a parent and/or carer” (Cottrell, 2001). This multi-agency research project aims to examine how a range of organisations in different countries across Europe are responding to it.